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.
So far, I have taken part in 5 Running Hour sessions. During these sessions, everyone is paired up with an intellectually or physically challenged person to either walk, jog or run around the national stadium track or pedestrian path from the national stadium to Marina Barrage. Each time, I have been paired up with a different person, mostly those that have a form of autism.
This is a different experience for me as I have not previously done local service with people before, but mostly with animals. Therefore, this was an unfamiliar environment that I learned to adapt to and in doing so, I developed the social skills necessary to interact with intellectually or physically challenged people. I have also developed friendships with some of them and so I can feel more connected to locals in Singapore with various personal challenges. In the photos below which was taken during the sessions, guides (non-challenged) and those with disabilities are all posing together which shows that the ability to adapt to the new environment to connect within the group.
By talking to those that I was helping, I have also increased my understanding of their situations and how they are affected by their disabilities. For example, I now understand more about their education and how different schools in Singapore are specially adapted to helping the intellectually and physically challenged. I also recognise the ethical issues that they face when finding employment as most of their options are limited to retail and service jobs. This contributes to my understanding of global issues as well since this isn’t only the case in Singapore.
In terms of Running Hour itself, the positive effects of volunteering to help those with disabilities are clear. Not only does this service give them the opportunity to do exercise in a secure environment with people looking out for their safety, but it also gives them the chance to connect with other people who have disabilities and even people who don’t have disabilities. One thing to take into consideration is the mental health of the disabled, especially if topics are brought up during conversation that are particularly sensitive to them. However, I believe that the advantages to them outweigh the possible negative effects.
Sonos is a choir activity centred around developing singing skills in a group. I have been in the High School Sonos Activity for the past two years and before that I was in Middle School Sonos.
In joining Sonos in Grade 11, I am hoping to show commitment to this activity since this would be my fourth year. I also believe that although I have learned a lot in previous years, there are still some new singing techniques that I can learn how to use this year to further improve my singing.
Additionally, this year I am looking to volunteer myself for some solo singing positions. In this way, I will be undertaking risks and possible challenges as it would be a new experience for me. With solo positions, I can not only be a risk taker in stepping out in front of a crowd but also improve my singing skills as an individual instead of just within a choir.
Overall, I am looking forward to being a part of this community again and further improving my skills.
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.
My volleyball journey started in Grade 8 where I joined a volleyball club in UWCSEA Dover on the weekends. I personally took initiative to find a way to improve my volleyball skills outside of school.
In season 4 of Grade 9, I joined the U19 pre-season volleyball activity. This helped me improve my fitness and volleyball skills in order to try-out in Grade 10 at representing the school in volleyball. During the season, I developed my volleyball skills relating to passing, setting, serving, and hitting. My collaboration skills have also evolved as teamwork in volleyball requires communication. The overall team performance is determined by the attitude of each player and can be improved by either by encouraging and supporting other teammates, or becoming more confident and take more risks by trying to go for the ball.
In addition, volleyball pre-season has shown my commitment to learning new things, as well as shows that I am a risk taker for trying a new sport. The activity shows that I am committed as I hardly missed any of the practices and tried my best throughout the season.