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First MDA-WDA-Industry partnership offering music training programmes in lyrics & melody writing and music arrangement

15 January 2013 - The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) have partnered two established music companies... Read more

Music professionals, freelancers and newbies to benefit from up to 90% in training grants and some training allowance

The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) have partnered two established music companies –Ocean Butterflies Music and Funkie Monkies Pop Music School –to offer local music training programmes in lyrics writing, melody writing and music arrangement for music talents. This is the first partnership between MDA, WDA and the music sector.

Under this joint government and industry effort, music professionals, media freelancers and newbies will receive MDA grants of up to 90 per cent of the course fee under MDA’s Talent Assistance Grant Scheme (More information can be found at:​Schemes/Pages/GrantSchemes.aspx​). Media freelancers can enjoy an additional training allowance of $7.50 per training hour. On top of training grants, newbies will enjoy training allowances of up to $1,000 per month for three months from WDA. Up to 80 individuals are expected to benefit from the programme in the first year. More details on grant eligibility can be found in Annex A (275.10KB).

This initiative comes on the back of a series of efforts1 by MDA recently to help local music professionals market and develop themselves, thereby creating a more vibrant music sector.

Mr Yeo Chun Cheng, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry), MDA said: “Lyricists and composers like Xiaohan, Lee Wei Song, Lee Si Song and Dr Liang Wern Fook have done Singapore proud by creating great, award-winning music for some of Asia’s best Mandopop stars from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. Through this first-ever training collaboration with industry partners, we now hope to nurture another generation of talented musicians who can drive Singapore’s reputation for accomplished music creation even deeper into Asia. Ocean Butterflies and Funkie Monkies are natural partners in this endeavour since both are well established and have proven, valuable experience in providing such training.”

Mr Azzli Jamain, Director, Creative &Professional Services Division, WDA said: “WDA is pleased to collaborate with MDA and industry partners to foster the development of music talents to support the music industry. The partnership with the key industry players will allow aspiring local talents to learn from experienced and notable music experts, as well as harness their soft skills to enable them to move up to the next level in their music career.”

The Courses

There are four different courses offered by Ocean Butterflies Music and Funkie Monkies Pop Music School. Applications open now and will close on 1 March 2013. Ocean Butterflies will conduct the course preview on 26 January 2013 while Funkie Monkies will offer their course preview on 27 January 2013. The courses are:

  • Songwriting &Composing by Ocean Butterflies
  • Music Arrangement by Ocean Butterflies
  • Career in Hit Melodies Writing by Funkie Monkies
  • Career in Hit Lyrics Writing by Funkie Monkies

Courses provided by Ocean Butterflies Music

The first course –Songwriting &Composing –will see participants pick up skills in writing and creating songs. Under the second course Music Arrangement, participants will learn how to arrange a song. For both courses, participants will also acquire technical skills in Midi &Synthesis as well as Digital Audio in Logic Pro. Both courses are six months in duration, spanning 300 hours each, and cost $9,000 per course.

At the end of both courses, participants will have a portfolio of works created to showcase their capabilities, which they can then pitch to the entertainment industry such as film and television producers and record companies through Ocean Butterflies’ network.

Through the course, graduates can expect to find career opportunities in multiple media industries –such as in music, digital media, live show, gaming, film and television –as record producer, sound designer, songwriter, song composer and theatre sound designer.

Colin Goh, Founder and Director of Ocean Butterflies said: “In today’s market, the competition is coming from all over the world and it is that much harder for newcomers to be pioneers in a global market. Thus, we have created this programme to bring our students up to a level where they can compete on an international scale.”

Courses provided by Funkie Monkies Pop Music School

The first course –Career in Hit Melodies Writing –will see participants learn from renowned local music songwriters/music producers Eric Ng and Jim Lim. Both Eric and Jim had worked with A-list artistes including A-Mei (张惠妹), Show Luo (罗志祥) and Wakin Chau (周华健). Through the course, participants will pick up industry standard melody writing techniques, tips on writing-on-demand, advanced chord theory and aural training. This nine-month course which spans 54 hours costs $3,150.

The second course –Career in Hit Lyrics Writing –will be taught by award-winning lyricist Xiaohan. Some of Xiaohan’s achievements include ‘Singapore Hit Awards Best Local Lyricist’ and ‘Taiwan Golden Melody nominee for Best Lyricist’. Through the course, participants will acquire industry standard writing techniques for lyrics, including filling words into the tune and developing inspirations into lyrics. The course fee for this 36-hour long, six-month course is $2,100.

Throughout both courses, participants will have a chance to pitch their works to various record companies and top Mandarin pop artistes through Funkie Monkies’ established music publishing network.

Xiaohan, lyricist and founder of Funkie Monkies Productions said: “I have met many talented Singaporean songwriters who have the ability to pen beautiful lines that evoke much emotions. What they need to learn is how to put those beautiful lines together into a song. With MDA and WDA’s support, aspiring songwriters can learn from industry professionals and who knows, that song could be the next Mandopop hit in Asia!”

See Annex B for more details of both courses.

Annex C​: List of WSQ courses for Eligible Trainees supported by WDA’s Training Allowance


1These initiatives are: under Development Assistance Grant Scheme, unsigned bands and artistes can receive a grant of up to $8,000 to produce a music single and a press kit;under Production Assistance Grant Scheme, artistes and bands already signed to music labels can produce Extended Plays (EPs) and albums with grants of up to 40% of the Singapore Spend. In October, MDA further announced a joint-call for proposal with MediaCorp to give national exposure to local music on free-to-air television and radio. Under this arrangement, local music companies and musicians will score and produce original theme songs for seven MediaCorp dramas in Chinese, English and Malay.

About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)

The Media Development Authority of Singapore ( promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (

About the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today’s economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers –young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives –to upgrade and advance their careers and lives. For more information, please visit