Arty McArtface – IDU Crit D Reflection

Please write an interdisciplinary learning reflection addressing personal success as a interdisciplinary learner, benefits of the IDU with specific examples and limitations of the IDU with specific examples. This should be separated into 3 DISTINCT paragraphs. 

As an interdisciplinary learner, I was able to make connections between two somewhat different disciplines to create a final product that reflected my identity as a Hong Konger. I utilised a relevant amount of knowledge, understandings and skills derived from English. For instance, I was able to apply my knowledge and understanding about literary devices that had a sensory aspect so I could translate it into my final product through visual arts and music. My poem concentrates on creating a contrast between the utopian and dystopian aspect of Hong Kong which is described through sensory imagery, this translates into the visual product as seen through the breathtaking view situated through the window and the subdivided flat that stands before the reader. The poetry unit also taught us to be very aware of our audience which was applicable to our final product in terms of what to produce in order to present poverty to a certain extent, and how to use designated techniques so there is an intended effect on the audience. In terms of Fine Arts, we were able to use the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design to elaborate on the theme of our poems. For example, we made very explicit colour choices so to express the cage home as dark and dirty, a place of poverty which contrasted against the brightness in the window which reflected hope and yearnings.
Throughout this process, I recognized a wide range of benefits from the IDU. A significant benefit was the opportunity to present our poem through visual and auditory means. For example, we were able to translate different literary devices such as forms of sensory imagery, visual imagery or auditory imagery through our drawing and through our piano. This would allow for the audience to have a better understanding of the poem as well as a stronger connection. Another benefit of the interdisciplinary unit to allow the Fine Arts to compliment the content we created in English. For instance, we were able to use the music to emphasise on the mood of the poem. We were able to have access to a wide range of resources and materials that allowed us to present our poems in a unique way. For instance, some used the 3D laser cutter while others used plasticine and some CDs, etc.
Although the IDU came with a selection of benefits, there were a few negatives. Contrary to the first benefit, it can be difficult to present our poem through art mediums and have it clearly communicate the contents of the poem. Although devices that are associated with senses such as metaphors and imagery can be integrated, it may be difficult for the audience to develop a theme that correlates to the theme of the poems, or for someone to understand how this product has its relations to English.


Please grade yourself using the IDU Specifications: 


Please self assess using the rubric:


Please write a justification for your interdisciplinary learning reflection:

I think I was very successful as an interdisciplinary learner because I was able to integrate a range of skills from English and Fine Arts – both visual art and music – to create a cohesive product that reflected my identity in Hong Kong with its relation to my poem. I used my understanding of literary devices with a sensory aspect and translated it into my product through use of knowledge from visual art specifically the elements of art as well as music with prior knowledge of Garageband to compliment on the theme and tone of the poem. Throughout the process of creating my final product, I was able to identify a selection of benefits that came with this interdisciplinary learner. I was able to take advantage of these benefits so to make our piece somewhat unique and reach its best potential. However, there were a few roadblocks that came with the development of this product of which is the main limitation of this interdisciplinary unit. But, with problem solving, we were able to work around those and come to create a stunning product!

Arty McArtface – Proposal

Personal goals and intentions of the unit:

The objective of our Arty McArtface project is to combine forms of both art and music to compliment the different aspects of Hong Kong that reflect our identity within the city. The 3 primary concepts we want to focus on is the facade Hong Kong holds up; the energy and collectiveness of Hong Kong’s citizens; as well as the commotion and hecticness of the city.

Hong Kong Identity:

  • Facade – Figuratively representing the way we present ourselves to conceal anything we are enduring.
  • Collectiveness – the connection and the support between individuals in Hong Kong
  • Energy – the crowds of people and the hectic hoards around Hong Kong


Why was this process / project chosen?

We chose this project because it was the most appropriate way to represent our topic and communicate our intentions. It also was a good choice as it demonstrates our skills that translates our knowledge and understandings of Hong Kong and how it reflects our identity. These components put together will use all of our combined skills to present a final piece.


Achievable guidelines for success

Our piece will utilise music to communicate the atmosphere of the people in Hong Kong, which is appears in two of our poems. The atmosphere we will try to show is the atmosphere of being in Hong Kong; and the chaos of its citizens, also the collectiveness of being together with our peers. We will also use art to show the facade Hong Kong holds up which is present in one of our poems. We can use an A3 sheet of thick watercolour paper, along with use of colour pencils to create a piece which shows the darkness and chaos under the bright face of Hong Kong. Using both aspects of art and music, we can create a video of the art piece with background music to show our poems and the meanings behind them.


Essential Features: Desirable features:
The video must be under 5 minutes long. Use of dynamics and articulation within the piece
The video should include both artwork and music.


  • Piano
  • Slow song


  • Colour pencils
  • A3 Paper
The video could have cool animations that move around aspects of our artwork.
The art piece has to be size A3. The piece of paper could be manipulated to better match the theme or the meaning behind the piece. (Cut the piece of paper into shapes of a city etc.)
Medium of art is colour pencils Water could be used to make the piece more dramatic and intensify the general mood.
The video has to include an image, and a background track. The backing track should match the overall mood (sad, chaotic) of the poems and the themes of our pieces.
The artwork has to include aspects of Hong Kong. There could be symbolism behind images and objects drawn on the final art piece to represent the meaning behind the poems.


Problem assessment for the process and strategies to overcome these

Some of the problems we may face in this process includes how we’re going to blend everything together as in the art piece and the music; by this I mean the way we overlap our music piece over a recording or photo of our artwork. Doing this can affect the way the audience interprets our message. We will know we have achieved this by having our artwork match the music in the background, and the mood being significant when watching the video. We will also know when we have achieved our goal when the essential features are met, as well as the optional desirable features. A significant obstacle we are and will continue to encounter is racing against the time; seeing as we have a limited time, we must be subject to create a timeline and execute all factors of the project within the time frame while implementing it to a proficient and adept level.

Music – Project Genesis Final



My artistic intention for ‘Project Genesis’ is to create an acoustic mashup using popular songs from different genres (e.g. pop, rap, rhythm and blues). The purpose of incorporating songs that are currently favoured and well received by a teenage audience is to reflect the ideas that were exchanged while exhibiting the type of music that have recently been surrounding this  demographic, my demographic. The idea of making an acoustic mashup is derived not only from my enjoyment and fondness of the acoustic genre, but the eagerness to see how this demographic will react to the product and whether they will admire and appreciate these songs to the same extent. Using Garageband as my digital workstation, I will be organising and arranging a selection of instruments and vocals to construct an acoustic mashup concentrating on currently popular songs.

Inspiration and Research Info:


Always impatiently awaiting the annual release of Pop Danthology, the idea of mimicking this sort of composition instantly came up when we were introduced to Project Genesis. I wanted to create a piece that captured the type of music that in a way, was able to define a period in time in which many feelings and emotions – many of which the shared demographic can relate to – were evoked through a series of events. I wanted to create a piece that recapitulates the type of music a demographic (local and global) shares and enjoys listening to. However, I’ve come to contemplate why the teenage demographic (of the 21st Century) is so interested in genres like pop, rap and rhythm and blues that that was the genre most mashups were labelled as. Without a doubt, the number of pop mashups exceed acoustic mashups. But where are the soul mashups? Where are the acoustic mashups? With this question in mind, I decided an acoustic mashup utilizing the same type of songs and observe how the teenage demographic reacts and how it affects their perception of the songs.  

Pop Danthology 2014

A globally renowned mashup and one of my personal favourites. This mashup inspired me to create transitions between different songs through the use of instruments, taking advantage of long notes as well as words with similar pronunciation. This mashup communicated a lot about a backing track, most importantly having an instrumental track with many layers that are versatile and able to work with while there is continuous change of songs.

See You Again / Love Me Like You Do / Sugar (Acoustic Mashup)

This piece of inspiration because these acoustic versions of pop songs sounded so cohesive together. It gave me an idea of how to tone down the pop aspect by concentrating more on the instruments rather than vocals as those helped convert the piece into an acoustic version. I developed an idea of how to connect different songs through a single backing track.  I also got developed a greater insight onto which songs worked well with one another.

Shape of You / The Greatest / Closer (Acoustic Mashup)

This piece was so simplistic but yet so amazing. The main takeaway was to transition and ease into the following song right at the at the climax, seconds prior to the chorus.

Research Info:

Mash Up:

  • Known most commonly as Mashups, but also referred to as ‘edits’ or ‘remixes’, this form of music is developed through the amalgamation of various pre-recorded songs usually executed by overlaying the vocals of one song over the instrumentals of a different song. Influenced by artists like,
      • Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman of the 20th Century, of which reinterpreted Orson Welles’ broadcast and incorporated parts of musicals so there was elevated humour
      • Frank Zappa who took a guitar piece and replaced it for the instrumental aspect of another song, this technique that he developed is called, xenochrony.
      • Osymyso who took a selection of material and arranged them in order of tempo to create a collage.
    • Soon, David Quantick mentioned the theory that, by, combining best of pop music – popular tracks – , Pop Will Eat Itself. His movement was taken on by many artists,
      • ‘Genie in a Bottle’ remix
      • ‘Hard to Explain’ remix’
    • The idea of a mashup was so well received that an industry was made out of it. The most standard softwares being used include the following:
      • Garageband
      • Wavelab
      • Sound Forge
      • Cool Edit Pro
      • Ableton Live


Garageband is a globally renowned software that allows for users to create music and podcasts. It is so favoured by the public because it consists of many features like premade MIDI keyboards, premade loops, instrumental effects, voice recordings, etc. It is easy to use and is capable of producing a remarkable product. It is simple yet refined. There were other applications that I was familiar with – iMovie, Audacity – and could have used to develop a mashup. But I wanted to submerge myself in a different environment.

Sources to use for when developing piece in Garageband:

Design Criteria: 

Must Haves:

  • Mashup must be between a minimum of 60 seconds. Mashups generally exceed 60 seconds as it is the combination of various songs. However, it often depends on the number of songs being used as well as the parts that are being incorporated into the composition – different verses from different songs, chorus, beat drop, etc.
  • Mashup must include vocals. As I am doing an acoustic mashup concentrating on popular songs that have been surrounding my demographic, it is most ideal that there are vocals.
  • Mashup must include various types of instrumentation that reflect an acoustic genre, such as the following but not limited to:
    • Piano
    • Electric keyboard
    • Strings
      • Guitar;
      • Bass
        • Clean; rap
        • Distorted; rap
      • Cello; acoustic and accompaniment
      • Violin; acoustic and accompaniment
    • Drums
      • Snares
      • Bass kicks  
  • Must incorporate music that is popular, has recently risen to prominence and surrounded the teenage demographic

Desirable Qualities:

  • Mashup would be more elevated if there was a backing track.
  • Mashup would be elevated if there was a steady BPM.
  • Mashup would be more elevated if there was incorporation of dynamics.
  • Mashup would be more elevated if there was incorporation of articulation.
  • Mashup would be more elevated if there were smooth transitions.

Response to Completed Project:

Although I am not too overjoyed with my final product and can definitely identify areas that can be improved, I am very content with the knowledge, understandings and skills I have developed over the course of this project. As seen within the Inspiration and Research Info sector, I gathered a lot of knowledge, understanding and skills throughout the development of the project. I was exposed to so much more that I didn’t even know existed. However, applying all of this was a slight challenge. As stated within my Proposal, my artistic intention was to to compose an acoustic mashup that concentrated on songs that were popular and recently surrounded this teenage demographic. However, it wasn’t until the process that I realised it was more difficult than I expected. Although my mashup does exceed 60 seconds, does it exceed the margin on reasonable terms? A substantial percentage of my piece was filled with singular songs that went on for 10+ seconds, does that make my composition exceed 60 seconds on unjustified terms? I am satisfied with the use of vocals and instrumentation in my mashup. I found a balance between the both and it wasn’t as if one was more empowering than the other. Of course there were times when vocals were more predominant, but there would be instrumentation in the background and then balanced with a sector of just instrumentation. I was also able to incorporate music that is popular, has recently risen to prominence and surrounded the teenage demographic. However, I had to find acoustic versions of many of these songs of which fall within the Pop category. The problem with this is that many were covers, many were modified versions that didn’t sound the way I had hoped. But, I had to make it work. This was a major obstacle I encountered. My Mashup meets the majority of the ‘Must Have’ sector of the design criteria, but it lacks a few ‘Desirable Qualities’. I wish I had put more thought into implementing a backing track, but all the ones that I had attempted to use wasn’t appropriate when played against the rest of my songs. There was a steady BPM, dynamics and articulation which I was only able to achieve with the help of one of the videos linked within my Research Info. A quality I really want to put more effort into improving is making smooth transitions. Overall, I feel that my Mashup would have been greatly improved in terms of quality and meeting ALL essential and desirable qualities, however, I feel that the takeaways of this project are very taken into account for.

Music – Project Genesis Check In and Sharing

Link to Audio File:

Have you encountered many challenges so far?

I haven’t encountered too many challenges throughout the process of developing this mashup, thankfully. The most prevalent challenge is identifying acoustic versions of popular songs from different genres (e.g. pop, rap, rhythm and blues). This increases the difficulty of composing the piece by a margin compared to what I had expected providing that what was found didn’t fulfil the design criteria or reach my level of satisfaction. To solve this issue, I have decided that the most viable solution is to work with what I have or to obtain the instrumental and acoustic vocal component of the piece and merge them together. Another minor obstacle involved some difficulties in operating Garageband, however this can easily be solved through further research or approaching different resources. Besides these two factors, my project has been going smoothly.

What has been the most enjoyable thing up to this point?

Up to this point, I have been enjoying amalgamating songs with one another, of course with the application of knowledge and understanding derived from research, but also reliant on experimentation.

What have you learned that you didn’t expect?

Besides the wide range of information gathered from research, the process of composing this piece taught me experimentation as mentioned in the question above. I’ve realised that developing a mashup cannot solitarily be dependent on components like which keys work well together or which songs have the most similar formatting and more, but rather how it is received without taking into consideration those components.

Design – Semester 1 Reflection


This year’s design curriculum involves a year long project that requires us to develop our own brand. The first semester concentrated on the creation of a logo header image that communicates a vision, mission and goal that demonstrates a passion of yours while reflecting who you are as an individual. During this course, I relied immensely on the design cycle because it led me through the process, told me what I needed to achieve and the extent I needed to take things to in order to accomplish it, my role simply was to execute that.

Per Criterion A, I really learned to thoroughly understand the challenge statement and what it targets because from there, we can generate ideas and then formulate a research plan which allows us to analyze information through a range of different sources to find solutions.

Per Criterion B, I now understand how to apply the knowledge and skills gained from research and analysis of other sources, and make those ideas happen by identifying both vital and desired design specifications. Then to also apply those specifications into designs that reflect your challenge statement and the solution you have proposed.

Of course, along Criterion C, I developed many skills regarding Adobe Illustrator. For instance, I learned how to organize content through the use of layers, how to create and edit shapes, transform and edit artwork, change colour and strokes, etc. However, the big takeaway was to identify and utilize technical skill to satisfy the design specifications. A big contributing factor of this process was to create a plan and document both the process and the changes made.

I enjoyed this semester, am very excited to see what’s in store for the remainder of the year!

International Mindedness


During the last Student Advisory session, our group looked at how we, the CDNIS community pursues and embodies International Mindedness.

International Mindedness refers to being aware and taking into account everything surrounding you, including the following concepts:

  • How to celebrate humanity and our planet
  • Seeking out multiple perspectives
  • Engaging in diverse learning experiences
  • Embracing personal diversity; and
  • Moving from self to others in thought and action

The CDNIS community does pursue and embody these characteristics of International Mindedness by:

  • “The well-being of my communities is dependent on the health of our environment” or that the environment we shape and form determines and indicates the condition and state of our community. In addition, “I recognise that I am a part of many different communities, including that of my family, school, city and world.” or being aware that you are a contributing factor of many different communities, both big and small. In doing so, we are successful in celebrating humanity and our planet.
  • “Understanding that every human has basic universal human rights, no matter what culture he or she is from” or that ones beliefs, values, religion, family background, race and gender doesn’t affect whether or not their entitlement, they still have human rights. Through understanding this clause, CDNIS is able to seek out multiple perspectives.
  • To embrace personal diversity, we “Recognise the passions, skills and knowledge to offer to my communities.” as well as being a “Positive role model who inspires and supports others to act.”
  • By “Considering the needs of my communities to make informed choices about how I plan to contribute.”, “Having the responsibility to use my strengths to take action within my communities in a way that benefits everyone involved.”, “Respecting and appreciating diversity within all communities by taking the time to understand the views and feelings of others.” as well as “Consistently think about the impact of my actions to make positive changes to my personal behaviour and about the ways I contribute within my communities.” are all prime examples of how the CDNIS community does embody International Mindedness.
A mind map of how CDNIS pursues and embodies International Mindedness


International Peace Day


It was International Peace day on the 21st of September, around the time we discussed peace during Student Advisory. Our group came to a conclusion that peace is a period in which there is no war and and no violence. In my opinion, peace is also a state in which conflicts are solved through the use of our knowledge, understandings and skills. While the state of peace does not involve war or violence, there will always be parties that are not compatible.

In both a society and school community where relationships are being built, peace can be brought through the acceptance of diversity, to accept differences in beliefs, values, race, gender, behaviours, etc. To share peace, I will consider the perspectives of others and not retaliate when someone is critical and unfamiliar with my actions. Being open-minded and accepting of other perspectives encourages the strengthening of relationships, the building of a community as well as the exposure to different cultures rather than igniting conflict, which in turn potentially leads to wars, violence.

A flag I made in honour of International Peace Day











Happy International Peace Day!

Design – All About Me

Jay is currently a 13 year old girl studying at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. Born and raised in Hong Kong, you would’ve thought Jay loved Hong Kong or would at least grow to love it, however, although she loves the people and environment surrounding her, she detests the weather. So, she’d rather focus on the people and environment.

Her friends and family often describe her as humorous and open-minded yet demanding and very expectant. She likes to respond to her experiences in an optimistic way and provoke laughter, but occasionally isn’t aware of her surroundings and takes things a little too far. She is usually willing to take new ideas into account and incorporate the perspectives of others. However, when it comes to academics and passions that reflect personal ability, Jay demands and expects a lot from herself. These qualities propel her to be diligent and encourages her to go the extra mile, it motivates her to elevate her standards and achieve tasks to the best of her ability, however, this trait also causes her to sometimes feel pressured and can ignite stress. Jay’s previous teachers have described her as an committed, organised and pragmatic learner who knows how to challenge herself and persevere when doing so, however, she is an easily identified perfectionist who does well but isn’t balanced enough.

Jay’s hobbies include dancing, programming, reading and playing the piano. She enjoys these activities as it allows her to concentrate on something other than school, it allows her to expose herself to arts and design. She is also interested in exploring the world and immersing herself in different cultures, as well photography and design, and would consider pursuing it in the near future.

She is also looking to be someone a little more balanced, a little less stubborn and a little less clumsy. All while aspiring to become a New Yorker, but that dream is still somewhat distant.

CAS – 2017 Hainan


I recently returned from my first CAS experience in Sanya, Hainan. This was an extraordinary trip, I experienced multitude memorable and pleasant events but also several challenging obstacles.

This prime location is notable for it’s exceptional scenery and immaculate beaches, thus the trip involved a dominant amount of water activities, including surfing, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding, and more. It was a subject I wasn’t incredibly familiar with, it was a subject I hadn’t explored in the past, but was eager to experience. Throughout the process, I developed the knowledge, understandings and skills required to successfully perform each activity, I slowly made adjustments and quickly progressed to a level of proficiency. Being successful and able to accomplish and reach objectives brought me a sense of satisfaction and joy, however, the factor I really enjoyed about these activities was the fact that it reminded me of the need to appreciate our surrounding environment. These activities reminded me of the people who sustain and keep the environment in pristine condition so we can have a remarkable and sensational experience, it reminded me of the need to take action in service in hopes of looking after of our environment, not only for purposes that serve for amusement, but also for social, economical, environmental and political purposes.

Being separated from home for a week provided an opportunity for me to be independent, the greatest challenge I encountered during this trip. During this trip, I did struggle with managing my time and fulfilling all my responsibilities. I wasn’t clueless, I was just overwhelmed by the hectic, convoluted and demanding process of not relying on anything or anyone and always having to be aware of my surroundings. This challenge did come with a chance for me to socialize and make new friends. As I was situated in groups with unfamiliar people, I was able to build a connection with several grade 7’s, grade 8’s, guys, girls, instructors……Bonding with others and making new friends really helped me identify the difference between being an individual and being part of a group, I’ve realized that being part of a group elevates the excitement level within any activity.

This trip was fantastic! I was exposed many events which encouraged me to take risks, push myself to the greatest extent and always stay optimistic.