The SGS Guzheng Ensemble nurtures students to develop a deep appreciation for the traditional Chinese instrument. In our ensemble, students are encouraged to demonstrate values of perseverance and diligence as they work together as a team to train their coordination, focus and musical talent.
Members have many opportunities to perform during school events like the SGS Awards Presentation Day, Garden Fiesta, and Chinese New Year Celebrations. We have also performed at The French School and NEX Shopping Centre. These experiences serve as opportunities for our members to boost their stage confidence. Under the guidance of our coach, Ms Zhang Rong Hui, our Ensemble took part in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) Arts Presentation and has achieved the Certificate of Distinction in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Online Co-curricular activities (CCA)
11 June 2020 marked a new chapter for the Guzheng Ensemble as we began our CCA sessions online.
Initially, the teachers-in-charge were apprehensive in conducting an online CCA session. They were concerned on the effectiveness of the session. However, the planning and several discussion sessions with our instructor, together with advice provided by our school leaders, helped build our confidence.
We discussed and decided that it would be more conducive to ease students into the E-CCA sessions with something they were more comfortable with after a rather long hiatus. Indeed, the first session focusing on Guzheng music theory and appreciation went well with our students, who actively participated in discussions and Q&A session with their instructor. It was gratifying to see our pupils engaged for 1.5 hours as they clapped along to the different beats and rhythms of the tune that the instructor was teaching.
Below were some comments from the pupils:
‘It was good that we have to answer questions like mini-tests throughout our online lesson.’
– Andreena, 1GT
‘1 good thing about e-CCA is that we get to attend it in the comfort of our home and we get to revise the foundational like music theory.’
– Rachel, 2DI
‘I think the lesson went very well. I understood everything the instructor said. However, there was a lag at times online and I could not view properly when the instructor was demonstrating the clapping of the beats.’
– Zi Xuan, 2IN
Subsequently, the pupils brought home their guzheng instrument, from the school for their practical online lessons. There were many challenges. Our pupils needed to find a suitable spot at home, for example to participate in the e-CCA while minimising disturbance to their family members and neighbours. In addition, they had to pick up technical skills from watching videos via YouTube technical. Some Secondary 1s even had to google for instructions to change the strings on their guzheng instruments at home, without the assistance from their seniors. Despite these challenges, our students certainly demonstrated our SGS’s value of perseverance as they participated in the weekly practice faithfully and through the process, learnt to adapt to the ‘new normal’ way of attending guzheng practice sessions. With the skills taught during e-CCA, all the students practised and recorded individual snippets of themselves playing the song, which was then pieced together to form the complete music video, entitled ‘Home’, presented to the school during the National Day celebrations. Indeed, this music video is a demonstration of their teamwork and diligence.