Composer and producer Ronald Ng has never been busier as he prepares to open the Baron School of Music, where he plans to depart from the old way of teaching and, hopefully, shake up the establishment WE ARE PROCESSING applications until this month and will be auditioning students for places at the school. We are still fine-tuning details of the programmes and preparing all the practical things that staff and students will need from day to day. All this is very time consuming. I am not directly in charge of the auditions, but I keep in touch because I have to know what's going on. In the meantime, I am carrying on with my other responsibilities: composing and producing. With the opening of the school fast approaching, I have never been busier and am probably only getting two or three hours of sleep at night. I started playing the piano when I was nine years old. My parents encouraged me, and I was also very keen. When I was 10, I took up playing the trumpet, which I preferred, and that soon became my main instrument. In fact, I was the first to take it up for formal study at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Next, I spent five years at University of California, Berkeley, Department of Music, studying for a double degree in music production and film scoring. I returned to Hong Kong in 1996 and had a lucky break. I got the chance to work for Creative Artist Management. That gave me varied experiences in many areas of music and management, and allowed me to set up my company in 2002 and become a full-time producer. I don't have a fixed routine. Instead, I just take each day - and night - as it comes, and get some sleep when I can. Often, mornings are spent on administrative tasks and meetings. Then I go back to the studio. Sometimes, I finish my work there around 5.30am and still have to be back at the school for meetings a few hours later. Setting up the school has been made easier by the fact that I took full responsibility for the financing. I don't have to answer to any institutions or worry about other shareholders' interference. Perhaps the biggest challenge has been bringing together the team of tutors. Today, their support and commitment to giving Hong Kong a school such as this fills me with a lot of confidence. All the hard work will have been worthwhile if we manage to offer our students an alternative musical path. Since I started learning music, nothing much has changed, with the system of teaching still being very exam-oriented and old-fashioned. We want the next generation of students to learn in a better way. We discuss with instructors how to improve things by implementing different teaching techniques. The Hong Kong music industry needs to be shaken up. I think it's the right time to do it, even though it won't be easy. We just don't have enough performing artists and composers coming through. To succeed in my line of work, you definitely need good EQ [emotional quotient]. You are dealing with different people all the time and must be calm, clear-minded and patient. Running the school involves regular interaction with students, parents and instructors, so you also need to be a good listener. At the same time, you have to be quick to take up opportunities. Although I am the president of the school, I just think of myself as one of the instructors who will be teaching the art of composing. Apart from that, I am just the organiser - I don't have any special privileges.