Music Jamboree 2008
Having facilitated and assisted in the annual Rhythm MP Music Jamboree since its inception in 2000, I was given the opportunity to conduct the event this year.
With a total turn out of 45 music teachers from around the region gathered here in Penang, I embarked on a beginner’s program that I created using renown author, Lina Ng’s successful “Made Easy Series” publications, of which I am most proud to have been the editor for. I suppose on that account, Rhythm MP felt I was most apt, other than Lina herself, to conduct the jamboree. For that, I am most honored.
This year’s program focuses on organizing and planning a syllabus for a 1-month and 3-month group lesson program for young kids who have never learned music. Elements from Lina’s popular books were used to create weekly lesson plans that include various other elements of music making (singing, ear/pitch training, solfege, rhythmic development, harmony, ensembles, etc) and musical games (based on music rudiments and theory), notably the Rhythm MP Flash Cards that would be fun for the students. The important key word here is ‘fun’! If learning music weren’t fun, no one would want to do it, or do it for long!
The teachers had to think ‘out of the box’ to create these activities. Quite a creative group they were too, when introduced the Rhythm MP Flash Cards (a teaching and learning aid), they came up with different ways to play the game.
All the teachers had varying degrees of teaching experience behind them, some more than others. But they all desire to learn more and be better at their chosen profession. For that, I am most thankful to have had this group of enthusiastic teachers who understood that they are capable of achieving more, who were willing to explore and experiment with ideas to make them relevant and no matter what their skill levels may be, they never shy away from performing in front of strangers that they just met. It was bold of them all, and the magnanimous peer support from the other teachers was most encouraging.
For the amateur teachers, the jamboree is like an express ride to learn from their experience at the event and from the experience of other teachers. I also have Mr. Michael Kay and Mr. Seng Tak Pin to thank for their personal assistance, and also in running some sessions with the teachers.