Posted & filed under This article is first published on the HCK Group website,

What could be a better way to reminisce such an important event if not through musical expression!

This is precisely what the Year 6 pupils of the Peninsula International School Australia (PISA) under the tutelage of the school’s Head of Music, Malcolm McCormick, did to usher in the significance of Malaysia’s 63rd Independence Day.

On Aug 27, the 13-member ensemble who have only started playing Gamelan (a royal musical heritage) since the beginning of term three after their return from the Movement Control Order (MCO) displayed their tenacity with instruments that are made of brass or iron and wood.

In fact, the showcase itself is a term unit where they learn the basic playing techniques and two of the songs from the Malaysian gamelan repertoire.

This academic unit which allows students to understand the musical traditions of Malaysia is in line with the Australian National Curriculum focus on “Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia” as a cross curricular priority.

According to McCormick, the pupils were given chances to familiarise themselves with each of the instruments which make up the Gamelan. Along the way, they also learnt a little about the history of the Gamelan in Malaysia.

“As this unit coincided with Merdeka Day, we were able to present the traditional arrangement of the song Perang Besar which is a music commonly used in ceremonies,” adds McCormick.