What is a precision drill and what does it have in common with music? How can being sensitive to the ‘beat and rhythm’ help students improve their body movements in sports?
In Yuhua Secondary School, music is infused not only in the school’s curriculum, but also the non-music related co-curricular activities (CCAs) such as sports and uniformed groups.
“Being in-tune with rhythm helps to enhance our coordination, as we performed with a series of body movements in precision drills in sync with the music played,” shared Peng Zheng Da, a Secondary Four student from National Cadet Corps. Uniformed groups also performed as part of the school’s biennale public concert, which involved all the CCAs in the school.
To develop music empowered learners, Yuhua Secondary School’s distinctive programme in music extends beyond the regular music curriculum and music-related CCAs, so as to benefit as many students as possible. For example, students undergo dance, keyboard or guitar lessons, digital music, ethnic music and even acapella lessons from Secondary One for early exposure.
There are some students who discover their interest and passion for music with the trainings they receive, and would go on to pursue the craft. But for those with strengths in other areas, they do also benefit from the school’s Learning for Life programme (LLP) as they leave Yuhua with basic knowledge and foundation in music.
By the end of Secondary Three, all students would have experienced music in various forms and be able to play a simple tune on at least one instrument.
“Music does not exist on its own, it can be linked to other aspects of our lives. For example, I have seen students who entered the school being very reserved, but as we exposed them to music and allow them to experience performing on stage, they grew in confidence,” shares Ms Claire Lee, Subject Head for Aesthetics.
The school also runs a music-infused orientation camp ran by upper-secondary level students who have undergone and benefited from the school’s LLP. Camp MELODY provides them avenues to impart their knowledge and share the passion with their juniors, specifically the Secondary One students who have just entered the school at the beginning of the year.
“Camp MELODY provided a good opportunity and platform for me to share my passion for music with the Secondary One students. Through my experiences in concert band, my interest in music was piqued and I am grateful to be able to share my passion with my juniors,” opined Muhammad Shukoor, a Secondary Four student who developed his love for music after joining the CCA.
Yuhua Secondary School also runs the Enhanced Music Programme, which aims to provide greater opportunities for students with a keen interest and disposition in music to further develop their musical talents. It is also one of the four ‘music hubs’ in Singapore for students who will take their GCE O-level music or higher music examinations.
“The EMP lessons are engaging and we have opportunities to collaborate with friends from other schools who come over to ours for the lesson. It is also an eye-opener for me as we get to learn more about education and career pathways in music – one of the most memorable is the Higher Education Fair for Music, where we get to experience a live music production demo! It was an unforgettable experience,” said Megan Lim, a Secondary Three student in the programme.
As for the upcoming plans for Yuhua’s music LLP, the school aspires to bring it to another level and is exploring ways on how students can use music to reach out and contribute to the community.