Ms Janet Tay started learning music at the age of 4 at Yamaha Music School. She begun her piano lessons at the age of 7. Since then, she has obtained distinctions all through her piano examinations in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).
At age 14, she started learning the violin. This was her second instrument when she was an undergrad in Germany.
Ms Tay completed her Music Elective Programme (MEP) studies in Tanjong Katong Girls’ School and Temasek Junior College. She has always attained excellent results in the subject, both in the “O-Levels” and the “A-Levels”. She has not only obtained an “A” in her Advanced Level Cambridge Examinations, she has also obtained a Distinction in the Special Paper. She was offered a scholarship from the Singapore government.
Ms Tay started teaching her first private piano student at the age of 16. She was then invited by her teacher, Ms Tan Ping Ping, from the Music Elective Programme (MEP) from Tanjong Katong Girls’ School to do some relief teaching in MEP when she was 19. She taught all 4 secondary levels.
Before pursuing her piano degree in Germany, Ms Tay completed her “Trinity College of Music Performer’s Diploma Piano Licentiate” (LTCL) in Singapore. During the preparation for the entrance examinations for piano in Germany, Ms Tay also started taking lessons in Goethe Institute to learn the language, German. She completed and attained the ZERTIFIKAT Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Certificate German as a Foreign Language) within a year and a half. As a constant top student in the language courses, together with the recommendation of the tutors and the dean, Ms Tay was offered a full scholarship from Goethe Institute Germany for a full-time language course in Germany.
From the year 1995 - 1999, Ms Tay did her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in piano, under the tutelage of Professor Grigory Gruzman, at the Akademie für Tonkunst, Darmstadt in Germany; minoring in violin under the tutelage of Dorothee Birke. Ms Tay actively participated not only in school concerts, but also gave public performances as piano soloist, pianist in chamber music and accompanist for both vocal and instrumental music. She has attained excellent results in subjects, Piano, Harmony and Aural. Her composition for vocal with piano accompaniment, set to a poem from Edgar Allan Poe, has received high praises from the examiners.
She joined the Streichorchester Taunus (string orchestra) during her study years in Germany. The orchestra gave many concerts & performances with many professional musicians. The orchestra also toured and performed in countries such as Turkey and Paris. It also made recordings.
From the year 2000 - 2002, Ms Tay did her Performance Degree Studies, majoring in piano, under the tutelage of Professor Nina Tichman, at the Musikhochschule Köln, in Germany. During the years in Köln, she also performed in numerous concerts both in school and in public.
During the time in Germany, she has also participated in masterclasses in piano, violin and chamber music under the tutelage of Professor Rainer Hoffmann (Piano and Chamber Music) and Dorothee Birke (Violin).
She was also invited as member of the jury for the national piano competition in Germany for children & youths “Jugendmusiziert Wettbewerb”.
After returning from her studies from Germany, she was engaged as a senior teacher at the Cristofori Music School for 3 years. There, she not only taught the instrument piano, she also taught the subject ‘theory’ to students. As a senior teacher, she also gave lectures on the subject, “History of Music” and taught theory and harmony to the teachers in the school. Ms Tay also coordinated the internal piano competitions opened to students from the school, and was even a member of the jury. She also coordinated concerts for students and teachers, and transcribed music for performances.
Since the year 2005, Ms Tay has been teaching as a freelance music teacher, giving lessons in piano, theory and viva-voce; simultaneously teaching violin students how to play with accompanist, while accompanying them in concerts and examinations.
In the year 2009, she set up a private music studio together with her husband, Matthias Oestringer. Since then, Ms Tay has been actively teaching and performing as a soloist, accompanist and playing in chamber groups, both in Germany and in Singapore.
In December 2019, Ms Tay participated in an outreach programme in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. This was organised by the Jesselton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with other teachers, she performed in concerts for the underprivileged children.
In year 2020, Ms Tay joined the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, School of Music, as an adjunct lecturer of Aural and Musicianship.