Thursday, January 22, 2015

Back To School 2015

I have been neglecting my blogs. It is like this every year. Around November and December, I usually don't blog so that I can spend more time with the kids who are home for the school holidays. After that I lose my momentum and it is hard to get back on track.

As usual, so much has happened and so much to write about but they're all in my head at the moment.

For now, just a quick update.

This year 2015 sees a change for us with one kid attending afternoon session school and another in the morning session. There is a lot more coordinating and scheduling involved. They haven't started their school extra curricular activities yet. Once that starts there will be even more scheduling as one has to go to school early for activities while the other has to stay back in school.

The boy is lucky to have a proactive teacher this year. However, he appears to be having a small problem getting everyone to cooperate in a project he is leading. This is his first time leading a project in a class which he has just recently joined. The others know each other from a few years so I think that is the problem. He has to learn a lot of things all at once, leadership skills, how to get everyone to submit research work to him on the pen drive and how to put everything together in powerpoint and later to present it with his group of 11 members. A real challenge for him.

The girl did not get off to a good start. According to her she was the first person to be scolded in front of the whole class on the first day of secondary school. However, everyday when she gets home she excitedly tells me about different things they are doing in school. Secondary school is a whole new experience for her, learning new ways of learning, taking more responsibilities and getting more involved in various things, not only studying as what she had been doing in primary school.

Its only been 1 1/2 weeks to the school new year. I hope they both have a good school year in 2015.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

How To Attempt The ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory On Composition

Music Notes
Music Notes
My kids are struggling with composition for their ABRSM Grade 5 music theory. I found these two wonderful videos to help them with it.

The first video below on composition for Grade 5 is by Music Matters Grade 5 Theory on Composing a Melody. It is presented by ABRSM Examiner Gareth Green. He has presented the topic on Composing in a clear and easy to understand manner.

The second video below is on How To Pass Grade 5 Theory on Composition. It is presented by Alison M. Sparrow who has a channel on YouTube called The Online Piano And Violin Tutor. She has included a free printable composition checklist in pdf format. Do watch out for the link in the video. It is very useful as a basic checklist for students attempting composition  or writing a melody questions for the first time.

Finally, from my favorite site for learning Music theory,, do read up this lesson on Composing a Melody General Tips and Composing a Melody for Instruments.

You should get a very good idea on how to attempt the composition question for ABRSM's Grade 5 Theory On Composition with these references. Good luck to you and to us too.

How To Apply For MyKad Or IC For 12 Year Old In Malaysia

In the blink of an eye my child is 12 years old. Time really flies. My girl turned 12 in May but we didn't have time to apply for her IC then so we left it till now. Anyway, here is the procedure. It is very simple especially if you are the parent accompanying the child.

Go to the nearest JPN (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara) with your child. You will need to bring along original copies of your own IC and the birth certificate of your child. You do not need to photocopy these documents. The original copy is all that is required.

Collect the application form at the counter and fill it up and take a number. Once your number is called, proceed to the counter with your original documents. Digital thumbprints will be taken for both you and your child. The photograph for the IC or MyKad is taken right there and then on the spot at the counter itself.

That's it. You're done. You can collect your IC in 3 working days. The picture below shows the flowchart of the process which I took from the JPN at Jalan Duta.

As for the fee, you will not have to pay any fee if you apply for the IC within 30 days from the date your child turns 12. Otherwise, you will need to pay a processing fee of RM10 and a compound of RM1 for the first year and higher for subsequent years but not much. You have up to age 16 to apply for the IC.

This post is only for parents applying for IC. If you are a guardian, one who is related like a grandparent or sibling, or an unrelated guardian, or if you are living overseas, you may need extra documentation.

Here is the JPN website for Permohonan MyKad Bagi Kanak-Kanak 12 Tahun or the procedure on how to apply for MyKad For 12 Year olds. You can read up the details or any changes from this link.

Flowchart for MyKad Application
Flowchart for MyKad Application

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory - Instruments Of The Orchestra

Musical Instruments

I'm learning Grade 5 music theory together with my kids because next year they will be sitting for the ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory. We're studying this chapter on Instruments of the Orchestra from this wonderful site for learning music theory. Every chapter comes with practice questions and answers. It is very useful for self learning.

Here are some other sites which we found useful for learning about Instruments of the Orchestra.

  1. SFSKids Fun With Music On Instruments Of The Orchestra - A marvelous site for teaching kids about the orchestra and instruments of the orchestra. It has many delightful features in its "Music Lab" for learning all about tempo, rhythm, pitch, harmony and more. Kids can view the instruments up close and turn it this way or that, listen to the sound it makes and read up about it. Very nice and fun for kids to learn about instruments of the orchestra.
  2. Philharmonia Orchestra on Instruments -  This is not just useful for kids. Adults may find it useful too. All the instruments of the orchestra are laid out in an easy to view page. Clicking on each one takes you to a video of the instrument at play with more details about it.
  3. Classics For Kids Interactive Chart Of The Instruments Of The Orchestra - It gives a very good basic overview of the instruments. You can click on any part, the strings, woodwind, brass or percussion section and read up about it in general. There are some music games for kids in the "Games" tab.
  4. Arts Alive The Instrument Lab - Here you can virtually listen and handle the instruments of the orchestra here by clicking and turning the instruments around. It runs on QuickTime Player.
  5. Education Portal on Instrument Families Of The Orchestra - Watch the video explaining the instruments of the orchestra here. This helps explains the instrument families with clarity. However, you only get to watch half of the video for free. 
That's it. If you've followed any of this links to play, read and watch, you will definitely understand the topic on Instruments of the Orchestra for Grade 5 Music Theory. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Free Printable January 2015 Calendar For Kids

For those whose school term begins in January 2015, you can print out this free calendar for kids with a back to school theme. It is a good way to get kids back to the groove. It will take some time for the children to get back into the momentum of school days and activity days and this calendar will help them adjust to their school routine again for the new school year.

For Malaysian students studying in National schools and Vernacular schools or private schools following the National syllabus, school starts on 4th January 2015 for schools in Kedah, Kelantan, Johor and Terengganu. Other states start their school year on 5th January 2015.

Download link for January 2015 Calendar For Kids
January 2015 Calendar For Kids
January 2015 Calendar For Kids
Other Useful Links/Printables:

1. Malaysian School Holidays 2015
2. Printable 2015 Calendar For Kids (Full Year)
3. 2015 Calendar With Malaysia School Holidays
4. Free Printable Blank Timetable For School Children
5. December 2014 Calendar For Kids
6. Free Printable Reward Chart For Kids


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