Koto Performance Reflection|Music

At the Koto night, us the 7th graders performed a song called ‘OKOTO’ written by Sawai Hikaru. We have practiced for few months and now I want to reflect on the work I did for this piece.

When I first started to practice the piece, I thought it was a very easy piece to remember, since the first movement was pretty slow and had some simple patterns that repeated along the piece. Then when I tried playing with the koto 2, I thought it was very hard piece to play, since you have to match and synchronize with koto 2 to play the piece. What really helped me when I was practicing alone, was the recording of Sawai Hikaru playing OKOTO. That recording gave me the whole melody of the song with koto 1 and koto 2 combined, and helped me out to synchronize with the koto 2 when practicing together. Thanks to the recording, I was able to play well together with koto 2. Some parts that I can improve is the speed and the tempo I play. Because I listen to the recording a lot, I started to practice play faster than we were supposed to. This I believe caused to speed up the tempo of the whole piece, since I played it fast and the people behind me tried to follow, since I was up at the front. For next time to improve, I will use metronome to keep my pace steady, and when I play, I will always count in my head and not just go with the flow.

Memorizing was for me pretty easy, since ‘OKOTO’ had a lot of repetitive patterns. The patterns were very unique and I was able to memorize all the patterns quickly. One problem I had with memorizing was that it took me a while to know what pattern comes after one. Even if I knew all the patterns, If I don’t know where I need to play them, that does not mean I memorized it. After memorizing the piece, I still made some mistakes since I sometimes forgot what pattern is going to come up next.

In the actual performance, I think we played it confidently and clearly. Some parts we didn’t come into together which made it sound bit unorganized, but when both koto parts were playing, we were very organized and synchronized well and able to play the piece confidently and clearly. I thought everyone playing confidently was a great success, since some parts I made some mistakes by playing the wrong note, but the other students in koto 1 was able to cover up the sound since they were loud and clear. We could’ve worked more on the dynamics, since some parts we forgot about them. I think I should always take notes of the crescendo and decrescendo, so I won’t forget. In the end I forgot to come in, which I thought it was the biggest mistake for me. Since all the koto 1 players were looking at me, they didn’t come in either. I reconsidered that being in the front is a great responsibility and If don’t come in right, no one will, since they are all waiting for me to play. But even though I made that mistake, I was able to go back in quickly without panicking  and we smoothly went back together. Overall I think we did a good job of playing the piece, organizing, and our cooperation to play the piece beautifully.

Food Labels : Reflection |I&S

In I&S we did a project about problems in food label like obesity, child labor, carbon footprint, wasteful packaging and more. We researched about the problems and how we can raise awareness by food labels. Many consumers look at the food label when buying and it can catch their attention and tell them that the food they eat might lead to obesity or maybe there was a child labor behind it.

The researching went pretty well and smooth, since all of us worked productively during class. We also created roles so we can research about the problems more efficiently. Research was very easy since we chose a popular problem (like obesity) and there was tons and tons of sites and infos to look at.

I thought finding pictures for the analyzing was the most frustrating since I couldn’t find an interesting labels to look at, and most of the american labels were words and not pictures, which made it hard for us to find different types of labels in America.

We made 3 labels to raise awareness; obesity, child labor and wasteful packaging label. I thought that obesity was the easiest to make it into a label, I wanted my labels to be eye-catching yet disturbing, so it stays in the consumer’s memory. I decided to draw a fat, obese person to show that f you keep eating this product you will get over-weight. I also added some orange wave to show the fat you get if you eat 1 bag. Usually the food label of daily percentage are kind of fake, because of the serving size. But by making the daily percentage into a drawing, its more clear and easy to understand for the consumers. One thing I could’ve fixed was that I should’ve made the font for serving bigger. It looks very small and it looks like were trying to hide it from the consumer even though were trying to raise awareness.

I thought the wasteful packaging was the hardest to make it into a label. I first thought making a box full of plastic and saying that we use wasteful packaging, but the picture didn’t turn out well and it was hard to understand. I used Airi’s idea of using a package and writing that says ‘we don’t use wasteful packaging’ or ‘we use wasteful packaging’ and I used Vienna’s idea of drawing of a factory with pollution coming out. I thought both of them were good idea and by using Airi’s idea I got to express the idea of wasteful packaging more clearly. By using Vienna’s idea I got to express what happens if we keep on using the wasteful packaging.

For our group work, I think we did very well working together. We all worked evenly and productively during the class. Even though we had 4 people and we had to make 3 labels, we each gave ideas to each other and added the best ideas to create a label.

Overall, I thought this project was an interesting one to do, since we got to earn the real life problems that are happening right now, and how we can contribute and try to raise awareness for people.



The piece has a lot of patterns and most them are repeating, so it was very easy for me to play this part of piece. I think I did a pretty good job on switching notes to notes, and underlining the notes on the score helped me a lot understand and play it smoothly. What I have to be careful is that this piece switches a lot with the beats like eight notes to quarter note. I have to pay attention to the beats and not get confused because If I mess up, then koto 2 will mess it up too. I also I have to keep the rhythm because the beat was a bit faster some parts. I will use metronomes to help keep the beat.

Qu’est-ce qu’on prend?|French


The relationship between the teenagers in Qu’est-ce qu’on prend? is that their friends.
In the beginning of the story, they are at a house.
They decided to go to the cafe.
Chloé had trouble deciding what to order because she tried to order a pizza but they didn’t have any pizza.
The problem was that Chloé forgot to bring her wallet and they didn’t have enough money to afford the bill

  1. Chloé invite Sébastien à aller au café.
  2. Cécile commande une menthe à l’eau.
  3. Chloé commande un jus d’orange.
  4. Le serveur dit «Bon appétit!».
  5. Thomas demande l’addition.
  6. Chloé ne retrouve pas son argent.

On va au café?
-Désolé. J’ai des devoirs à faire.
Qu’est-ce que vous prenez?
-Je vais prendre une menthe à l’eau.
C’est combien, les coupes Melba?
-Trois trente-cinq.
Qu’est-ce que vous avez comme jus de fruit?
-Nous avons du jus d’orange, du jus de pomme…

Give an excuse for someone?
-Il a des devoirs à faire.
Ask if someone’s ready to order?
-Vous avez choisi?
Order food?
-Apportez-moi… or Je vais prendre…
Ask what kind of fruit juice the restaurant serves?
-Qu’est-ce que vous avez comme jus de fruit?
Ask how much something costs?
-C’est combien,… ?
Ask for the check?
-L’addition, s’il vous plaît.

Chloé can call Sebastian to pay the bill, or they can wash the dishes.

What healthy living means to me?|Science

In Science, we are learning about how our body work and how we need energy for life.

I think healthy diet is when you get a balanced amount of nutritions. Taking too much or too less can cause problems. Taking too much vegetable can be unbalanced and taking too less fat won’t get you much energy. I think those ‘only drinking water diet’ is stupid, because it is obviously unbalanced and I think no one can stand only drinking water.

If you eat, you need to exercise to consume the energy. I think everyday, playing with your friends and moving your body until you get hungry is a good amount of exercise.  Too much exercise is bad too. You also have to be balanced with both food and exercise.

Sleep also matters too. By sleeping, you can completely rest your body, and also you can sort your memories while sleeping. If you don’t sleep, you get more stressed because you can’t rest your body.

1812 Overture|Music

In music class, we each chose a piano song and changed it so we can play it on koto. I chose a part of the song by Tchaikovsky called 1812 Overture.

While arranging the music, I didn’t really come across some problems when making the tuning for the koto. My tuning had no flats or sharps, which made it easier to fit all the notes into the 13 strings. It was had to play when I had a half rest at the very first part, so I used the left hand to fill the rest so I don’t have to count for every rest.

Although my piece had repeating patterns, most of them were disjunct so I had problems with fingers and if I can reach them on time. For example at the fifth measure, when it goes down, its conjunct but, at the sixth measure the part it goes down is disjunct. This might easy to play in the piano, but skipping one string is pretty hard since I was playing that part with the middle finger and I have to play and skip a string smoothy to keep it on rhythm.

The last problem I had is the left hand. The original piece had a lot of parts left and I thought it was too hard to keep up so I gave up and decided to create it on my own. I first tried it out with 1 and 5, which is often used for 合わせ爪 in koto. But it didn’t sound right since the tuning were different. Then I tried 1 and 4, since the melody starts with 8 then 11, and 8 and 11 has 4 notes away, same with 1 and 4. It sounded pretty well and I thought it created a harmony so I used it.

It was my first time rearranging a music piece into a koto piece and I had a lot of fun doing it. Maybe next time I will try to add more of the left hand to make my song more fancy. I will practice more so I can play it without mistaking or stopping.

Jupiter Focus Area | Music

Hello, heres a video of me playing one of the part from ‘Jupiter’

This part was one of the hard parts in Jupiter. This part is slow, but it has a lot of moving fingers across the strings and it was pretty hard to play it smoothly. Like on the last 2 measures, I had to get ready for the next one while playing and I kept on missing the strings. Now I improved a lot since I couldn’t even play those lines but now I even memorized it. I also got better at keeping rhythm, by counting in my head every beat which helps me a lot. One part I can improve is the press. I have to press not too strong because its a weak press, but also I have to press until you can’t hear the sound so you won’t hear the weird sound.

Eyeball Dissection |Science

HELLO. Today i’m going to talk about how your eyeball works.

When you look at something, theres always a light hitting it. The light rays hits into your eyes, and it goes through cornea which collects the light into the pupil. Pupil is a hole open in your eye, and the light rays goes through the hole to the retina. Iris changes the size of the pupil, if theres a lot of light iris makes the pupil smaller to let in less light as possible into the retina. Theres a lens behind the pupil, which refracts and focuses the light so it can show a clearer image in the retina. The shape of the lens change to focus better depending how far or close you are from the object. At the back of your eye, it is called retina and it is covered with light-sensitive cells. The cells are very sensitive and it detects colors and images which that information gets sent to the brain, through the optic nerve. Thats how you see the world.

Heres the picture of the eyeball. (Picture credits to Haruna)