Hiyaku Concert Performance Reflection |MUSIC

Grade 8 Koto have performed the piece ‘Hiyaku’ on a concert, and we have been working on this piece for few months. Here is my reflection for the whole piece, including my practices and the actual performance.

During the past few weeks and months, I have been practicing Hiyaku at school and at home. I thought the piece it self was fairly simple and easy to play song. Some parts I had trouble switching my fingers or just remembering which finger to play. For those ones, I wrote a note on my music sheet which finger to be using and made sure I always played them with the right ones. This helped me to read the music sheet clearer and more efficiently, and I was able to play the hard lines easily. Whenever I practiced at home, I was always careful not to go fast. I thought this was something important especially for this piece and needed more focus, since I tend to play easy lines fast and that would make everyone else had to play. I used a metronome to keep a steady pace. It worked and I was able to practice in a steady slow pace. The metronome also helped me to count in my head accurately and not go too fast when I’m performing without any metronomes.

Some improvements to make when I’m practicing next time is not to always start practicing from page 1. Whenever I practiced at home, I always started playing from page 1, all the time. This made me remember the piece at a one whole thing, and not into 3 different sections. This was quite inconvenient, since if I suddenly forget what to play, It would be harder for me to remember what to play next and I would have to recall the whole piece rather than remembering one section. Next time whenever I practice, I would practice from different sections so I would be able to remember them through sections.Also another thing I would do next time for sure, is to read and remember the music sheet while listening to the recorded piece. One of the way I tried to remember the piece was to listen to it whenever I have time. This really helped me remember the piece easily, but because I remembered it through sound and not the notes itself, sometimes whenever I’m performing I forget what string to play next even though I know how the piece would go next. I had trouble articulating the sounds and the string and I sometimes had to stop playing, like I did in 2:56~2:59 in the video.

Overall for the performance, I thought everyone did a good job of keeping ourselves together. This piece would only sound good if koto 1 and 2 are in harmony. In the middle we had part that we fell apart (like in section 2) but we were able to end together in sync. I thought it was impressive, and something we should be proud of, since we went far faster than we practiced, but we were able to keep it up together as a class. I thought the most improvement needed was section 2, since koto 1 and 2 fell apart on that section and I had parts that I forgot to play. I guess to improve for next time we should focus hard on playing the piece slowly so everyone would be together in harmony. As an individual, I thought I could’ve done better. Being at the very front, I could’ve slowed the pace of the piece for everyone to play comfortably, but I was too focused on trying not to fall apart and playing strongly. If I had practiced more and became more comfortable playing the piece, I would’ve had the room in my mind to intentionally slow down the piece. Next time I would improve by practicing more on the piece and being extra confident on what I play. I was able to play the piece strong and confidently though, which I thought was good, since not only people would be able clearly hear my sound, but the students in the back could listen to it and follow my lead. By playing confidently, I was able to bring back koto 1 and 2 together when it was about to fall apart. I thought this concert was a success, but for me individually, I have some parts I could improve on next time.

Hiyaku Focus Areas | Music

Here are my 3 focus area for our koto piece, ‘Hiyaku’

Focus Area 1: Page 3 line 2 measure 3 to line 4 measure 2

I thought I needed to focus on this part since the rhythm is different from other parts of the piece and I thought it was hard for me to play the note at the right timing. First it is very slow compared to other pages, so I had to count in my head to play the note on time. I focused on counting the beats every time I played this area, since it helped me a lot to play on beat. I also used the metronome to help me keep a steady beat while I was practicing. This helped me a lot for me to remember when to play at what timing.

Focus Area 2: Page 3 line 4 measure 2 to page 4 line 2 measure 2

I thought I needed to focus on this part since this part had a lot of presses and skipping notes while playing. This area one of the hardest thing I thought was switching my fingers to play different parts. I had to be quick on the transition from my thumb to my second finger, and that sometimes made it difficult for me to play the piece fluently. I tried to practice slow at first so I would be able to understand all the finger switches and presses, and then gradually speeding up so I would be able to play this area fluently. Presses were another problem where sometimes its a hard press and some times its a half press. By playing it slow at first again helped me to read my sheet ahead and place my left on the next press.

Focus Area 3: Page 5 line 3 measure 3 to page 6 line 2 measure 5

Since this part is pretty easy for me to play, I tend to play it very fast. To help me slow down at this area, I used a metronome to keep a steady pace for me when I play. By doing this I was able to remember how to play the area slow and steady.  I also broke and highlighted the parts I easily get fast and tried to be extra careful at those parts not to play fast. One of them is line 3 measure 1 and 2, where all I just do is go down from 12 to 7. Because its so easy, I tend to speed up but I tried extra aware of not playing too fast. Also by both listening to the metronome and counting in my head works very well too, since my brain would remember the correct beat and rhythm.

Chapitre 9: Mise en train | French

1. Hélène’s weekend was boring since she just did home works, watched televisions and read a little.
2. Magali had a great weekend since she met Ahmed who is very nice and went to ancient theatre
3. I think Magali like Ahmed since she said that he was nice and cute.
4. Magali had to hang up since her father was saying she was talking too long on the telephone. Her dad wanted to also use the telephone.

  1. Aller aux Baux- Magali
  2. Faire ses devoirs- Hélène
  3. Lire- Hélène
  4. Aller au théâtre antique- Magali
  5. Regarder la télévision- Hélène
  6. Ne rien faire de spécial- Hélène
  1. Elle est allée au théâtre antique.
  2. Elle a rencontré un garçon sympa.
  3. Elle est allée aux Baux-de-Provence.
  4. Elle a parlé avec Hélène au téléphone.
  1. Cette personne veut téléphoner- Le père de Magali
  2. Cette personne a passé un bon week-end- Hélène
  3. Cette personne est super gentille- Ahmed
  4. Pendant le week-end, cette personne n’a rien fait de spécial- Hélène
  5. Cette personne va téléphoner plus tard- Magali

1. To answer the phone: Allô?
2. To identify yourself on the phone: C’est… à l’appareil.
3. To ask if someone had a good weekend: Tu as passé un bon week-end?
4. To ask what someone did?: Qu’est-ce que tu as fait?
5. To tell someone to hold: Attends une seconde.
6. To ask what happened: Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé

I think Magali become a very close friend with Ahmed and she got to hang out with him at les Baux all day long.

Les résultats de ma recherche sur la Côte d’Ivoire

Ivory Coast exports many food products, such as cocoa, spices, nuts and coffee. In Côte d’Ivoire, there are different types of dishes, such as Alloko; fried bananas with onion and chillies, Kedjenou; stews with snails, fish, guinea fowl or chicken cooked slowey over low heat. These tradional food products commonly consumed as part of their Ivorian diet, since they get fresh vegtables and meat from the market. The market only has fresh food and supplies, and processed foods are very rare in Ivorian diet unlike our diet.

Jollof rice is a traditional West African dish, and it is also commonly consumed in Côte d’Ivoire. Jollof rice is like a paella with different meats and vegetable mixed with savory rice.

3 large peeled and mashed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 large onions, one chopped, one sliced
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 chile pepper or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of vegetables - carrots, green pepper, chopped string
  beans, or peas
1 cup dry rice, cooked

Combine the tomatoes and tomato paste and set aside. Saute the sliced onion with 1 tablespoon oil until brown (about 3 minutes). Blend the sliced onion and chile in a blender or food processor until it forms a paste. Set aside. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, fry chopped onion in remaining oil until golden. Add garlic, then meat, stirring frequently until cubes are browned on all sides. Reduce heat to simmer and stir in the tomato sauce. Add the onion/chile paste, salt, pepper and about a cup of water. Add vegetables. Stir well and simmer over low heat about 45 minutes, or until meat is cooked. Mix with rice. Serves 4.

I believe Ivorian diet is a very healthy diet, compared to other countries diet. Many people from Côte d’Ivoire gather their food from the market, where they sell healthy vegetables and food. Most of their traditional dishes were cooked from these fresh products, making the Ivorian diet healthy. Also unlike our diet, Ivorian diet does not have processed food of any kind of junk food. This makes the diet even much healthier than other diets.

Yes many different diets are influenced by their own culture in different ways, such as the Ivorian diet. Many of their dishes were created from food that were collected from their place, and the agriculture affected the diet. The recipes for their traditional meals still exist, meaning that the culture has affected the diet deeply. But also, other countries culture can affect and adapt to other countries diet. For example, the French affected Côte d’Ivoire and now there are a lot of French restaurants in Ivory coast. The French has adapted the culture and enlarged the range of the Ivorian diet.

I think you can tell someone with what they eat, but you cant justify it. You can’t justify that everyone who eats jollof rice, are from Ivory coast. You might be able to assume their nationality and their culture from their diet, but I don’t think that statement is completely true.

Mise en train: Une invitée pour le déjeuner |French


  1. It was set in the morning, at breakfast
  2. Mme Diomandé want Djeneba to go to the market to buy food, so she can prepare a traditional meal.
  3. Djeneba bought fish, onions, tomatoes, lemons and peanut pastery
  4. Djeneba’s English teacher visits their house for a meal.
  5. Djenaba forgot to tell Mme Diomandé that her english teacher was coming.
  1. Faux
  2. Vrai
  3. Faux
  4. Faux
  5. Faux

1. b
2. d
3. e
4. a
5. c

  1. «Non, merci. Je n’ai plus faim.»  -Aminata
  2. «Tu me fais le marché?» -Mme Diomandé
  3. «J’ai aussi acheté un paquet de beurre, de la pâte de tomates, du pain et du riz.» -Djeneba
  4. «Ah, j’ai oublié… » -Djeneba
  5. «Va voir qui est à la porte.» -Mme Diomandé 
  1. Mme Diomandé offer more food to Aminata?
    ‘Encore du pain?’
  2. Aminata refuse the offer?
    ‘Non, merci. Je n’ai plus faim.’
  3. Mme Diomandé ask Djeneba to do the shopping?
    ‘Tu me fais le marché?’
  4. Mme Diomandé tell Djeneba what she needs?
  5. ‘Il me faut…’
  6. Djeneba agree to do what Mme Diomandé asks?
    ‘Bon, d’accord.’

Chez moi, ma mère fait souvent les courses dans ta famille, mais mon père fait les courses de temps en temps. Nous faisons les courses au supermarché.


Aki no Hi- Concert Reflection | Music

I believe that the biggest problem were not getting too fast at playing the piece, that we stop synchronising with koto 1. ‘Aki no Hi’ was a fairly easy piece to play, it had simple, but fast patterns. Because of that we tend to go fast during the performance, and if it becomes too fast, we might go out of sync with koto 1. In rehearsals, we didn’t do very well job on synchronising. I was worried that we would stop playing during the performance, and everyone being confused and not knowing where to play. At the actual performance, we did went pretty fast, but we were all able to catch up on the beats, and we were able to play it fluently and synchronised. When we are going to perform it again, I will practice my part using a metronome to help me keep the steady beat. I used metronomes back in 7th grade, and I might use them again to stay slow and steady.

Another challenge was the dynamics. There was a lot of dynamics in this piece and it was a little challenging to play the dynamics while playing the fast rhythm. I would get too focused on the dynamics that I will stop listening to koto 1, and can lead to getting out of sync. Also we had a lot more students than in 7th grade. This would mean that we had to over exaggerate the dynamics so the audience can hear them clearly. I took videos of my self playing the dynamics and I listen to them and see if I could hear them. This helped me a lot to find out which part I need to work or fix on. I was able to play the dynamics well during my practice, but when it came to the actual performance, I couldn’t hear much of the dynamics. I believe everyone was a little nervous, and most were too focused on playing the koto, they forgot about the dynamics.

I always practiced twice a week, from 30 min to 45 min. The warm up really helped me to play one of the fast patterns.  I will continue with my warmups. I think I should pick out the hardest parts of the piece, and use them as the warmup, since you have to endlessly play the pattern you are struggling with, and gradually got better at them. Also next time to improve, I will use a metronome to keep my beats steady. I believe when I practice, I should practice not only memorising them and playing the right strings, but practice with the dynamics and plying them smoothly.

I think the concert went well than I thought it would be. The bows were perfect and in synced very well. Koto 1 has done a tremendous job to keep up with koto 2. We did speed up a little too much in the end, But all of us were able to play the whole piece, and we were able to play the piece very fluently. Next time, I will try to be more aware of the speed and dynamics since those two things didn’t turn out well during the performance. Over all, I didn’t make any big mistakes while playing the pie, and I was able to play the piece smoothly with koto 1

Seeing the Difference Between Italy and China |I&S

In I&S class, we used ‘gap minder’ to compare two countries with different variables such as the birth rate, population growth, GDP per capita, life expectancy etc. I compared China and Sweden with different variables in different time. There are some interesting difference between two countries, and by looking at the statistics, you can see how the country was at that time.

I first looked at Child mortality rate and child fertility rate. They interrelate, since you can find out how many child grows up as an adult after they are born, and can find out if that country is innovated enough to keep the kids alive. In 1800, both China and Italy had high fertility rate and high death rate of child from 0~5. Even though Italy is much smaller than China, they had 457 child dead per 1000, while China had 417. Italy even had more higher child death rate than China. I believe that the reason why both countries had high fertility rate, is because they wanted to grow the population and they needed to make many babies so the population won’t go down even if some dies from sickness or starvation. In 2012, Both countries had lower child fertility rate and child mortality rate. Italy had now 3.8 child death per 1000, while China has 14. Looking at Italy’s data, the both child fertility rate and mortality rate were going down steadily, while China had a lot of up-downs and weren’t stable. I believe this is because of the cultural revolution in 1960 which made the child mortality rate go down, and the 2 child policy in 1980 that made the child fertility rate go to 2.

I then looked at GDP per capita and literacy rate. They interrelate, since if you are highly educated and are able to read, you can make money in better companies which makes the GDP go higher. In 1982, 66% of China were able to read and 96% of Italy were able to read. Italy is very small compared to China, and even 4% couldn’t read, there aren’t that many. But China, was very big compared to Italy. 36% of China couldn’t read, which means that one-third didn’t have a literacy education. Also the GDP capita in China were very low compared to Italy. I believe that this gap shows how Italy were one of the MEDC when China were one of the LEDC. China is a very big country, and I believe that there is a huge gap between the poor and uneducated group, and the wealthy and educated group. The poor citizen didn’t have enough money to pay them selves education, so they worked in a factory where no educational knowledge were needed. Those factory payed very little amount of money which made the GDP per capita go low. In 2012, China were catching up by raising the GDP per capita and the literacy rate, but not as far as Italy. Italy now became one of the most developed country, with high GDP and high literacy rate. This shows that the citizen has well education which creates more profit when they work in companies.

I looked at HDI and life expectancy. They interrelate, since if theres higher HDI, its a better place for you live, which means your life expectancy goes higher. In 1980, China’s average life expectancy was 66, and Italy’s average life expectancy was 74. Italy clearly had a higher HDI than China, which proves that Italy is MEDC than China. People in Italy had longer life expectancy, meaning that they were wealthy enough to afford the food, medicine, and other things they need in order to live healthy. China, on the other hand had a lower HDI and life expectancy. I believe this is because China has a huge population, and because theres many of them, theres not enough food, medicine or wealth for everyone to live healthy like Italy. Also many people work in mass-producing factories, which are unhygienic environment with low payment and many people who weren’t rich enough to go to school works because it doesn’t need any educational knowledge. This is one of the problems China has a low HDI. Mostly everyone in Italy are highly educated, lives in a clean environment with medicine to cure disease, and has highly decent amount of money paid. In 2011, China’s HDI and life expectancy grows, but still aren’t no where close to Italy. In fact, China now is how it was like in Italy, 1980. Italy is now ranked as one of the MEDC, and still continues to grow their HDI and life expectancy.

You can see, from looking at these statistic shows why some countries are ranked as LEDC and some countries ranked as MEDC. There are gaps between countries, some small some big. It may be because of the disadvantage of their environment, population, government, wealth etc. But these data can be inaccurate and deceiving. These are just the average, and China is a very big country. Some parts in China can be highly innovated just like Italy, while some parts aren’t very developed. I believe that these datas can help us understand their history, but also misunderstand the truth.

Character Elevator Scene Reflection |Drama

In Drama, we acted out a scene in a company when different characters gets trapped in the elevator. My group had a very unique characters, and throughout the story their status and personality drastically changes. William, acted out as an CEO of Mooniverse. Kenryo, was a intelligent little boy named Jonathan Quan, who got taken by William to work in his company. While William and Kenryo was taking the elevator in the Mooniverse, the clumsy shy janitor comes in, which were acted by Julynn. Followed by the janitor, a mysterious weird looking women comes in who were apparently came from the future. I was acting out as a scientist that time travelled from the future.

My character had a high status, higher than Julynn and Kenryo due to her high intelligence and matureness. The confidence of her knowledge and how she acted if everyone else was stupid, made it seem she was the most intelligent person, leading to high reputation. At first, I tried to hide my face from my audience and to the other characters to make it seem I was a suspicious person. After the incident, I was acting bold and analytical and talking back to the CEO. My body posture went from slouching to straight, and my voice became hesitant to confident. To act out a stereotypical scientist, I wore a lab coat and safety glasses on top of my glasses. I also talked out aloud to myself, acting as if I was turning into a mad lunatic scientist due to the endless experiments. I interacted with other characters like William’s, by talking back to him and shouting at Kenryo for acting stupid. Although I didn’t really have a interaction between Julynn before the elevator stopped, but later the status changed and I became scared of shouting and blaming.

Like I mentioned, my character had a high status at first. My character was the most analytical and smart, making her seem that she was going to fix the problem without a sweat. But as the other character finds out she was the cause of the problem, they start to lose trust from my character and doubts that my character can fix the elevator. They start to blame on her, which made my character lose her patience and makes her start acting immature. She shouts at the character and blames on someone else, even though she knows it was her fault. This riot caused all the adults in the scene ( me, William and Julynn) to start shouting at each other and making the situation worse. While the adults were acting useless, Kenryo on other hand were trying his best fixing the elevator. Although he was the kid, he was more mature than the adults and calm enough to solve the problem. After all, it was him that fixed the elevator. The biggest status change was between the adults and kids. Stereotypically, adults tend to have a higher status than kids. Adults were considered as the mature and calm one, while kids were the ignorant, immature characters. But in our scene Kenryo was the most mature person and fixing the elevator, when the adults were acting like kids and blaming on each other and not considering helping the kid.

One of the challenging problem I faced, was how I can get these characters together. When we decided on our characters, we didn’t really think of a scene or a story so the characters were pretty mismatching. They all had unique traits and reputation, which made it little hard getting them together in the same elevator. But because of these strong characters, it was easy to change the status and their personalities during the scene. Next time, I would try to stay inside the elevator. Looking at the video, I wasn’t using the space that very well. Sometimes my body got cut off or it looks just unnatural. Also me and William talked the majority while Julynn and Kenryo had a little less. I improvised a lot during the scene, and that made talk more than I was supposed to. To improve I should be more aware of the situation and where i’m standing, and not get too intense with my characters that I forget the others.

8C Drama: Elevator Scene1 from YIS Arts on Vimeo.

Field Studies- BEFORE & AFTER

I’m looking forward to hang out with other students I never really talked to. Many new students came to YIS this year, and I only got a chance to talk with few of them. But by going on a trip together, it will create a opportunity to hang out with them by working with them in different activities.

I’m also excited being in a completely different environment. Being in a different places can be a bit hard, but its also exciting to experience different things, in other environments.

Im a bit worried about the activities were going to be participated in, since i’m not used to water and high places, but it will be a great chance for me to enlarge my comfort zone.

Im also worried if something unexpected happens, and we have to deal with it. Its a pain really, and since were in different environments, it would be difficult for some of us.

Im also excited for geocaching, and finding treasures with my friends. I heard of geocaching before, and I was interested in it but I never really got a chance to do it. Field studies would be a great chance for me to experience these activities.

This year’s field studies were really a shame, because I wasn’t able to go and experience something new that I have never done before. Staying at home during field studies made me realise how important it was to experience these events in new environment. Whenever I went to field studies before, there was good times with friends and teachers, while I also remember the hard times I experienced. But the bad times were never bad as I thought it would be. When my friends came back from the trip, they told me all the all the things they enjoyed. They also told me how things were challenging, like the canyoning and the mountain biking, but they never said they hated it. It made me feel less anxious about the different activities they experienced, even though I never went, and now I think i’m able to try these activities without hesitating, because I know that my friends loved it. Listening to their stories made me think that the fear me and my friend felt before the field studies weren’t as that bad as we thought. They all had a great time, and they were all able to expand their comfort zone without forcing them selves too much. Even though I didn’t get a chance to expand my comfort zone in Minakami, I believe i’m able to expand them by facing the fears and the anxiety I have right now.

Stereotypes & Characters | Drama 8

Hello earthlings,

For the past few weeks in drama class, we are working on characterisation and what we ned for a character to be a good one. Today i’m going to be talking about stereotype characters.

What is a stereotype?
Stereotype is when there is a fixed image of an person or a thing. Stereotype characters are often seen in different stories or plays, cartoons, comics and even movies. One of the classic stereotype characters are stereotypical nerds. They usually wear big thick glasses, have dimples on their faces, their shirts are tucked in the pants, and wear bowties with suspenders. In contrast to the stereotypical nerds, there are also stereotypical popular girl. They are usually blond, pretty, have other girls following behind which are also blond, is also in the cheerleading squad, and most of the times ignorant. These stereotypical characters are obviously over exaggerating, and these characteristic usually won’t fit into real life humans. Stereotype characters are the one that are easy to understand who they are, but can be offensive to some people.

When is a stereotype useful?
Stereotypical characters are useful when presenting the characters to the audience, since we all have a fixated image of the character, and it would be easier for the audience to understand the character quickly. We are able to assume what the characters feel and think, without the characters actually explaining themselves. Stereotype characters are useful when you want the audience to understand the characters status and the personality, without making it too obvious by explaining their identity word by word.

Considering people & characters that represent people – why can’t you ‘judge a book by it’s cover’?
Even though stereotype characters can be useful, it can be offensive to some people because of the misjudgement we have for a person. People tend to get hurt from these judgemental informations, since it can be considered as criticism or an insult. People are different in many ways, and we can’t sort them out by their characteristics. They are all different in the insides, and you can’t judge anyone because of where they come from, how they look, or how they are. These stereotype characters will narrow our minds, and we won’t be able to accept the person without being judgemental. Its the same as books. Just because the cover look bad, it doesn’t mean that the book it self is terrible. It is not okay to not read the book just because you don’t like the cover. Look in the inside. Read the story. What matters is the story, not the cover. Which means that the looks and past won’t matter, we all have to look in the insides.