Music and music instruments are the skills that many people have picked up since they were young. Valuing music education a lot, many parents have their children participating in various music classes at an early age, to develop their skills to appreciate the art of music. Studies have shown that playing music offers many benefits. Not only would it improve the abilities in cognition and memory, but would also affect your sentiment. 

Leslie, a Year 13 student at Dulwich International High School Zhuhai, is one of those who started to learn music in early childhood. However, his journey is slightly different from the general ones.

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Growing from the youngest drummer in class to a musician with thousands of followers

When he was only three years old, Leslie enlightened himself to music “accidentally”. Unlike the case with some children who follow their parents' decisions to learn music, Leslie proactively told his parents about his desire for playing drums when passing by a drum training centre, where he was obsessed with the instrument at the first sight. Leveraging his hunger for music and the strong support from his parents, Leslie became the youngest drummer at the training centre.

Music accompanies Leslie for almost his whole life, from kindergarten to high school. Besides drum set, he also studies a variety of different musical instruments, including cucurbit flute, percussion instruments, saxophone, guitar... He then started to form a band at Dulwich Zhuhai. Vocal performance also became an additional way to express himself. His cover songs on his online channel, reached more than ten thousand listeners with millions of playback.

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Global platforms for broader horizon

During his timewith Dulwich, Leslie’s musical talent have made its debut on the internationalstage. He participated in the Dulwich Festival of Music (DFM) in Year 10 and Year11, to Singapore and Seoul respectively. DFM is an annual music event where studentmusicians from across the Dulwich family of schools worked together forconcerts of different music.

"Music allows me to communicate and connect with the world, and Dulwich offers the platform to foster this global connection. It was both unforgettable experience with the two DFM. I was so impressed by how students from different Dulwich schools understand music, how proficient they are with their instruments, and how concentrated and hard-working they are in music."

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Leslie's highlights shine more than being a sophisticated musician. While practicing with the band on a weekly basis, Leslie is able to maintain a good balance between his study and co-curricular activities. He is very good in mathematics and has achieved full marks in all four A-Level Further Maths this year.

Despite his outstanding musical talents, Leslie decided to choose Finance for career.

"I cherish every moment with music. I’d rather put it in a place as an amateur hobby, instead of making a living out of it, to maintain the beauty of the connection I have with music. On the other hand, I believe studying Finance will result in various of opportunities in career development, as well as substantial outcome in return. My advantage in maths also lays solid foundation for applying Economics and Finance majors.”

Leslie began to gear up for his university application in Year 11. He attended the 2018 Summer Exchange Programme and 2019 University Mathematics Coursewith the University of Hong Kong (HKU), and obtained credits in Mathematics with the university afterwards. He has already received three conditional offers from HKU, and all with full scholarships.

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With support of the counsellor at Dulwich Zhuhai, he spent several months in writing and editing his Personal Statement (PS). Leslie said, “My counsellor supported me a lot, offering advice and help revising my PS carefully. After organising my scattered thoughts, the application process became more efficient. “

Head of Mathematics Department, Ms Carol Yeung is really proud of Leslie’s achievements.

“Right from the beginning, Leslie identified himself as an extremely talented mathematician with an obvious relish, not only for the subject's rigour but also its applications in the world around him. He has made the most of the opportunities offered by the in-depth academic demands of studying A-Level Maths and Further Maths at DHZH and showed a tremendous growth in both academic ability and maturity. Alongside his outstanding and consistent set of IGCSE grades and A-Level scores, more importantly I am delighted that Leslie is also a respectful, compassionate and warm-hearted student. His work ethic, intellectual curiosity, and commitment to his studies, are all ingredients for success at the undergraduate level. On behalf of the DHZH community, I wish him nothing but the very best in his next academic endeavours!” 

Not only has Ms Yeung provided advice to Leslie on his options in university majors and career development, but also written recommendation letters to University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong for him.

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Leslie wishes to become an investment banker in the future. He has prepared himself for this intensive industry, "I'm not going to give up music, with which I could be temporarily relaxed and free my mind away from work. It will, as always, be my 'secret weapon' to balance my study, my work and my life.”