Throughout my experience in Sonos, I have managed to improve my singing techniques not only within choral pieces but also in solo pieces. By practicing and performing a range of repertoire with different vocal arrangements, I have learned to harmonize and adjust my voice to better fit with pieces that we perform.
For example, during the Carols by Candlelight performance on the 7th of December 2018, I performed multiple songs with five other members of the Sonos group to an audience in the school’s open plaza. This was a new experience for me as it was unusual for me to perform in an open area. Additionally, I was performing with fewer members which was a challenge at first since I would not have the backing of many other people. This places a larger importance on my singing as part of the pieces. For the repertoire, the six of us took charge in arranging the pieces vocally which was an essential part of the performance. In doing this, I used the skills that I developed in Sonos to harmonize with the other members to establish a euphonic sound. This also required lots of collaboration as we needed to work together and listen carefully to each other to arrange our parts well.
For some of the songs in the performance, my group was joined by other singers, some of whom were teachers. Furthermore, during the performance we were asked to perform other carols which we had not prepared beforehand. It was initially a large challenge; however, we were able to adapt accordingly and perform well. I managed to sight-sing by reading the score and listening carefully to those who knew the songs, a skill that I have learned in Sonos.
In the Wavelengths Music Concert on the 12th of December 2018, I had a solo part in the starting section which was essential to the piece. In this, I was able to boost my confidence enough to overcome the challenge of performing solo. However, I believe that I can still increase my confidence in solo performances which will further improve my singing in the future.
This workshop had two main parts to it: creating a sentence and using an object to create movement, both of which focused on developing devising ideas.
The first activity was to write down any five words that we thought of, then writing words that we associated with those first words. We then chose three words and created a sentence from these words. I thought that this was particular interesting as the sentences that we formed could act as a stimulus in a performance which was seen later on.
In the second part of the workshop, one group was blindfolded and given a material (elastic string, cardboard, sheets of paper or rolled up paper) to ‘play’ with and explore. Some of the movements and sounds that came from this activity evoked emotions and stories from simply exploring a material. For example, the sound of tearing paper created a sense of distress. The blindfolds helped to block out the fact that people were watching and helped us to focus on the material that we were exploring. One thing that I found interesting was that once the material was taken away, most people did bigger and more exaggerated movements to try to emphasise the idea that there was still material there.
The other group was blindfolded and given material as well but were also told to keep in mind the sentence they had created in the first activity. This created more deliberate movement with much more emotion that was formed from thinking about their sentences. When they started to say their chosen words out loud, I noticed that the intensity of their movement reflected the intensity of their speech. Additionally, from saying their chosen words, it gave the audience context for their movements and produced a clearer storyline portraying certain emotions and feelings.
At the end of the workshop, we formed smaller groups to create a movement sequence with one of the materials of our choice. My group (Emily G and Lydia) and two other groups chose the elastic; however, the sequences were different. This showed how there are many different ways to use the same material. My group started with the elastic in a tangled ball and then we stretched it outwards to unravel it. We then played with pulling on the string and wrapping it around ourselves before letting go so that it bounced back together. We were then told to remove the elastic and we were separated so that Lydia and Emily were together on one side watching me and I was standing away from them, looking at the audience. This created a very different story but still with the main theme from the initial sequence.
I think that the word association to create a stimulus and techniques to finding the different ways to utilise material is something that will be very useful in future devising performances. I can especially use the exploration of the elastic in my collaboration project performance this year as we are planning to use rope which is a similar material.
I first joined Tabitha GC three years ago in Grade 8. Since then, I have taken on the role of Head of Sales and Logistics Manager in the following years as well as taken on other leadership roles within projects. This year, I am looking to increase my responsibility and involvement in Tabitha by being GC Chair. I think this position will help me develop my leadership skills and increase the depth of my experience in service.
I think that I stand a good chance at getting this position as I have been with Tabitha for three years and organised many of their events as well as participated heavily in the team discussions. I have also taken on leadership roles within projects that we have done and I would know how best to engage all the members of the service. Additionally, I am looking for more depth in my commitments so I would definitely be able to take on the extra responsibility. Lastly, for Project Week later on in the year, one of the options that I’m currently looking at is a house building trip to the Tabitha NGO in Cambodia. Being GC Chair would enable me to build a good foundation for my volunteer experience there.
My involvement in the Tabitha GC has allowed me to address global issues and take action to help those in need internationally. I am looking forward to being involved again this year.
As a local service this year, I have joined Running Hour. This is a service that partners with intellectually or visually challenged members to engage in light physical activity and conversation. I am new to this service this year so I am not entirely familiar with the goals of this service. However, my expectations are that I will be able to develop an understanding of how being intellectually or visually challenged affects the lifestyle of individuals in the Singaporean community.
I have not done local service with people before, my only other local service experience was at an animal shelter. I have noted this as an area that I may have been lacking and so one thing that I am looking forward to is participating in a service that clearly impacts the local community in a different way than what I have done previously. I see this as an opportunity for me to grow in my understanding of social issues and develop my skills in interacting with people that I don’t normally interact with. With this, I can also gain insight into global issues as there are many similarities between challenged people in Singapore and overseas.
For the first sports season of the year, I was placed in the U18B Volleyball team. Personally, since I only started volleyball about a year ago, this is a large achievement. I am very much looking forward to improving my volleyball techniques to increase my level of play.
Last year, I was on the U18C Volleyball team playing in a ‘middle’ position. This year, my coach is hoping to move me to a ‘setter’ position which will be a new experience for me. It will most likely be challenging at the start to adjust to a new position however I am excited to expand my skills in this area.
So far, we have had one practice as a team on Friday. This practice helped me to highlight my strengths as a player as well as the areas in which I could improve on, which was especially serving for me. This season, I’m also hoping to improve my communication on court as collaboration is especially important in volleyball. Collaboration comes from forming a good relationship with your team, I am also looking forward to this and forming new friendships within my team.
Sport Ready is a netball academy dedicated to developing netball skills and giving passionate players a chance to compete in competitions around Singapore. This is a club that I have joined outside of school and have been a part of for 1 and a half years now. The year is divided into two seasons with try-outs at the start of each season for team placement. This year, I was put into the first team which competes in an adult league on Monday evenings.
Since the team competes in an adult league, the standard of play is quite high and physically challenging. Receiving a placement in the second team is a good achievement where I can show my strengths in netball. However, there are some areas in which I can improve on. This season I am looking to develop techniques that I can use during game play and increase my spacial awareness on court as well as improve my shooting accuracy. Games against adult teams will inevitably be challenging, which will help me improve as a player and highlights areas of improvement for me.
The commitment to Monday evening games will also be difficult at times as I will have to maintain responsibility in other activities and service in addition to balancing academics. Nevertheless, I am very committed to netball as a sport and will be willing to adapt to any difficulties along the way.
During this lesson, Sofia, Josh and I explored different ways of using the rope to convey a message based on the stimulus of Anne Frank’s Diary in World War 2.
In Theatre today we explored different physical theatre techniques used by the Frantic Assembly theatre company. We used the two videos linked at the bottom to guide our class and followed the teachings. Some of the techniques we learned were Hymn’s hands (placing our and each other’s hands on each other’s bodies), round-by-through (stepping around a person, standing next to them, or going through a body part e.g. under their arm), and chair duets (sitting next to each other and having three moves each to place our hands somewhere or do an action).
We then played around with pace, ‘weight’, and eye contact. My main takeaways was how using these three elements created a storyline and created meaning that could be interpreted by an audience. This is quite different from our normal devising method of creating movements to express a particular meaning. Instead, this method works to create the movements beforehand and creating a storyline based off those movements. This means that the performers are exploring different interpretations and are not tied to a particular intention. I think that this is a very interesting and useful method that I look forward to exploring more during devising pieces.
Lydia Tang and I discussed why we wanted to be in the AIDA Musical Production in Grade 11. We filmed a reflection after the acting audition process which is attached here.
This week in Tabitha, I took on a leadership role of sorts where I contributed greatly to the discussion and made sure to organise the ideas from the group onto the minutes document. I brought my creativity to the meeting as I helped brainstorm ideas for improvements that we could make to the Tabitha gift certificates and the upcoming Holiday Fair. I was also innovative and took initiative by finding the reflections from last year’s Holiday Fair and explaining the things that we needed to work on this year. In this way, I used my previous experience to lead a discussion about planning for the event. Additionally, I took charge of recording the discussion digitally on the minutes document, showing my leadership and organisational skills. This helped the group as I was able to consolidate feasible ideas and note down everything so that we would be able to come back to it in order to refresh our memories instead of having to spend more time remembering our discussion and generating ideas again. Furthermore, I wrote a brief agenda for the next meeting so that we will have focus and know what needs to be done; therefore, we will be more efficient.
Overall, this week in Tabitha I was able to show my commitment and positive contribution to the Global Concern by taking on a leadership role in the meeting and using previous experience to look for areas that we can improve as a service group in general as well as during the upcoming Holiday Fair.