Striking a chord with young talents in schools

In September and November 2017, over 30 young musicians at Fuchun Primary School got to learn more about playing brass instruments, as part of the Striking A Chord: Young Musician Learners programme supported by Temasek Foundation. Helmed by the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO), a series of six workshops was conducted by instructor Kartik Alan Jairamin at the primary school located in Woodlands. Kartik Alan is a musician in the French horn section of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Fuchun Primary School has been designated to lead the Learning for Life Programme in Music and the Performing Arts by the Ministry of Education. It is also recognised by the Ministry as a Brass Band niche school and Cluster Centre of Learning in Music. Hence, many of Fuchun Primary School students already have some exposure to the performing arts. This Young Musician Learners programme enabled Fuchun to leverage the work they were already doing, to stoke their students’ passion and to bring their interest to a new level.

For the SNYO, the pilot workshops were an avenue to reach out to students that might not have signed up to audition for the national youth orchestra, due to lack of awareness of audition openings or impressions that standards were too high. Through the workshops, SNYO sought to boost students’ confidence in performance, as well as prepare them for auditions.

The sessions were also an opportunity to identify musical talents, who would receive further one-on-one lessons from SSO musicians, to improve their technical and musical skills.

Ms Joi Soh Qi Yu, Subject Head of Aesthetic, Fuchun Primary School, said: “The pupils appreciate that they were given the opportunity to be taught by the tutor, Alan Karthik, who is a musician from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and were given the privilege of experiencing the rigor of the audition process as part of their Co-Curriculum Activities (CCA).”

“The teachers observed that pupils who had gone through the programme became more aware of their own playing, in addition to having awareness of the entire ensemble at any one time. As the programme also introduced a classical piece, rearranged specially for them by Mr Alan, the pupils had the opportunity to learn to perform an orchestral excerpt from Pictures At An Exhibition, composed by the renowned Russian composer, Modest Mussorgsky, bridging a connection between their CCA and classroom music lesson,” she added.

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