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Monday, 15th July 2024

Performing Arts Strike a Chord in Regent Secondary School

15 Nov 2013

The music room was abuzz with students singing and dancing to popular tunes from chart hits and movies. Say hello to Singapore’s own version of Glee – Regent Secondary School’s very own show choir group.

Show Choir in Regent Sec

The show choir, which started out in 2011, gained popularity quickly among students. Photo Credit: Regent Secondary School

Built upon the bedrock of an established traditional choir, students from the show choir group combine choral singing with dance set within the context of a specific story. With dance and solo performances incorporated, students look forward to practices every week.

Preparing for the dance choreography and blending song parts are no mean feat. Couple that with performing in front of a live audience, and you have a group of dynamic and passionate students who go all out to give their best performances.
The show choir, which started out in 2011, gained popularity quickly among students. From 18 students at the end of 2011, it now has over 40 members. The school also clinched best show, best choreography and best showmanship at the B-dazzled 2013 Show Choir Competition.

Developing Musical Appreciation in all Students

Performing arts has always been a big part of the school’s culture and the show choir is one of the many music programmes in place at Regent Secondary School to build greater awareness of performing arts in its students.

Niche status in Concert Band

The school attained niche status in ‘Music Knowledge and Skills for Concert Band’ in 2013. Photo Credit: Regent Secondary School

The school started a general music programme in 2010 for its lower-secondary students to equip them with basic music and dance skills. This included students without a background in musical knowledge. The concert band also attained the niche status in Music Knowledge and Skills for Concert Band this year.

This is part of the Learning for Life programme that Education Minister Heng Swee Keat announced during the Work Plan Seminar 2013, where students are provided with experiential learning to cultivate positive attitudes and develop sound character and values.

By the end of Secondary Two, students should be able to play at least one instrument, learn basic music notation, be involved in a music production and understand the music scene in Singapore. The entire experience helps to enhance students’ knowledge of basic music theory, instrumental and musical appreciation skills.

For example, the Secondary Two cohort will go through a dance programme for about an hour each week for one semester as part of the general music programme.

‘We introduced hip-hop street dance to draw interest in students. At the end of the semester, each class will also get to perform on stage and this helps to build up confidence and teamwork as they would want to put on their best performance,’ said Mr Lam Seng Kye, the Head of Performing Arts at Regent Secondary School.

For most students, their encounter with performing arts does not end here. They have enjoyed the experience so much that the school has set up interest groups such as guitar clubs and hip-hop dance groups so that these students can continue to pursue their passion.

Hip Hop Dance Classes

The Secondary Two cohort will go through hip hop dance classes for about an hour each week for one semester as part of the school’s general music programme. Photo Credit: Regent Secondary School

“Aside from the dance programme, all of us know how to play the xylophone and edit music videos as part of the general music programme which we are always very excited to attend every week. I am also part of the Advanced Music Programme, where a team of us will get to apply what we have learnt in backstage production in the school assembly programme, such as managing the audio-visual system, stage lights and logistics,’ said Wong Xiao Yuan, a Secondary Two student in the school.

Enriching Arts Experience Drives Excellence

Teachers in the school have witnessed the positive impact that the performing arts programme has had on students.

“The students are definitely more driven in their studies and their attendance has also improved tremendously. We have also seen how the students have transformed in their behaviour as they become more respectful and focused,” said Ms Koon Si Mink, the teacher-in-charge of the concert band in the school.

General Music Programme

Regent Secondary School started a general music programme in 2010 for its lower-secondary students to equip them with basic music and dance skills. Photo Credit: Regent Secondary School

With the strong musical influence that is extended to its students, it is no wonder the school has produced performers in the arts scene, notably Muhammad Amin, a renowned dancer in South-East Asia, and Elaine Chai, who is a dancer performing in New York and Berlin now.

Rebecca Ng, an alumnus of the concert band, testified to how the concert band had pushed her to excellence.

“I had always wanted to pursue a music-related CCA. When I entered Regent Secondary School’s concert band, not only did I pick up music-related skills, the teachers also taught me how to honour and respect others,’ said Rebecca. In turn, Rebecca is now a music teacher in Regent Secondary School, inspiring the younger generation to hone their musical talents.