Daniel Sim, arranging the tempo of Prince Rupert’s music – Prince Rupert Northern View
Daniel Sim, music teacher at Charles Hays High School, has been teaching for two years. Music is her source of life, flowing like blood through her veins with different tempos and crescendos pumping her heart to the melodies of our city. But, teaching is his “partitur”, or passion.
“I have always been involved in music all my life. I started playing the piano at the age of six. I joined the group in sixth grade. I knew I wanted to be some kind of high school teacher. I chose the music.
“It’s mainly because I can communicate with the students. I really like the connection and these relationships. It’s also a lot of fun with the music. They all choose to take the course, so they all want to be here, ”he said.
Growing up in Port Alberni, near Vancouver, he moved to Prince Rupert for work at CHSS, just before the pandemic hit the damper pedal for a long, silent hold on the arts and music.
After high school, he spent five and a half years studying to impart his love of music to young people. He enrolled in the music program at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and completed it with a post-bachelor’s degree in education.
“I just wanted to start teaching. A friend here said it was a very good school. Also, my high school orchestra teacher said it was a good place to teach. She taught a bit here.
He initially said he wanted to teach closer to home and his family, but the available positions did not match his stars. Then the position in Prince Rupert became available.
“It sounds very familiar to me. It reminds me a lot of Port Alberni. And some people I’ve spoken to have even said that Port Alberni is like Prince Rupert of Vancouver Island.
He loves nature and trees, and of course the rain. He is used to the same climate.
As his little fingers tickled ivories when he was little, he can’t remember the first song he learned to play because, he said, it was so long ago. He wanted to follow his brother, who was three years older and already played the piano.
Music runs through her family thanks to her mother, who played the piano and the flute in the school orchestra.
Daniel took part in a few community recitals, and when he entered college he started playing the saxophone in the band. That he still plays today. As the group’s teacher, he agreed that he had to play a bit of everything, and he does.
“I have always felt pleasure with music. “
While many believe that music and the arts are topics that need to be cut for budgets and may not lead to “decent jobs,” Danielle disagrees and said music has helped her. to overcome a job search challenge because he had gotten a great job.
“Music is super important,” he said.
While the argument for keeping music in school may have some truth as it helps math, science and other academic subjects, he said he believes there is a point much more important which was often overlooked.
“Really, the argument I find is much better is that the students choose to take it. If there is no choice, students may not come to school. Some people come to school only for the electives they want to take.
He also believes that the argument that music helps math and science students may tip the scales unfairly and be misleading.
“It’s mostly university students who choose a group – and that would skew the numbers a bit,” he said, adding that some students, due to individual life circumstances, might not be able to choose one. group or music program.
Daniel said it was important to share music with others, which during COVID-19 became a challenge. Music and group students usually play concerts and participate in shows that parents and the public can attend. During COVID, this happened at a steep ‘fermata’.
As Remembrance Day 2020 approached, Daniel was thinking about ways to make school ceremonies virtual.
“We couldn’t have concerts. I wanted to share [the students] music in another way, ”he said.
Having only a small recording interface with a microphone, he recorded each student in the group paying their share individually. He had to overlay their parts on the computer to come together as a whole group playing a piece of music. The harmony orchestra class has 16 students, so it was “a bit of work,” he said, but he also teaches a grade 9 orchestra, jazz orchestra, choir, orchestra. of musical theater, as well as musical composition.
The students liked the idea of recording and wanted to do more. With a newer and larger interface and more microphones, it can now register students in sections. They have recorded several pieces, including jazz and concert groups.
He said parents and families just sing about it and love it because he can send them the music recordings and track their children’s musical progress.
The technology and processes he used to showcase his students’ musical achievements were recently featured in a BC Culture Days video in a production called “Regenerate.” The film featured over 18 local artists celebrating their different genres. He was contacted by the videographer and thought it would be “pretty cool” to feature the students in a video.
“I really wanted to show the students what they had been doing during the year and what they had learned while recording,” he said.
Sim said his work and music keep him quite busy. If he had to choose between sports, like Tae Kwon Do, curling, the football he played in his youth as well as much more recent college basketball and music, he said he would choose music no. ‘any day.
“I’m just better at music. I enjoy music more even though I found joy in sports, music is more enjoyable for me.
When he has free time to teach and rehearse after school on Matilda’s music production in high school this year, he said he just listens to music and plays songs on the piano.
The pandemic and the resulting restrictions have kept him from going out and meeting new people. Having always lived with his family nearby, the move to Prince Rupert has given him a lot more freedom, he said, which he loves.
“I definitely got better at being alone,” he said.
As for the future, he is looking forward to meeting more people.
“I waited until all the ensembles got back to their regular rehearsals so I could join the choir, the community group and probably play in the community musical,” he said, adding, “It’s never too late, never too late. If you want to do something, do it.
KJ Millar | Journalist
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