Sarah Shi Hui Wong
Ph.D., MA (Dist.), B.Soc.Sci. (Hons.),
LLCM (Dist.), LTCL (Dist.), ATCL (Dist.), DipABRSM
I earned the Ph.D. degree in Psychology from the National University of Singapore (NUS), after having attained a MA (with Distinction) in Music Psychology in Education from the University of Sheffield, and a B.Soc.Sci. (Hons.) degree in Psychology from the NUS.
My ongoing research bridges the fields of cognitive, educational, and positive psychology to develop interventions that foster higher order learning outcomes. In particular, my most recent work examines how errors can be deliberately and strategically positioned to enhance learning and performance. As a musician, I also have an enduring fascination with applying psychological principles to shed light on music cognition and to support musical learning. More broadly, my ambition is to discover how we can best (re)design education to achieve its ultimate goal—to empower people with the skills to learn effectively, thereby promoting human flourishing.
My research has been published in journals such as Educational Psychologist, Educational Psychology Review, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Click to read more about my research and publications.
More recently, my work was conferred the 2021 Wang Gungwu Medal and Prize (Best Ph.D. Thesis in the Social Sciences and Humanities) and 2020 Association for Psychological Science (APS) Student Research Award, and has been featured in the cover story of the APS Observer, New Scientist, and Psychology Today.
Whilst pursuing my graduate studies, I have concurrently served as an Instructor (2017–present) and Teaching Assistant (2013–2016) at the NUS Department of Psychology. Besides supervising undergraduate honors research, I have designed and taught modules such as Lab in Cognitive Psychology and Lab in Music Perception and Cognition. Toward sharing best teaching practices and ideas, I was also the Co-Chair and Secretariat of the NUS Psychology Teaching Assistant Symposium 2017 and 2014, respectively.
As an educator, I aspire to bring learning to life, and Life to learning. My research as a psychologist informs the evidence-based pedagogical strategies that I adopt to nurture my students' learning and holistic development. I see it as part of my mission to excite students about ideas and concepts they encounter, and to challenge my students to think deeply and critically in their discovery and construction of knowledge. Through such processes, it is my hope that my students may make quantum leaps in their learning and forge ahead to pursue their higher purposes and meaning in life.
I am honoured to have won the NUS Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (FTEA) AY2020–21, which recognises achievements in teaching, including instruction, educational design, assessment and feedback, as well as wider adoption of good practices in these areas through leadership and support of other colleagues. I also received the NUS Graduate Students' Teaching Award (GSTA) over three consecutive semesters in 2016–2018, and have been placed on the GSTA Honour Roll since then. Read my interview with the NUS Department of Psychology here.
Beyond academia, I am a dedicated music performer, arranger, and educator. I hold a Licentiate Diploma (LTCL) with Distinction in Piano Performance from Trinity College London, a Licentiate Diploma (LLCM) with Distinction (Approved, Upper Level) in Piano Duet Performance from the London College of Music, and a Diploma of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (DipABRSM) in Violin Music Performance.
Over more than 15 fulfilling years in Singapore's music scene, I have been an active chamber musician and orchestral violinist, and have also been featured as a soloist. I have served as the Concertmaster and Student Conductor of the Hwa Chong Institution String Ensemble and Nanyang Girls’ High School String Ensemble, during which I steered my groups’ artistic direction and musicianship toward achieving the highest accolades (Gold with Honours) at the Singapore Youth Festival. I was also elected President and appointed Concertmaster of the NUS Symphony Orchestra, and have served as the Assistant Concertmaster of the cross-over chamber ensemble re:mix as a freelance violinist.
I now perform as the First Violinist of Arpeggione String Quartet (Singapore), of which I am also a founding member. Arpeggione Quartet has been regularly featured at the Esplanade, and has been highlighted in The Straits' Times' "Arts Picks" for their performance at the National Gallery in conjunction with the "Century of Light" 2017 exhibition. Notably, Arpeggione Quartet has been invited to perform with Mandopop singer aMEI (张惠妹) at her 2016 world tour at the Singapore National Stadium, and has more recently been featured in the soundtrack of the 2019 short film "The Playbook (爱本)" by local director Bryan Wong.
In my leisure time, I take delight in arranging musical works from popular culture for string quartet. Click to view a selected list of my music arrangements and performances.