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Inspired Through Conviction And Defined By Wisdom: The Matthew Quek Story

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By Author: Matthew Quek
Total Articles: 29
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The trauma of growing up
As a child, Matthew was often the subject of bullying from his peers due to his introverted nature and not being able to adhere to societal expectations. Recounting his experience growing up as a child in Singapore, Matthew said, “I constantly struggled with learning difficulties since young, and often faced problems understanding concepts, especially in relation to subjects like Math, Science, and Technical Drawing.”

The formal diagnosis of his learning disabilities towards the end of National Service, however, did not deter him from progressing academically.
He went on to read History in a local university, where he was listed in the Faculty’s Dean’s list for three consecutive years and graduated with a Second Upper Honours in History- a feat that doctors thought virtually impossible, given the severity of his conditions.

Discovering His Talent in Music
At the age of 13, Matthew uncovered his gift in music, an area he had never thought he even possessed, after joining the inaugural choir in secondary school. “It started with me learning the basics. Then, I got the chance to perform in front of an audience, which brought me out of my comfort zone and soon, singing became an integral part of my identity and mode of expression,” added Matthew, who progressed from being a member to assuming leadership roles in the many choirs he joined.

His interest in singing was cemented when he was posted to the SAF Music and Drama Company right after his Basic Military Training, where he was part of the SAF Acapella Choir. While in Varsity, he took part in the NUS Rhapsody 2002 competition’s song-writing category, where one of his original compositions was selected for performance during the finals. Two years later, he won the top title in the MOE X Factor Elite challenge talent competition and was granted an opportunity to perform a solo item from “The Phantom of the Opera” during a farewell ceremony for Dr. Ng Eng Hen when he was still in MOE. “I was honoured to be able to showcase my talent, and the experience of performing for Dr. Ng left an indelible mark on me which convinced me that my calling was in the Vocal Arts.”

Finding Success in Life and Inspiring Others with Difficulties
Matthew is a competent musician, having passed Grade 8 in piano performance and obtaining distinction in his Grade 8 Vocal Performance examinations that were held by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, London. He also clinched a Silver award for Singapore at the prestigious World Championship of Performing Arts held at Hollywood and launched eight solo albums, with one alongside renowned Jazz Maestro Jeremy Monteiro. In addition, Matthew went on to be a certified Vocal Instructor under the International Voice Teachers of Mix, becoming its main representative in Singapore and Asia.

Even as Matthew has surmounted many difficulties, he has grown to empathize with youths facing difficulties similar to his in their lives and wants to inspire them in their struggles. In 2018, he produced a movie titled ‘Unbroken’, describing how he overcame and continues to manage his invisible learning disabilities in life.

As such, he has made it his personal mission to devote his life to creating a lasting positive impact on those struggling in their lives through mentorship and coaching, while drawing inspiration from his life experiences and past encounters with people who motivated him.

Despite the accolades and successes, he still keeps himself grounded as he knows his disabilities are lifelong in nature. His resilience in the face of adversity has made him who he is now, and he hopes to influence others to find their moral bearings and overcome any challenges that may come their way.

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