Studies & Music

AN INTERVIEW WITH STUDENTS OF SMART PROGRAM

We asked them to talk about how their musical journey from a young age has helped them in their studies and how they coped with the demands of schoolwork as well as the SMART Program. (SMART is Seimpi's accelerated music program and stands for Seimpi MIM Accelerated & Robust Training). And lastly, to talk about their future plans to pursue music activities.

Let's hear from the 3 students: Dillon Lim, Sara Chu & Joann Teh. Incidentally all three have just successfully completed their PSLE and are currently pursuing their music diplomas.

“Learning to play the piano has definitely helped me in many ways. Playing the piano has helped me to increase my concentration, perseverance, self-discipline and improve my time management skill. Learning a new piece takes time and effort, which teaches me to be patient. As my pieces get more and more challenging, practising them not only trains my perseverance but also teaches me to be more self-disciplined. Juggling between my heavy school workload and practising for my grade 8 piano exam for the past one year had definitely improved my time management skill. I had to organise my daily activities carefully in order to complete my school work and to play the piano as well. In addition, playing the piano requires a lot of focus and concentration. Thus, I strongly believe that all these positive skills had helped me to overcome many difficult tasks at school and to improve my overall school performance.

For the past one year, I planned my schedule daily. I would always try to play the piano before I start doing my school homework. In this way, I would not miss my piano practice due to my heavy school work. The amount of time I spent on the piano depended greatly on the amount of homework I had and the time I reached home after school. Playing the piano before my revision sharpened my concentration which allowed me to be more efficient while doing my school work. On some days when I was overloaded with excessive homework and extracurricular activities, I had no choice but to give priority to my school work. However, I would try to take a 15-minute break for a quick piano practice. This had actually helped to relax my mind. During the weekends, I had to sacrifice my time for watching TV and play. While most of my friends were playing on their gadgets, I spent my time on playing the piano and revising my studies. Of course, life was not just limited to study and piano, I had my own free time too! When my PSLE was near, I took a 2-month break from my music lessons to focus fully on my studies. Being in the SMART program has definitely improved my aural and listening skills. The monthly masterclass has improved my playing skills as I am given the chance to listen to other teachers' opinions. Looking back, I had a tough year but I have no regrets because all my efforts have paid off. I achieved a distinction for my grade 8 piano exam and I also did very well for my PSLE .

I would like to pick up a second instrument - to learn to play the guitar."

DILLON LIM

SARA CHU

JOANN TEH

“Music has helped me concentrate better in whatever I do, and it has also helped me in being more creative when I am doing my school projects. I will try and prioritize the things that I need to do, and most of the time, I would complete my homework first, then my music, and lastly my revision. This way, I would be able to cope with the demands of SMART program and my studies. I would want to continue to pursue my music interest in the future by joining the MEP in secondary school. I feel that it would help me since I would be able to drop one subject, and I also feel that taking music as a subject would be easier for me. I would also continue to join choir as a CCA, since I like singing a lot, and music helps me with the reading of the choir scores."

“Music has helped me read and memorise things at a faster pace as I can read two lines at a time. It also sort of forces me to learn good time management because I have to juggle the heavy P6 work load and practise my piano concurrently so that I won’t lose touch. Music also activated my brain, it helps me become more alert and focused in whatever I do.

To be able to cope, I have to sacrifice playtime and showtime so that I will be able to complete my school work and do SMART program homework. I have to plan timetables to fit into my hectic schedule. Lastly, I have to be very focused so as to allow me to be able to complete my work in a shorter amount of time with quality work done.

In the future, I may take up a second instrument or join MEP."

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