Lifelight – Ukulele, Your Choice

A month ago, we started a new project in music class where we could choose a song and remake it digitally with ukulele chords.

Finished product:

Finished product v2. added snazzier drums:

Afterwards, we had to answer a Google Form to reflect on our project. Here are the answers to some of the questions in the Form.

How is your recording the same as the original song? Why did you do this?

The original song I chose is “Lifelight”. This song has some sort of a triumphant feeling to it which I wanted to convey in the song. I did this by locking myself in a room where I felt comfortable singing as loud as I could where my parents couldn’t hear me. The tempo is also similar to the original song where it’s about 120 bpm. The key the song is in is also the same, C Major. I chose this so it wouldn’t be transposed wrong and I made sure it was C Major by listening to my version and the original together.

How is your recording different compared to the original song? What were your reasons behind your decisions?

I changed the song from a sort of national anthem feeling to a jazzy type song as I couldn’t find a drum beat that fit the feeling of the song. This is why I changed some notes to be longer than other unlike the original song. I also changed the singing to be an octave lower as I can’t sing as high as the original song.

I have also changed the song to only be a repeat of Verse 1, 2, and the Chorus because I didn’t want the song to be as long and because I didn’t have as much time to finish my song. This is because I my first project which was the song “everything i wanted” by Billie Eillish got erased because I forgot to save the file.

Something else I changed was that in the original song, the instrumental was quieter than the vocals but for my song, I did the opposite. This is because I listened to the instrumental and vocal file and realised that the instrumental was better. So I raised the instrumental to be higher volume than the vocal so the listener can focus on that.

Lastly, the song originally didn’t have a drum beat but I put it in through the whole song because I decided to make it jazz as stated above. It also helps keep the rhythm of the song and makes the song more memorable.

GarageBand editing – digital instrument, drum use..

Because of our prior knowledge in the Ukulele and the help of different websites such as Ukutabs, YouTube and Musescore, I knew what strum patters were and what chords were. I was able to copy and paste different chords together to make the song. Something I’d like to improve on in the future is to remember to always stay on beat. The first time I started this song, I finished Verse 1 and realised that it wasn’t on beat at all and forgot that it was required to add a drum beat which I couldn’t do without it being in time. This is why I had to delete this part of the song and start over.

Time management for your project…

My time management was horrible this project. I had started my first song (everything i wanted) and worked hard for 2 weeks until it got erased. This ruined my motivation so I took a break for a week (which somehow blended into 3 weeks). By the time I started, I didn’t have much time to finish my new song (Lifelight). Although I had very little time left, I worked all day and night and finished in a couple of days. Next time, I want to be prepared for this sort of thing happening (erasure of progress) and always have time left to finish.

Independent learning… (responsibility of getting things done on time)

During this project, I learned to not ask for help as much as it wasn’t easy asking for help online. I’d have to reach out to Mr OToole through Email or Zoom and I couldn’t just ask my parents for help as easily as I could for other subjects (e.g. Math). I learned to Google my problems and ask friends to help out. I used YouTube and Quora to find solutions to problems I had. (e.g. “Input source not selected”) I also was able to hand in my project before the deadline.

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Crit B Assessment Reflection

We recently finished our Crit B assessment on March 24th, the text was about recycling and litter and there were about 11 questions that we had to answer. My final grade is 22/24 which converted back to normal IB grades is a 7.3.

There were 3 parts of the assessment. Firstly, I think I did really well for the first part because I read the question carefully and copied the answers from the text onto the Google Form. I think I did pretty well for the second part as well but I think next time, my answers could’ve been more clear and concise. The hardest part was the third part, there was a diagram with 3 arrows and an “OK” sign. The question asked what the text, color, and gesture meant in the diagram, which we had to connect to different answers. I struggled with this one a lot because at first, I didn’t understand the question. But afterwards, I was just confused what the answers meant so I blindly guessed the answers. I think next time, at least an educated guess would’ve been better.


Up On The Rooftop (Melody + Chords + Singing)

We were later given a Google Form to fill in about the song and how we did it.

What is the key of your tune? Time Signature?

The key is in C major because it has the notes C D E F G A B C. The time signature is 4/4 which means theres 4 quarter notes in a bar.

What sort of rhythms are used in your song? How were they used musically?

I used mainly quarter notes consistently for most notes. But for some of the shorter ones, in the original song, it sounded as fast as hiccups, which is why I used eighth notes. The final note is a minim to make the ending peaceful and like it’s finishing. Each note was to the beat and for the chords, I would use some up strums after long notes (quarter notes before rests or minims).

Discuss your note accuracy and rhythm accuracy in regards to inputting the strumming and melodic playing…

I followed the sheet music Mr OToole gave us and followed each note. Each note is accurate and sounds good and is also in the key of C Major, but, the accuracy is a little bit off. Some notes do not land on the exact beat it should. There’s also one part where I wanted to put in 4 eighth notes, I cut up the original chords but when you play it, it sounds very off and too fast.

How did you decide your tempo to match your song and style? Did the context of the song change because of this?

I decided the tempo by singing it myself and listening to that recording. I then put that recording side by side with a metronome to find the BPM. I then adjusted the BPM to fit the style of the song, a cheerful song about most people’s favourite holiday, Christmas. The song is quick and light hearted like a kids’ song.

What skills did you acquire with your use of Garageband? Trimming, Cutting, pasting, metronome, etc… How did you use these skills throughout the assignment?

I learned how to problem solve more. While I was making my song, I had many technical difficulties which I solved by googling on forums and threads on how other people solved these problems, which let me be more independent. Other skills I learned were trimming, cutting and pasting. I enjoy video editing in my spare time and because I also used these skills in iMovie, I could also carry them to GarageBand. I did learn to be more precise because in a song, it has to be on beat. I had to change up the chords to fit in the beat which was a challenge. I also learned how the metronome works (e.g. what BPM is and how it’s implemented in songs.) This helped me get my song to the pace I wanted it to be at.

Discuss any challenges you had to overcome for this assignment!

I had to overcome my fear of signing and time management. First, I don’t usually sing and wouldn’t call myself a good singer. So when I heard about this assignment that people were doing at the beginning of the year, I dreaded it. But once I got to it and finished it, it wasn’t that bad and I am really proud of the final outcome. Second, I’m not great at being organised. In this project, I wrote a schedule for myself on which days I wanted to work. I had 3 steps in this schedule, the melody + chords + singing, I completed one of these tasks every 2 days which let me complete the task before the deadline.

My Instrument Choice

Hey readers!

The instrument I chose is the clarinet. The clarinet is part of the woodwind instrument group, and has a single reed mouthpiece. It was invented during the 1700s in Germany and has many different parts to it; the mouthpiece, the barrel, the upper joint, the lower joint, and the bell.

Below are YouTube videos I watched that taught me how to construct the clarinet together, how to hold it, and how to play a note.

↑ Step to step video on how to construct a clarinet. (Refer to in the future)

  • Hold the clarinet like Lego hands
  • Left hand on top, right hand on the bottom
  • Hold it towards the floor at a 35 – 45 degree angle

↑ Step to step video on how to clean a clarinet. (Refer to in the future) DON’T SOAK THE CORK


Half-A-Semester 👏 Review 👏

Hey readers!

I haven’t made a blog post in a really really long time and it’s been so long that I’m in the MYP now! So since I haven’t talked much about G6 PYPX, we’re gonna recap that.

My PYPX was about Screen Addiction with Horus, Darren, Ishaan, and Shannon and here’s the entire process.

The first thing we did was decide on a topic individually, which was the weirdly the hardest thing throughout the entire project, there are so many topics we could cover, how could we choose one? In the end, I chose screen addiction based on a coin toss, it was between that and drug abuse. During this part, I had to really dig deep into my passions and interest to see what I really wanted to do, I didn’t want to make a mistake because this would be what I would be working on for the next year or so.

Next up was starting to do some research. I hadn’t met my team yet except for Horus and Darren because they were in my class, so we worked together to do some research and learn different facts about our topic. Every week at about 9:00, we’d have a group call and talk about what we did in that week, share resources and facts, and reflect on how well we did our jobs and what we could do to improve.

In the end, this is what we came up with, a finished research document with all of our sources cited, which was also a very hard process. This was basically our first time seriously citing our sources on each website, so every image we used had to be cited correctly in the right order. We also highlighted some important notes that were interesting and could be used during our final presentation in March.

Then, it was time for our first guide meeting, to meet with everyone else in the grade that has the same interests as you to do the ultra combination of all research. This, again, consisted of Shannon, Horus, Darren, Ishaan, and I. We talked about what we’ve done together and started planning a field trip to interview an expert on screen addiction. This was really vital to the PYPX so we could have primary sources. We decided to go to a place called The Cabin, a therapy facility full of experts that can help people with addiction problems. They cover a lot of topics such as drugs, smoking, screens, etc…

We had a bunch of interview questions that we were planning to ask and to record the interview. Unfortunately, the audio clip is with Shannon so I don’t have it. Here are some of the questions we asked during the interview.

  1. Do you think that screen addiction is common in Hong Kong and other places?
    1. Yes 
    2. no
  2. How severe is the situation compared to other places?
      1. Significantly  more severe
      2. More severe
      3. Same
      4. Less severe
      5. Significantly less severe 
  3. What do you think are the main reasons for addiction to start?
  4. How do kids develop their need for screens? 
      1. Video Games
      2. Social media
      3. Youtube
  5. What are some symptoms of addiction?  
  6. Are patients likely to be aware that they are addicted? Why?
      1. YES
      2.  NO
  7. Are parents aware of the situation that happens to kids 
  8. What are some of the help in HK?
  9. Do you think this is an important issue to address?
  10.  How are some patients treated? (Their Process)
  11.  How long does it take for the treatment to be complete?
  12.  What are some easy things you can do to prevent it?
  13.  Have you had any experience of screen addiction yourself?
  14. What inspired you to solve addition problems?
  15.  Doctors have said_____________ (fact)_____  ,do you think this is true?
  16.  How can you effectively treat addiction? 
  17.  Do you have any sources for research on screen addiction?
  18.  What are the effects of screen addiction?
  19. What makes it so hard to turn off our devices?
  20.  How can we take action?
  21.  Individual Questions (Do you think ___ can help?)
  22.  How many patients have you treated before?

This interview was very successful, mostly on the planning part. It was very hard to contact such a big corporation to interview because we were just 6th graders, but we somehow did it! We wrote many emails to them planning dates to come and the schedule for that day. The biggest thing I learned during this interview was to take risks even though there’s a high chance I’ll fail. For example, there wasn’t an email on the website for The Cabin, just a phone number. So I had to call The Cabin and ask them for their email, which even though it doesn’t sound like much, took a lot of guts and made me very nervous.

Just like that, the time to present our topic was almost here. >_<  We took the time to start planning what our station was going to look like. There were many ideas like, one of the best ones was this:

We changed it up a bit so we could fit 5 people in a small amount of space, but that was our final project. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! We still had to take action and make an interactive space with our audience. First the action, we asked ourselves, what is the most effective way to get rid of screen addiction while having fun? We decided on chess, you were able to have a conversation with a friend while using your brain to play a game, not having the negative side effects of screen addiction, it was perfect! But what kind of action were we going to take? We were planning on making a chess club every Thursday from then on, inviting people from all over the school to attend and play chess together. It wasn’t much of a success at first, but after a while, it started taking off and more and more people came. It was working!

Next up was the interactive part of our presentation. Our entire group brainstormed what we were going to do for a very long time, at the end, we decided to make a box shape that a human could fit into that was dark with no sunlight, and put an iPad that was flashing lights to simulate what it was like looking at your phone at the dark. This was very very hard because we had many disagreements about the box, the first time we made it, it was very shabby and would fall easily. We kept thinking of ideas until the last moment where we had no time, there was no way we were going to use the box because it wouldn’t work, so we put a bunch of black pieces of paper around a table, and have our audience crawl under the table. This worked perfectly and was way better than the box idea.

That was all the preparation time we had, it felt like a month but it was actually a year-long process. We got into the LLAC, set everything up and started presenting…

This day was so nerve-racking and everyone was doing last-minute printing for some reason, I guess everyone just forgot to print stuff. There were lines as long as trains (credits to Horus for that amazing simile). We moved chairs and tables as quickly as we could and stood there, looking our best, prepared to present to our parents and teachers. The thing I was most nervous about was the question that our audience was going to ask, what if we didn’t know the answer? Apparently, it was really simple and was the first time I learned of this tactic. For example, they ask you a really random hard question like, “What’s the diameter of the sun?”, then you can answer, “I’ll get back to you on that, do you want to leave your Email address?”. It’s a great way of saying that you don’t know the answer, but still seem smart because you can Google it later and send them the information you learned. We presented for 2 days straight and had a lot of fun, we had some time to look at our peers’ presentations too. They were all very interesting topics and their action was very well planned, a lot of beach cleanups, clubs, speeches, so on and so forth.

We got a lot of feedback from the people that came to our station, one of them was to speak slower, which I totally agree on and would be a goal if I were to do PYPX again. We spoke really fast because we were nervous on our first day of presenting, so a lot of what we said didn’t make sense or our audience couldn’t catch it.

With PYPX 100% finished, we finally got to celebrate and have a graduation ceremony.

Fast forward to Grade 7, after 7 years of being in the PYP, moving up felt bittersweet, it was time to move forward but we would’ve missed Grade 6 a lot.

The End.

Grade 7:

Design – For the past month or so, we’ve been working on different logo designs and the psychology behind it. There is meaning on every color and shape.

We took notes on all of these shapes and color designs, then started to draft our own logo, representing who I am.

After this draft, we used the CARP principles to make it better. CARP stands for CONTRAST, ALIGNMENT, REPETITION, and PROXIMITY. After learning about the design cycle and practicing on Illustrator the different functions. I started doing our final project!

We’re supposed to get feedback on our logo so here are some prompt questions.

  1. What was your first thought when looking at the logo?
  2. What do you like about it or how would you improve it?
  3. What would you change about my color choice?
  4. What’s 2 + 2?

After getting some feedback from my peers, I was tasked to make an annotated logo.

Math: Fractions, Decimals, and Integers

In our first unit, we learned how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions. I already knew how to add and subtract but this was my first time learning how to multiply and divide. We learned a lot and got introduced to a new Math source on YouTube, it’s called Math Antics. A guy called Rob comes up every time and teaches us about different Math concepts.

In our second unit, we learned about integers and how it can actually go NEGATIVE. It was very interesting to learn, like what would happen if a negative number was subtracted by a positive or the other way around? We learned formulas to be able to think about hard problems like 3-(-2). We also learned something new called Absolute Value, this is how far the number is from 0. So the Absolute Value for negative 3 or |-3|, is 3.

Humanities: Culture, Making of Me, Hong Kong Locations

Our first project was really fun, we were tasked to make a short movie (about 2 minutes) to explain your own culture and how it’s important to you. We were able to edit together movies


(This blog post is not finished and will be continued, I’m posting it now so I can get feedback on my logo earlier.)



Unité 1: Parlez-vous français – critères C et D à l’oral 🔊

Task: Create a role-play to include all of the information I have learned since the beginning of the year.

  • What were some of the challenges?

Developing our script to meet the requirements of being at least 2 minutes and 30 seconds was a challenge as we didn’t have enough content to go through. We took a long time editing the script to make it as long as we could, for example, during a sad moment when I said “I hate tests”, I had to stretch out a sigh for at least 3 seconds so we could go over the minimum.

Another problem I had was the pronunciation of certain words, next time, if I don’t know how to say a word, I want to ask the teacher on how to pronounce it and practice the word/sentence. One of the words I should’ve practiced more was “j’ai parce que”.

  • How do you feel about your results? How are you going to achieve your goal?

I’m pretty proud of my results for learning a brand new language. I’m sure when learning a new language that having bad pronunciation is common, so yes, I’m proud.

I’m going to achieve my goal to always always always ask the teacher on how to enunciate things or if the teacher isn’t available, use Google Translate to listen to the proper way to say it.

Here is the link to my recording.