Harry Cheon

  • How did you become more aware of your own strengths and area for growth?

    Through service activities conducted in the school year I was able to become more aware of my strengths and areas that need […]

  • I really liked your piece. You used your instruments very well and meshed them together nicely. Most of the instruments aren’t sharp and edgy and it fits the theme perfectly. The buildup was nice as well. But one […]

  • Harry Cheon commented on the post, Music Final Composition, on the site 4 years ago

    I loved your music. It was dynamic and very professional. The mood was intense and I would like to believe that it was intended to be so. I really liked your opening sequence when you have the high woodwinds and […]

  • It was a good experience being a director of the film. I learned a lot about the responsibilities that a director has. Now whenever I see a movie, I understand how much work by the director goes in the film. […]

  • What were the causes and consequences of World War II? (factual)
    The main cause was the imperialism from the axis powers and the need for power by the leader like Hitler and Mussolini. This lead to global scale […]

  • The video above explains how my heart valve works. The design project for term 1 was to make a heart valve and educate the 6th graders about the heart valve. We all had different designs, but with quite […]

  • This was the first playing assessment of the year, it was on the book Accents on Achievement Line 60, and 72. Line 60 was a waltz conducted in 5/4 time, which was pretty new to me. I had to get a feel of […]

  • Todays was a Design Day. For the whole day we worked on making prototypes of heart valves. We were given materials such as plastic sheets, cardboard paper, ping pong balls and etc. There are many Key Takeaways […]

  • Presentation

    The presentation we did in class was about different genres of Jazz. A group of 2 people (or one person) presented about a genre of Jazz that they selected. My partner and I presented about Swing Jazz. The process of making the presentation required some research. Because swing jazz is one of the most popular jazz genres, the research was very easy. Lots of information about Swing Jazz was on the internet, and examples were very easy to find too. Our Swing Jazz example was Opus One by Tommy Dorsey (Tommy Dorsey didn’t compose the music), which has lots of elements of Swing Jazz. Although the presentation, required us to know about the history of jazz, I thought the most important part of the presentation was explanation of Elements of Music. Some elements of music were pretty straight forward (Melody, Rhythm, Tempo, Dynamics, and Instrumentation). What was quite difficult was other elements like Harmony and Timbre. For Harmony, we were meant to talk about chord progressions and how they work together with the melody. We as a group struggled to find out the chord progressions and how they worked in this piece of music and Swing in general. Since Swing focused on paper music more than the other jazz, I thought the music would have some kind of chord element to the music. I did see some common chords on the written music, but I didn’t see a particular chord progression that was used. Mr. O’Toole said that we should have talked about the dominant chords after the presentation. I thought more work could have been done before the presentation to make sure that we had everything covered, or we could have asked questions regarding Harmony and other stuff that we weren’t really clear on. If I were to do this presentation again, I would have focused more on the elements of music than the history and what Swing Music is all about.

    Playing Test and Theory Test

    Through the whole year, we did numerous Playing Tests and Theory Tests. This time around, we played Etude for the playing test. in the playing test, Mr.O’Toole was looking for Note accuracy, Rhythm accuracy, Articulation precision, Dynamics, Tone quality, Intonation, Tempo appropriateness, and Connection. In terms of Accuracy (note and rhythm), it was pretty good. I thought I hit the right notes, although sometimes I didn’t hit the high notes right away, I think it did pretty well. Rhythm was pretty straight forward, and I just needed to stay in time. I think I was in time during the performance and I practiced a lot to make sure that my melody and rhythm was correct. However,  where I felt like I could have done better was articulation precision, tone quality and connection. Through the years of playing the trombone, I had difficulties in getting articulation right and precise along with connection of notes. When I move through slide positions, I didn’t have the tonguing, making the tone sound bad. This directly relates to tone quality and connection. I did improve upon tone quality (especially the high notes) and connection, but there are a lot of things that need work, especially tone quality and articulation. This was a problem in the band too (Sorcerer’s Apprentice). The piece gave me a hard  time since it was fast and required good articulation (especially in the melody). Next year, I will aim to work on my articulation and tone quality.


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    Another part of musical performance is theory, and we had 2 theory tests this year, and I got a 5 for both tests. I wasn’t really satisfied with my work for both of my tests, but I felt like I did better on the second one (although the marks are the same for both tests). The reason why I feel like I did better on the second test was because I fixed mistakes that I made in the first test, which is always the goal (to improve). Where I did better was Scales, Interval and chords. Although, I made some silly mistakes (such as not doing the inversion and putting the Alto Clef at the wrong position), that I could have avoided, I certainly feel better about this one. Last test, I made a mistake by not putting accidentals on the chords, which was a silly mistake. This time, I got most of the 7th chords right, and I now understand most of the theory concepts we covered this year. Few concepts that I still struggle with are Transposition, Chords and Cadences. Next year, I will aim to improve upon these things that I am not too good at (concepts mentioned beforehand). Even though I didn’t experience dramatic improvements in theory, I did improve quite a bit in the second term.

    Whole Year

    Looking back on the year, I improved a lot, both in terms of playing and Theory. This year was the first year for us Grade 9s to selectively take Music as a course. I liked the fact that we had 80 minutes of music 2-3 times each week. Because we had double the amount (basically grade 7&8 combined) of music class, I had more chance to develop my music skills. At first I took music because I didn’t want to take drama or visual arts. However, now I really enjoy music class. For the first term, I got a 5/7 MYP score and realised that I didn’t do enough to meet my standards. In the second term I pushed myself to improve what I lacked, and tried harder in Wind Phil.

    In the class I showed some traits of the IB Learner Profile. Those traits include Risk Taker, Reflective, and Communicator. I took the risk of taking music as my elective, and I understood that I wasn’t the best in music (and its pretty apparent in the theory test – I didn’t do that well) but I still chose to take music. Not only I didn’t really want to take drama (as my elective), I wanted to continue what I had started (Trombone) in Grade 7. Thinking about the time and effort I put into it, I couldn’t give it up (although I am probably not going to take music in DP) right now. Although at first I didn’t like the fact that we had to be in a band, but I enjoyed the music we played (especially Aladdin). Another trait is being Reflective. Reflection is one of the main focuses of the course (because it has a separate criterion for it), and it makes students think about what they could have done better and improve themselves. This helped me a lot in this course and other subjects too. In the Ponder You Responder section, there are lots of reflection done in the past 2 years (including Grade 8) that I have taken music. Lastly I have made myself a pretty good communicator. Communication in this course isn’t really about the verbal communication capability. Its about how you communicate with music, and the composition project (24 bar ternary composition) allowed to show my musical communication capability. These traits are very important and is a key part of a Global Citizen, which is what the school is trying to develop.

    Music 9 was very fun, and I am looking forward to taking Music 10. Although I probably won’t be doing anything related to music in the future, I felt that this course was very helpful to me. And to finish off this end of year reflect, I want to recognise Mr. O’Toole for his effort and dedication to lead Grade 9 students to musical excellence (?). I personally enjoyed the course largely because of him.

  • The composition unit this year was much better than the one in grade 8. Partly because there were more bars to work with and we had to work with chords too. I learned a lot in the unit especially about composition (obviously) but also about chords and cadences, a subject that I wasn’t too familiar with before.

    The composition all started with a 8 bar rhythm. In the process of making the 8 bar rhythm, I tried to create a rhythmic balance and I think I was successful at doing so in the A part. I felt that the B part lacked some melodic balance. The bars didn’t resemble each other a lot. The rhythmic balance was pretty good throughout the composition though. The rubric also talks about different between phrases and the connection between the sections. The composition has a total of 4 phrases, although some might say 5 because the end is different but I would say it is 4. They did have differences between them, they didn’t sound similar, and it sounds good by itself. The connection between the sections (A and B) could have been better. One of my peer’s composition had a very smooth transition between the sections, and I think mine could have been like that. The connection was lacking because I created the B section by itself, and treated if it were a different piece in a dominant key. This worked out for the melody but not for the smooth transition I wanted.

    The composition had to be playable and had to have dynamics. The composition is playable as the highest note is F which is the highest note I can play on a trombone. The rhythm is fast, but not too fast to the extent that it is not playable. The composition might be a challenging piece for an average trombone player like me though. The dynamics are used pretty well in the composition. The composition has dynamics for both the trombone and the piano part, and this was a recommendation by my classmate. The dynamics isn’t just placed for the sake of it, it is at the right place in my opinion. I put dynamics where there is conjunct motion to get the build up/down. I think this worked out pretty well.

    Lastly the rubric talks about the chords. As mentioned, this was a relatively new topic for me, and I struggled with it at the start. Getting the “right” chord wasn’t too easy for me. What I did was I put down the base notes first and then put down the chords. This made getting the “right” chord easy because I just needed to consider the inversions (or 7th chords, but I rarely used them). One thing that I realised at the end was that my chord movements weren’t too good (or dynamic). Mr. O’Toole told me that 4th or 5th movements are strong and is recommended. Because I put down the chords according to the melody, it was very hard to get the right kind of movement and keep the melody the way it is.

    The feedback I got from my peers were pretty repetitive. Most of them talked about the playability of the composition. They thought the tempo was too fast and it would be very difficult for the trombone to play that fast because it would require a very fast slide movement. That was the most popular constructive feedback I got. I think the composition wasn’t very playable because I wasn’t considering the playability too much during the creation. I could have slowed down the tempo to moderato, but it was too slow for my taste.

    Some areas of improvements are the transition between section A to B, and the chord movements. If I were to do this again, I would think more about chord movements than I did in this composition. There should have been more cadences in the composition. The Imperfect Cadence wasn’t there in bar 12, and I realised that before I submitted the final composition. But when I tried to change that, it didn’t sound right. There were two choices, keep it or change the whole section. So I decided to keep my piece and not include the imperfect cadence.


  • Harry Cheon commented on the post, 24 Bar Melody Final, on the site Julian 5 years ago

    Nice melody. I really liked your B part and the transitions between the parts. However, I am afraid that your piano part is too simple. You only have half notes for your chords. You could have made it more […]

  • Harry Cheon commented on the post, Koalaphinx, on the site Jamie's Blog 5 years ago

    Good Job! I really liked your melody in general and the piano part is awesome. But that was the problem. Sometimes, the piano sounded like it was leading the flute. Nice use of dynamics and good rhythmic and […]

  • Harry Cheon commented on the post, Ternary Composition Final, on the site Ryan 5 years ago

    I really liked your composition in general. It was my favourite one in the class. The reason why is the melody and the rhythmic balance is terrific. Your dynamics are used really well, and works with the melody really well.

  • Melodic and rhythmic balance between phrases are great. The chromatic melody is very well used. I liked that you went with Adagio to match your melody. However, I don’t think the composition is playable though. […]

  • Good job Nicole! I really liked your rhythm with the piano part. You were the only one who did it and it sounded really good. The rhythmic balance of the composition is great and you labeled your chords right.

  • Nice work man. The rhythmic balance could be better but its pretty decent right now. I think the melody is playable as it isn’t too fast. You said that you meant to go to minor for a bit in the B section, and I […]

  • Harry Cheon commented on the post, Final Composition, on the site Nathan 11A 5 years ago

    I really liked you melody because I flows really well. I wished you had a good title, but I don’t think it matters too much. The melodic balance is very good throughout the composition. Your chords are labeled […]

  • The rhythmic balance in the composition is questionable because you have a lot of sixteenth and eighth notes. I liked you melody though. Your chords aren’t labeled throughout the piece and I think that is going to […]

  • Harry Cheon commented on the post, 24 Bar Ternary Final, on the site Andrew's Portfolio 5 years ago

    The melodic and rhythmic balance between phrases are really good. But I found some disjunct movements too disjunct. I would have liked it to be a bit more subtle but other than that, I really enjoyed it. […]

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