The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation Realises
the Power of Possibilities, supporting the country’s first personnel
in the field of Thai musical instrument craftsmanship.

It has been five years since the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation passed on invaluable opportunities in education to students with good grades but lack opportunities and funds of Chitralada Vocational School, Chitralada Technology Institute, in the field of Technology for Thai Musical Instrument Craftsmanship, better known as Thai Musical Instrument Craftsmanship, which is a very unique field of studies, with relatively few students.  With the power of belief and drive from ‘The Power of Possibilities’, and ‘Life Never Ceases to Look For Possibilities’, the Foundation has recently produced the first scholarship student in the field. It is our strong hope that the graduate will put to use the knowledge acquired to support and contribute to the field and to preserve this profession while striving to make it known to the world.


Dr. Nuan-Anong Thamcharoen, Director of Chitralada Vocational School, underlined the importance of Technology in Thai musical instrument craftsmanship, elaborating that this field of study was graciously initiated by HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who encouraged the Chitralada Vocational School to offer a course in Thai musical instrument craftsmanship for the first time in Thailand in the year 2018.  The objective of the course is to create a new generation who see the value of preserving Thai music and culture. They will be expected to acquire three skills, namely, ‘making, repairing and using,’ that is, they should be able to make musical instruments themselves, repair them, and play them. The school now has 23 students, from five batches, with five students accepted yearly. As this field of study involves high costs of operation and of training equipment, while trainers need to closely supervise students, each year a limited number of students can be accepted. However, education in this branch has prospered, with steadfast support from the Vichai Srivadhanaprabha Foundation. In providing and managing the grants from generation to generation since the initiation of the course, the school saw the importance of course materials as much as professionals. It is through HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s grace which has made possible the new course in the curriculum, with brainstorming from high-qualification professionals and technicians of all branches of Thai musical art.


Chitralada Director said that the branch of study is regarded as an opportunity for Thai youths to play a part in the preservation of Thai music, to replace the wisdom which is beginning to die away. The course is seen by many to be formidable; studying here is not just about playing music but one must be able to make and to repair the instruments too. Mr.Pattarapong Prompinit is the first student in Thailand to graduate in this field. In the future, hopefully, the curriculum will be expanded to the Bachelor’s degree, which will cater those interested in playing Thai music, creating and repairing musical instruments. Prospective students in the programme need not worry about looking for jobs after their graduation, as this is a limited field of expertise, with comprehensive knowledge of every Thai instrument and therefore is a highly marketable course to study. It is not farfetched to say that interested Thai youths are key elements in conserving Thai heritage in this respect.


Mr. Pattarapong Prompinit, a grantee of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation, the first student of Thailand who graduated in Thai Musical Instrument Craftsmanship, said he has been into Thai music since Primary 3, starting from the cymbals and drums before moving on to the gong, the xylophone, etc. He had a strong passion for Thai music art and even dreamed of being able to make musical instruments himself. When he learned that the Chitralada School had offered this course, he decided to apply for the vocational certificate. His batch was five people, learning the basics of woodworking, leatherworking, lathe working, sound calibration art, making components of instruments and other related work at the house of master craftsmen who exceled in different branches. It was indeed a very intensive study, but he did not stop there. He then went on to a high vocational certificate for more in-depth expertise in fine art, pattern design, etc. and subsequently was able to make musical Thai instruments. His dream was finally made ‘possible’.


Pattarapong said that the branch of his dream was not as difficult as he had thought. He felt that what was hard was to find out for sure that one really has passion for this work. If that is the case, then it would lead on to the drive for learning, for repairing and for making the instruments. It would finally turn out to be great fun. Thai music really has undeniable charm as a classic. In the old days when there was no technology, Thai music prospered throughout those hundreds of years and was passed on from generation to generation. Obviously, we have witnessed the evolution of Thai music and most importantly we never forget our roots. He affirmed that he never positioned himself as the first graduate in the field but as a pioneer for more and more batches to come. For the very first batch, no music room or studio was available so students had to go to master craftsmen’s houses, sometimes in other provinces. As for today, we are equipped with a studio and have funds for professionals invited to teach at the institute.


“I wish to be a role model and inspiration for younger people and would like to assure them that after they graduate, they have a promising path ahead, whether for careers or for higher education. Like myself, I have recently passed the examination for teaching the Thai language and culture abroad for the year 2023. I will be spending one year as a volunteer teacher at a Thai temple in Los Angeles, USA. My responsibilities there include teaching Thai music while acting as a cultural ambassador at the same time. This is obviously a great experience and opportunity for any individual wishing to work in a foreign country or to gain professional experience while also looking for possibilities to further his studies or work in Thailand. We are fortunate to have ‘kind adults’ from the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation, who see the value of education and future of youths, helping realise a child’s dream by granting scholarships for five consecutive years. The Foundation is like a family that supports us and makes our dreams come true. I wish to encourage you children out there to find your passion and continue with what you like and make your dreams come true.”


This is another pride of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation in supporting education for Thai youths through Chitralada Vocational School, Chitralada Institute of Technology. It is through our unfaltering effort that we have produced personnel in such a lesser-known field of study as Thai Musical Instrument Craftsmanship. We still strive to continue “the power of possibilities” by supporting prospective personnel in the field for many more years to come.