JIS’s Production of Beauty and the Beast

JIS Beauty and the Beast Poster

It was unfortunate that I was down with the flu and couldn’t make it to any of the shows. Nevertheless, I received much positive feedback from friends and students who watched the show. They said they enjoyed it and I’m happy to have played my part by teaching lead actors, multi-role actors as well as choir members for the past few months leading up to the show.

This was the second time I worked on this musical, the first being with Relentless Studios, as their Voice Coach.

I am truly proud of James Bannister who took on the role of the Beast. He has never had a single singing lesson in his life prior to this production. When I first heard him a few months back, I knew he had a natural talent. With lots of focused practice and commitment to lessons, he proved that he could deliver with excellence, within a short time frame of about 3 months.

I’m equally proud of my other students who had lead roles – Lois Hogan who played Chip, Rebecca Yahya as Cogsworth, Athena Chalmers as Monsieur d’Arque and Melodee Goh as Babette; and students who bagged multi-roles and chorus parts – Olivia Smith, Maddie Fillion, Livi Gillam, Kiara Kruger, and Franchezqa Kroeger.

Well done, everyone! Keep up the great work!

Did you watch the show? Let me know what you thought of it.


SONGS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

As the voice teacher of some very young children, it can sometimes get tricky finding songs that suit their vocal range with lyrics that they can relate to.  I also always consider the length of the song, the level of difficulty for pronouncing the words, the mood and tempo, and whether it appeals to the child.

Here’s a short list of songs that I’ve found children as young as 4 years old can manage.  I intend to keep this list growing as I continue my search for the perfect songs for young children (apart from my favourite folk tunes, of course!)

Depending on the very young student’s abilities, teachers may have to shorten the song (cut out a verse or two, or any section they deem suitable) to make it more manageable and of course, build the child’s confidence in singing.

SONGS FOR VERY YOUNG BEGINNERS IN SINGING

  1. Castle on A Cloud (from Les Miserables)
  2. The Second Star to the Right (from Peter Pan)
  3. Octopus’s Garden (short version from the Trinity Rock & Pop Initial Exams Book)
  4. Here Comes the Sun (short version from the Trinity Rock & Pop Initial Exams Book)
  5. Edelweiss (from The Sound of Music)
  6. My Favourite Things (from ‘The Sound of Music’)
  7. I See the Light (from ‘Tangled’)

 


Peter Pan by Jerudong International School (JIS) Students – Junior School

The past weekend was the culmination of 74 days of hard work by the JIS Junior School students (Years 3 to 5) and the staff involved in the whole production of Peter Pan. From the stage set-up to the costumes and lights, the show was made possible through a great team of people co-ordinating very well together.

As the voice teacher of some of the students involved, I am definitely proud of this show. The two female leads, Breanna Lee (as Wendy) and Sienna Holmes (as Tinkerbell) are two of my voice students who brilliantly pulled off their acts like pros. Sienna started singing lessons when she was 6 years old. She has sung in many performances and concerts, and has joined the World Championship of Performing Arts in the USA in 2015 winning Gold Medals in various categories. Breanna, on the other hand, started singing lessons around 3 years ago, and she has progressed so very quickly! She joined the Kota Kinabalu Music Competition last year and won Gold for her outstanding performance for her song, Colours of the Wind from Pocahontas under the genre, Musical Theatre. I am very happy for what Breanna and Sienna have accomplished thus far. I do look forward to more successes that they can achieve in the future.

My other students who have just begun singing lessons this year, but nevertheless did very well in the show are:

Maddie Fillion (as the fairy, Silvermist)

Kiara Kruger (as Jukes)

Lois Hogan (as Smee)

Abbie Bannister (as one of the Raccoon Twins)

Melodee Goh (as the Brave Oak)

Lessons from Peter Pan

Musicals like this are very beneficial for students in many ways. And personally, it has given me some important reminders too!

  • Peter said, “Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings. Think of a wonderful thought, any merry little thought…like a reindeer in the sky, you can fly, you can fly!” Those are such great lines, aren’t they? Figuratively speaking. Apparently, medical science is in support.  According to Dr. William R. Klemm of Psychology Today, “Happiness can be good for your brain. Positive mood states promote effective thinking and problem solving.”
  • In the song, What Makes the Brave Man Brave, there are so many powerful lyrics:

“..but we found quicker than running away is simply just run through… – this encourages us to face challenges; face our fears and overcome any obstacles that come our way;

“No one can make you feel small, unless you agree to feel small.” – this line reminds us to be brave; to not be overwhelmed by seemingly great tasks or by people who try to put us down;

” There are some boys like that true, all too proud of what they do, taking credit whenever they can. But if glory they don’t share, don’t be silent and stare, tell ’em quick, tell ’em true of the noble things in you. Not just boys are fighters, not just boys are strong…” – this encourages us all to respect each other regardless of gender. Men and women have their unique strengths and capabilities.

“Strength and truth keep the brave ones brave!” – this final line of the song reminds us about the importance of these noble traits – being strong and being truthful.

  • At the end of the show, we realise that Peter Pan is a noble character because he keeps his promises.

I am sure there are so many great things our students learnt from this show.  It would be interesting to get their feedback, and I do look forward to discussing these in our lessons.

Apart from the morals of the story,  we also learn that….

It takes not only hard work, but smart work to achieve success.

With so many Public Holidays within this term, it was only through a well-planned rehearsal system that we still managed to put on a good show.

It takes a great team to put it all together.

Students from various year levels and their teachers designed and created the amazing array of props and costumes; the Drama and Singing teachers as well as the Parents and the Students themselves coordinated to ensure that they (the students) rehearsed their parts well; the lights and sounds had to be carefully coordinated with what the performers had to do on stage; and so many more behind the stage work.

Reminds me of this African proverb:

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

Huge congratulations to all the students, teachers and parents, and the various logistic teams for making the show possible!