Fuchun Primary School takes an inclusive approach to provide its students with a wide exposure and strong foundation in music. (Photo Credit: Fuchun Primary School)
"Our school is a musical school. Everyone likes music and enjoys it," said Nurul Nayli Khalisah Bte H M, a Primary Six pupil at Fuchun Primary School.
Although Khalisah did not have much exposure to music as a young child, she has caught the spirit of music through the lively lessons and activities in school. In fact, Khalisah hopes to become a singer when she grows up!
With a strong music programme and a niche in Brass Band, Fuchun Primary School aims to help its students appreciate and enjoy music. Those who express greater interest and aptitude are also able to further their learning with the support of trained teachers, and prepare to enter the Music Elective Programme (MEP) at the Secondary School level.
An Enriching Music Experience for All
One of Khalisah's favourite activities is the Music Outreach Programme, held every Thursday. The whole school would gather to sing and learn about the composers of the songs, so as to foster a greater awareness of music among students.
"When we sing, it makes us feel free. The way we sing is how we feel," said Khalisah.
"We get to sing and sound nice together as a whole school. Nobody has to worry about being shy. We will just sing our hearts out," said Titus Low, a Primary Five student.
Though Titus was more comfortable singing in the shower, and initially experienced stage fright when he performed with the choir, the appreciative applause of the audience and encouraging words of his friends helped him overcome his fear.
Students enjoy opportunities such as a learning journey overseas or taking part in an international competition. (Photo Credit: Fuchun Primary School)
Other school-wide activities are also organised to give students a wide experience of music. Students can participate in inter-class singing or instrumental competitions, and perform in public musical showcases. Those who are in one of the eight performing arts co-curricular activities (CCA) have the opportunity to take a trip overseas for a learning journey or international competition.
"When they go for learning journeys, they also take part in a school exchange programme to experience the music culture in other schools and countries," said Miss Jeanie Lee, Head of Department (Aesthetics).
To the music teachers at the school, it is important to have an inclusive approach to music education, and for students to be interested and responsive, regardless of their abilities. Students' interest in exploring music and confidence in expressing themselves through music are some characteristics they look out for.
A Launchpad for the Musically Talented
Within a structured music programme, students get to learn at least four musical instruments, and receive support from the school if they opt to take the ABRSM Grade 3 exam.
The culture of music in the school is supported by a structured programme, benchmarked against the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) Grade 3 standard. According to the school's survey in 2012, 85% of parents were supportive of the music programme. To provide students with a solid instruction, the music teachers also have at least an ABRSM Grade 3 and even up to a diploma qualification in music.
During music lessons, students build a foundation in music theory and practice, and learn to play at least four instruments - the pianica, cornet, recorder and guitar. Creativity is also encouraged by getting students to form their own rhythmic pieces. Those who wish to develop their musical talent can opt to take the ABRSM exam with the support of the school.
By exposing students to music at a young age, the school hopes to offer them an enriching learning experience and also support their holistic development.