JUSTIN KUEH

DOUBLE BASS MUSICIAN.

UNDERGRADUATE.

“The most rewarding part of my journey in music is not so much about the achievements, but of the opportunities to participate in the performances and the friends whom I have met through this journey. I hope the community can accept and include people with disabilities in all aspects, because we all belong to the community.”

HIS STORY

At the age of 2, Justin’s parents noticed that he did not respond to auditory stimuli. The doctor diagnosed him with profound hearing loss and informed his family that he would have to wear hearing aids if he were to have any chance of hearing normally.

Though disheartened by the news, his parents did not want Justin to ever feel inferior because of his disability. To this day, his family remains very supportive, and is constantly encouraging him to become the best that he can be. Without his hearing aids, Justin can hardly hear. Justin also has Tinnitus, a constant phantom ringing in the ears, which makes it difficult for him to sleep at night, and distracts and confuses him in the day.

Justin became interested in music at a young age and first started playing the piano. He opted for the Music Elective Programme when he was in Secondary 1 and joined the Philharmonic Orchestra in Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), where he was selected to play the double bass which later became his main instrument.

Over the years, Justin has met many talented musicians who spurred his passion for the art. For Justin, music serves as an outlet for expression, bringing people together and connecting them. He pursues it with a deep-seated passion despite his hearing conditions. Some of his proudest achievements in music was clinching the GOLD award during the Singapore Youth Festival in 2013, and getting a distinction in his grade 8 ABRSM exams for double bass. He also scored an A1 in the Music Elective Programme for his ‘O’ Levels and six points for Higher Level Music in the International Baccalaureate exams. He subsequently obtained a music elective scholarship in 2015 and 2016. These awards and recognitions have encouraged him and reinforced his belief that he is capable of achieving almost anything, so long as he put his mind to the task.

In 2018, Justin was awarded the SPD Youth Aspiration Award for having battled through incredible odds to be where he is today. He is currently a second-year student studying politics, law and economics at the Singapore Management University.