Young Musician of the Year 2017 ‘People’s Choice Award’ winner Siya Arora discusses her new title and sheds light on how iCademy Middle East’s flexible blended learning has helped her realise her musical ambitions.
When iCademy Middle East student Siya Arora won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Young Musician of the Year competition, sponsored by Which School Advisor in partnership with Madinat Theatre and Dubai 92, it did not come as a surprise to those who have seen and heard her perform. The award has been the culmination of years of practice in perfecting her talents as a singer and a lyricist, as reflected in her winning the only award chosen solely by the audience.
Siya, aged 16, performed her original song ‘Slow Down World’ and not only captured the hearts of the audience but beat 216 entries from almost 50 schools from across the Emirates.
For Siya – it is a vocation and something she has been deeply passionate about for some time. “Growing up in a house where everyone loves music, it started becoming a part of my daily life,” she says.
“I used to make videos of myself singing when I was around five, which some would probably see as a cute hobby but my parents saw potential so they put me in vocal training. I began by learning Indian classical music for four years and Gurbani at the Gurudwara for three years. But I soon realised I wanted to use my training in my personal musical interest – songwriting and singing Western music.”
She credits iCademy Middle East with playing a large role in her academic and musical success. “Joining iCademy Middle East has been one of the best decisions for my musical journey,” she says.
“I have found enough time in my day to finish all my school work and dedicate a good few hours to practising and writing. On top of it all, lately I have been traveling to check out a few music opportunities in the USA and India and that could have never happened if I was still in regular school. iCademy has given me the power and opportunity to take the risk – I had the freedom to follow my passion although still at school.”
This sentiment is also echoed by Siya’s mother, Meenu Arora.
“iCademy Middle East has given Siya a true sense of freedom,” said Arora. “She is able to enrich her days doing what she loves. It may be an unconventional approach to learning, but there is no greater reward than seeing your child so happy. She is learning to make her own choices and we are thankful as parents to see her growing into a well-rounded and confident human being. She has become independent and responsible and learning to balance both academics and music.”
“Homeschooling has worked out wonderfully for our family. Siya’s brother is also a talented golfer and suggested homeschooling could help manage the balance between education and practise. iCademy Middle East has given us absolute peace-of-mind that we have made the right decision for our family in choosing to homeschool and for that, all I can say is thank you iCademy Middle East!”
Although Siya has been writing and performing her music in the UAE and internationally for some time, she finds the response from participating in the Young Musician of the Year competition particularly gratifying.
“To be liked by the public is very difficult for someone who makes original music, but I have been very fortunate to have received nothing but love and motivation from the people who listen to and support my music. It’s been a great honour to win the People’s Choice Award and I am very blessed to have an audience and family who are so encouraging.”
Siya, no stranger to competition or awards, has also received the Sheikh Hamdan Award in 2014 for her overall performance in school including academic and extra-curricular activities as well as reaching the semi-finals of the UAE’s Got Talent competition.
To listen to Siya’s original song “Slow Down World” follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtfqEppogiI