MANILA -- Seventeen years in the music industry has not slowed down “Pinoy Dream Academy” grand star dreamer Yeng Constantino.
In fact, Constantino wants to give back to budding young artists now that she renewed her commitment as global ambassadress of Academy of Rock (AOR), Singapore’s popular music school that started in 2007.
A pop-rock royalty, Constantino wants to mentor young artists at AOR, like her fellow “ASAP” performer Janine Berdin.
“There’s just something about her parang nakikita ko noong nag-uumpisa ako,” Constantino told ABS-CBN News.
“Even at a time when I was confused with my genre, nakikita ko sa kanya ‘yung transition niya to discovering what she wants to do in her music and her image.
“Janine is also writing her own songs. Nakita ko ang Spotify playlist niya last year and again this year. Ang gaganda ng mga kanta niya. She’s writing her own songs. So if I will mentor an artist, that would be her.
“I believe napakalaki pa ng potential niya. You see her hunger, her passion. Exciting ang mga gano’ng bata na maturuan. Kung ano ang itinanim mo sa kanya, siguradong tutubo.”
Another artist Constantino admires is Janella Salvador. “I believe hindi pa niya napapakita lahat,” she said of Salvador. “She can sing very well. Sobra. Kaya niya ang theater, kaya niya ang pop, kaya niyang kumanta ng ballad.
“When the time comes na gusto pa niyang ilabas ang music side niya, nandito lang si Ate Yeng. Narinig ko lang siya sa dressing room. I think she can do belting pa.
“Pwede ko siyang turuan kahit sa projection, kung kailangan pa niya ilabas ang music side niya sa area na ‘yun, matutulungan ko pa siya.”
Global Academy of Rock
From being the aspiring musician, singer, songwriter at “Pinoy Dream Academy,” Constantino grew as an artist with hits after hits.
Today, she continues to be an ambassadress at AOR, now under a partnership model as Global Academy of Rock in Quezon City.
“I am so excited with my partnership with Academy of Rock,” Constantino said. “Today marks my 10th year working with AOR.
“I am looking forward to collaborating with AOR for future projects that may include music production, songwriting or even mentoring upcoming artists.”
Ten years ago, Constantino met AOR founder and president Priscila Teo, who invited her to perform for the opening of Academy of Rock in Manila.
“She told me, ‘I’m going to bring you to Singapore’,” Constantino recalled. “When someone tells me something like that, my expectation is not always that high.
“I remain hopeful, but if it doesn’t happen, that’s alright. But Priscila brought me to Singapore and she told me Academy of Rock wants to get me as an ambassadress. I was really, really waiting for that.
“I still have that memory and my journey with the company. AOR is not just a company. It’s also a family to me. Our partnership is just wonderful.”
When Constantino met Teo, the former learned about AOR’s mission for musicians and how to help educate the next generation of musicians and artists.
“When I learned about AOR, I want to be part of the company,” Constantino said. “I share the same vision.
“I know the impact that music can do in changing people’s lives. Aspiring musicians and songwriters need a venue to grow. I believe in the power of music to enhance and enrich any person’s life.
“I know it is also at the center of AOR’s heart and mission as they train new musicians, songwriters and music producers. To me, AOR is not just a company. It’s a family.”
Academy of Rock is very helpful to Filipino children who want to become musicians and artists. They make music education accessible to local artists who want to learn and provide quality education to all ages, even starting as young as three.
“I really like to thank Yeng for joining us in the school,” Teo said. “Yeng believes in the mission and vision of AOR. I feel that music has changed my life.
“It has changed Yeng’s and many more lives in the Philippines and the region. At AOR, we are willing to show that music education is accessible.”
“Let’s save the music.”
To date, that line has been the battlecry of local artists. They want to put up schools where new students, young artists and aspiring musicians can learn from.
AOR is growing with two countries – Singapore and the Philippines – working hand in hand in providing quality education in a safe space for aspiring musicians in all ages. Its aim is to have a modern approach to learning music.
Award-winning songwriter Jonathan Manalo, who’s one of the shareholders of AOR, carries the same mission with his fellow shareholders.
Manalo is a self-taught musician. He knows the importance of music education to form the confidence, hone the skills and talents of an artist.
“We love music and we know what music can do in changing people’s lives,” Manalo said. “With AOR, we love to help educate the next generation of musicians and artists.”
AOR offers affordable courses for Filipino students. “The prices are adjusted for our economy,” Manalo said.
The school is even open for scholarships for deserving music students. “Kaya gustong magturo ni Yeng,” Manalo said. “She wants to train students who have talent but walang means to enroll in a course in music education.
“We will have a program where we will screen deserving students who want to enroll. AOR will offer opportunities for all those who will study. AOR is willing to be the avenue to give opportunity to artists.”
AOR vice president is Jeff Vadillo. Other shareholders are Jacinto Gan, Jr., Benedict Mariategue and Rox Santos.
The academy is offering courses in guitar, drums, voice, bass, piano and ukulele to students from all over the country.
The school will even have music camp for the students. Constantino will also write and record a theme song for AOR.
After 16 years, AOR has also expanded to Malaysia and Myanmar.