I have played the piano many times over the years. As a result I have participated in many concerts, recitals and events where I play the piano. Near the end of October last year, there was a musical recital where musicians were encouraged to play in front of an audience. Granted, small but an audience nonetheless. A variety of instruments were played but the piano was the main one. I played a Rachmaninoff piece titled ‘Elegie’, an obscure piece that I found when I was looking for music to play and decided that I had to try and play this.
It was one of the hardest pieces I have ever attempted due to the fact that I have never played a Rachmaninoff piece before so I don’t know his style. As well as the weird rhythm the piece has despite being a late-romantic era piece. This may seem hard to believe but my Extended Essay actually helped me understand the piece better as I was researching Rachmaninoff’s style for my essay so I learned how he intended his pieces to be played.
Despite these setbacks, I played that piece flawlessly in my recital and I’ll never forget that rush of adrenaline before playing it. The feel of accomplishment after playing it and the audience’s reaction.
Because I felt that this was such a challenge for me, I feel this experience fits into LO2 and LO4. If you want to hear the piece, there is a link down below.
Well, the end of the year is here and I have to say the one thing that will never forget is the liveliness and heart I experienced in teaching and guiding the Sekolah Bisa Band. I have never seen more hyperactive children in my life and I have experience with teaching English in an local orphanage before. The children there were reasonably excited but Sekolah Bisa definitely takes it up a notch. When I first started this with Aisya and Seung Hun, I was skeptical that we were going to get anything done. Now that the year is over, we taught two groups of children from Sekolah Bisa, I’m Yours by Jason Miraz and Laskar Pelangi by Nidji – an Indonesian band. We each taught them chords on the piano, ukulele and singing in tune and in time with the song. Needless to say, we were all very proud of what they had accomplished.
Truthfully, when I first started Sekolah Bisa band, I wanted to introduce the children to whole array of music and not what’s just in their home country. However, the main thing I kept in mind was that the Sekolah Bisa band offered the children choice. The choice to mould the band into their own vision and that means deciding what songs they want to learn and play. Obviously, they would always pick songs they were familiar with, i.e. Indonesian songs. While my friends and I accepted their choices, I always wished for a more diverse set of music to be played. Maybe if someone sees potential in this project in the future, they can encourage the kids to pick a more diverse set of music to play.
The reason I wanted to be a part of this project was because I know that there are people who haven’t been exposed to different types of music such as the Sekolah Bisa kids. When I performed one of my solo pieces for them, the joy and shock on their faces will always stick with me and hopefully I have enticed them to learn more.
My experiences with the Sekolah Bisa kids have clearly demonstrated Learning Outcomes: 7, 6 and 5. Teaching these children has proven to be quite the challenge but I can definitely say that it will forever be one of the highlights of my life.