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What's been happening at HKIS?

Well, it's been a busy term at Hong Kong International School! Tuneful, happy young voices have filled the halls and corridors of Lower and Upper Primary and we have had oodles of fun. Both 'Club Chorale' and 'Vox Chorale' have learned at speed about the elements that make up healthy singing technique and used these diligently in their practice. With Covid restraints, we are still in masks for rehearsals, but when you have a room full of children who are so thirsty to learn, that simply won't stop them!

Young children singing and acting together
Monday's 'Club Chorale' rehearse 'Roller Ghoster!'

For the first half of term, the kids studied a great piece called 'Roller Ghoster!' by Alan Simmons. The 2-part song is upbeat and really embodies the fun and fright of Hallowe'en whilst challenging the young singer to multitask on a number of skills. After all, a singer has lots to think about at any one given time; posture, breath control, jaw position, mouth shape, diction, dynamics, facial expression... the list goes on. Club Chorale even took on an extra challenge with choreography, too! This helped to keep energy levels up each week as we practised the song over and over again.

Children singing with masks on
'Vox Chorale' perform their part of 'Roller Ghoster!'

A big part of training young singers includes introducing them to and encouraging the discipline of practising at home between sessions. Many people, however, struggle with the concept of practice; - what exactly is it and how do I do it? This is why I came up with my own practice timetable that aims to be as specific as possible in its guide to home practice. Along with the MP3s and sheet music they receive, it's proved to be a great tool for the children I work with and really helped some of the 'Club Chorale' students to continue their work independently over the October break.

A colourful practice timetable for young singers to fill in at home
The 'KvT Vocal Tuition' practice timetable!

As we moved swiftly into the second half of the term, both groups enjoyed some well-deserved respite! We played a host of creative singing-based games to boost morale after the previous demanding few weeks of rehearsal and recording. With the team-building nature of such exercises, it's lovely as a teacher to witness these children who are in different school classes, come together and interact as one family in their class with me.

Children in a line pretending to be zombies
Wednesday's 'Club Chorale' rehearse 'Roller Ghoster!'

Following this, new material was introduced and the groups have been hard at work on their respective pieces. 'Vox Chorale' have a considerably challenging arrangement of 'In the Bleak Midwinter' that they will share as a duet between all four members, whilst 'Club Chorale' have been working hard on the uplifting 'Sing' by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber. As before, these performances will be recorded for a video that is released within the HKIS community and the kids are culminating all they have learned to produce the very best sound they can both as individuals and as choirs.

Children smiling in front of a microphone during singing rehearsals
Friday's 'Club Chorale' recording the vocals for 'Sing'!

Thanks for reading!

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