“Oh, I’m from the Music Elective Programme.”

My eyes widened and jaw dropped, as I stopped and stared at my friend who seemed embarrassed as she looked down at the floor. Music Elective Programme (MEP).

She must be very talented, having to be in the MEP at just Secondary 1. She would be taking higher music, but instead of a face filled with pride, she seemed more ashamed and shy than before. I never understood why she felt that way, until I came to take part in Drama Elective Programme when I was in Secondary 2 and took the Drama O’ Level subject when I was in Secondary 3.

What does it mean to be in an elective subject?

An elective programme is for Secondary 1 and 2 level while taking Higher elective is for Secondary 3 and 4. As for the O’ Level programmes, they begin in Secondary 3 and taken in Secondary 4 for most schools.

The Music Programme – Expression through Listening

Music connects different group of people together through the expression of the songs.

Both MEP and Music O’ Level are offered in many schools, but classes are only held in Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Catholic High School, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School, Cresent Girls’ School, Methodist Girls’ School, Tanjong Katong Girls’ School, Dunman High School, Raffles Girls’ School, Raffles Institution and Temasek Academy.

For A’ Levels, Music in Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Dunman High School, Raffles Institution and Temasek Junior College.

Surrounding myself with many friends who take Music (as well as being a musical-inclined person), I managed to find out more about the programme. I personally almost took Music as my O’Level subject as well, but the syllabus was not of my interest. Music focuses not only on classical music like History of a composer or even just pure playing of an instrument. Music also explores Asian music and learning about the techniques of composing a piece of music. Furthermore, there are camps and excursions that are held quite frequently, to allow students to explore!

The Art Programme – Expression through Crafts

Found this beautiful piece in SNCF’s office.

Art is very expressive, and it is offered in many schools. A lot of interested students take it up to build their foundation. It has many projects, exploring different kinds of arts ranging from painting to even stuff like carving. As my school specializes in the Arts, many students in my school take the Art O’Level programme and the standards are very high. The school walls were mostly decorated with the art drawn over the years, and I’ve been very impressed by them. Many of those around me who takes Art often find the subject difficult, but whenever the final product comes out, everything would seem magical! It is very satisfying as well!

The Drama Programme – Expression through Theatre

Can you spot me?

Only offered in 7 schools, my school is fortunate enough to have it offered as an O’ Level subject. Unlike most subjects, O level Drama is actually marked in Singapore, but not by any random teacher– it is actually marked by the school teachers! Like Music, Drama also has a written component. Drama is mostly on Theatre Studies, as students watch performances to learn from the professional.

Everything we do requires a skill, whether we are talented or not. At first, it seemed as though Electives are only for though who are talented as they are selected, but it is not necessarily so. Electives are definitely a good way to explore, and useful in learning and pursuing a career. However, if you are not in an Elective, don’t be too disappointed! Thanks to the MOE system, we are able to have CCA to explore some similar skills!

This article was brought to you by Tay Wan En Linette. A Secondary Four student who is pursuing her secondary school education at CHIJ Katong Convent. She was a student intern in SNCF, Campus and Youth team from 12 November to 16 November 2018. She enjoys writing, eating, making videos, drawing, composing music.