By KEVIN TAN
YOUNG performers who are keen to develop their talents are in for a treat as Dama Music Theatre has introduced a creative arts project for actors, singers and musicians.
The SPB Dama Young Artist project, launched in conjunction with the organisation’s 20th anniversary celebration, aims to increase the knowledge, skill and creativity among young people in creative arts.
“The youth project is the first of its kind and it’s an enhancement programme for young people to discover their talents and fulfil their potential,” said programme and artistic director Pun Kai Loon.
The programme – separated to music and theatre categories – is a nine-month course available to performers aged 18 to 30.
“I think young people have a better sense of adventure and that is what the project is all about. We want them to really discover who they are and what they can do,” said Pun.
While the theatre programme is already up and running, the music programme however is set to begin early next month.
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) music department senior lecturer Loo Fung Chiat and Universiti Malaya cultural centre deputy director Loo Fung Ying are in charge of the music programme where participants will receive lessons on music arrangement and composition, musicality, and master classes for respective instruments.
Besides musicality and technicality, the facilitators will also emphasise on performance – touching on showmanship and the importance of projecting the right expressions when performing.
“It’s important to be able to play well (solo) and in a group. But it is also very important to be able to ‘perform’. Body movements and expression while playing music makes a difference,” said Fung Ying.
The programme, supported by the National Culture and Arts Department, will place participants in an environment where they learn and train in groups. Participants will also get to build their own ensembles and quartets to train and perform.
“We are moving away from the conventional way of teaching music. A music class is typically done in a one-on-one setting, and sometimes it can get boring. At the same time, we don’t want to spoon feed, but instead really help the students discover their potential and improve their creativity,” explained Fung Ying.
The programme hopes to provide its students the necessary skills to create music (a process that is called “musicing”) for theatre plays – where they would create specific pieces for various scenes in a play.
“We help students open up to different genres in music, and not to be biased or stuck with one specific genre. This will help them broaden their musicianship and understand music better,” said Fung Chiat.
Pun reiterated that the programme truly serves to build young musicians and help them explore and discover new things, and to create “explosions of music”.
“We’re not here to create superstars, but we’re here to bring different people together as a community to share our passion,” said Pun.
At the end of the course, the SPB Dama Young Artist participants will collaborate to produce the Hansel And Gretel musical for their graduation ceremony, which will be open to public.
The SPB Dama Young Artist (music project) will conduct its auditions on November 29 and 30. To enrol in the nine-month course, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For other enquiries, call 03-6201 9108.