Alumni of the Month, September 2017 - Lestika Madina Hasibuan

British Council

My name is Lestika Madina Hasibuan and I graduated with a Master of Arts in the Psychology of Music from the University of Sheffield in January of this year. I am currently working as a piano teacher at the Gitanada School of Music, focusing on Western classical music education for young children and adolescents. In particular, I have been working with children with special needs such as autism, ADHD, and other learning difficulties.

I am also the founder of Well-Tempered Music. I have created my own concept and method for music-learning by applying a range of scientific approaches to attain both well-developed piano technique and to assist in personal development. I provide a home-schooled piano programme which is mainly geared toward the expat community.

Studying in the UK has given me significant skills and knowledge in my field. I was taught and supervised by academics who are experts in the Psychology of Music. I gained skills in independent learning, and also attained a deeper understanding of the relationship between psychology, musical experience, and behaviour.

I am very grateful to have experienced such an excellent learning environment and to have had access to such great facilities. The educational ethos at the University of Sheffield is open-minded – welcoming and international. During my studies, I was also involved in part-time roles working for the University of Sheffield's Department of Music assisting in the arrangement of concerts as well as volunteering for Music in the Round events in Sheffield. Through these activities I have gained intercultural experience and understanding.

As a music educator I am dealing with children with different personalities and talents, coming from different socio-cultural backgrounds, and having a broad age range (4 – 15 yrs.) This engenders a dynamic environment in which research skills are valuable, where I am required to be both critical and creative in order to best meet the needs of my students. My experiences in the UK, including those involved in gaining my degree, have increased both my confidence and capabilities as an educator substantially.

The UK has always been my favourite place since I first visited there with my grandmother when I was four years old. I love the seasonal variety throughout the year. I almost never complained about the weather when I was living in Sheffield! Both the architecture and natural beauty to be found in the UK are so inspiring! I love to visit the Peak District. It still amazes me even though I have been there quite a lot of times. I am a keen photographer and the stunning backdrops which the UK has to offer have given me many hours of pleasure, both in person, and through the lens. I love the museums, the arts, the fashion, the multi-cultural society… and also I love broccoli, beetroot and rhubarb- none of which are available inexpensively in Indonesia! Last but not least I count floristry amongst my hobbies, and some of the flowers of the U.K. really won my heart… I wish some of them would grow in our tropical climate, though of course Indonesia also has beautiful plants of its own!