The state of the arts

The state of the arts


edward wong
Students of Island School rehearse on 'Three Rupee Opera' in their school's hall. Photo: Edward Wong

The focus group organised by the Absolutely Fabulous Theatre Connection (Aftec) last Friday was a great success. Thank you to all the junior reporters who took the time to answer the surveys and to Cub Reporter Elise Choi Ho-yee for joining the discussion.

The Aftec team compiled a report from all your information.

1 Why you decide to start an instrument- or an art-related activity

‧ because your siblings play
‧ because your parents wanted you to
‧ because you believe it adds to your personality (makes you look smarter, enhances your character, etc)

2 What makes a good and a bad teacher

A good teacher -
‧ Is a friend
‧ Has a good relationship with the students
‧ Teaches you something more than just playing the piece (eg. background, history, why this, why that)

A bad teacher -
‧ Is intimidating
‧ Teaches nothing except playing the piece
‧ Forces student into his/her way without explanation
‧ Gives you the feeling that they hate you

3 What you learn from doing art

‧ It is another form of life experience
‧ Broadens horizons
‧ It is relaxing
‧ It can help release pressure
‧ Learns to be another person and learn from another person

4 Your impressions on competitions

‧ Nervous, scared
‧ Bad experience - because the teacher was very strict, hates practising the competition pieces
‧ Hates the pressure from competitions
‧ Enjoys competitions
‧ Likes strict teachers (teachers who explain with reasons)
‧ Enjoys competitions even though you know you're going to lose, because you can see how others do the same piece
‧ Hates competitions because "the winner takes it all, the loser has to fall" (lyrics from Abba song)
‧ Right amount of stress and competitiveness may be good - takes you onto a higher level

5 When and why you usually stop your art lessons

‧ When there is pressure
‧ When there is no room for improvement

6 How art changed you

‧ Makes you more mature
‧ Helps you to tackle stress
‧ Helps enjoy life more
‧ Knows how to interact with others
‧ Photo opportunities
‧ More confident

7 What you would be if there were no art in your life

‧ Shy and nervous
‧ Crazy
‧ Something will be missing

8 Art is...
‧ Personal
‧ Crazy
‧ Abstract
‧ Boring
‧ Educational
‧ Magical
‧ Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (the Mary Poppins magic word)
‧ Everything
‧ About creativity
‧ Essential
‧ Enriching
‧ Painfully beautiful
‧ Something that changes you

9 Your wishes

Some of you wanted more promotions about the West Kowloon Cultural District. Others asked to improve links between the government and the arts and to include more art subjects in the NSS.

 Aftec is organising a symposium on arts in education with parents, teachers and government officials on March 24 and 25 at the Chai Wan Youth Centre. For more information, call 2520 1716, or visit  


Cub reporter Elise Choi Ho-yee shares her impressions of the talk

Elise Choi Ho-yee

  I was impressed by group leader Lynn Yau because she managed to make us talk. Everyone expressed their true feelings about the arts. What struck me most was that the students in the group who regularly attend arts-related activities were a lot more relaxed and confident than the others.

From the talk, I learned that failing at a competition isn't an end in itself. You don't have to give up your dream just because one judge gives you a low mark.

I also learned that having a good teacher is extremely important.

Talking to other people made me realise that I don't go out to see arts-related shows very often, even though there are plenty of events out there. I will ask my school teacher to provide more opportunities for us to visit theatres.




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