SOTA: School of the Arts Singapore

Touching hearts through arts in a pandemic

Published on Sep 01, 2020

When COVID-19 worsened and the nation entered a period of Circuit Breaker, our students and alumni sprang to action to do what they could for people around them. From raising funds for those in need to lifting spirits through music and dance, the many initiatives by our young aspiring artists showed the importance and power of the arts during difficult times. Read on for some examples of how our students and alumni have brought hope and comfort to others with their artistic talents!

Appreciation messages to SOTA community
Students and parents showed their appreciation to SOTA staff

Within the SOTA community, students showed their appreciation to the staff through handmade cards and care packs. The SOTA Parents also prepared fruit cups as a sign of gratitude to the staff who help keep the school safe daily. Just before the Circuit Breaker, a group of Year 6 students gathered donations from their cohort mates and teachers and penned appreciation notes for our canteen vendors whose business would be affected by the school closures. Such thoughtful gestures!

Appreciation messages to healthcare workers
Students penned appreciation messages to healthcare workers

When our healthcare workers were doing their best to manage the situation earlier in January and February, each class penned appreciation messages to cheer them on.

Simran, Zoe and Amni showing their support through song
Using their voices, Simran, Zoe and Amni thanked frontline workers and showed support to Singaporeans through song.

Outside of school, Year 2 Literary Arts student Simran Kaur Sidhu wrote, performed and directed a song dedicated to frontline workers. The upbeat original piece was a wonderful way to keep our spirits up during the Circuit Breaker. Listen to it HERE. Year 2 Theatre student Zoe Rowe was part of Stay at Home, Singapore, a project that supports The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. We were pleased to see alumna Amni Musfirah (Music, 2012) in the video HERE with Zoe!

Sewing masks with Sowing Room
Photo courtesy of Sowing Room

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) groups in SOTA explored new ways to contribute to the community during this period of time. Sowing Room CAS worked with social enterprise Sowing Room to sew masks, while Wonder CAS presented a series of videos to help Primary School students learn more about different art techniques from the safety of their homes.

Initiatives by alumni
Initiatives by SOTA alumni
(top row) Dance alumni thanked airline staff through dance, Jasmine Ong's (top right corner) rendition of 'Imagine'
(bottom row) Natasha da Costa coordinated a music video with friends from MDAS, Iswarya Jayakumar 'dancing alone together', Treat or Trick by Nah Jie Hui

Many of our alumni also showed their support in various ways. A group of Dance alumni returning from the New Zealand School of Dance performed a meaningful dance to thank the airline staff for the safe flight home. Jasmine Ong (Music, 2018) and her friends from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) came together virtually for a lovely rendition of John Lennon's Imagine. Natasha da Costa (Music, 2019) coordinated a music video with fellow SOTA alumni and friends from Muscular Dystrophy Association Singapore (MDAS). Singing Michael Jackson's Heal the World, they joined their voices to show support and appreciation to our frontline workers, migrant workers, and the Singapore community. Iswarya Jayakumar (Dance, 2013) initiated a beautiful dance relay featuring 22 artistes from all over the world. This movement of 'dancing alone together' truly represents solidarity and spread hope during the pandemic where people were physically apart. Nah Jie Hui (Visual Arts, 2017) co-created a card game Treat or Trick for adults and children to learn about microbiology and contribute to The Courage Fund. Currently a medical student, Jie Hui hoped to share her passion for medical education and support her colleagues on the frontline through this game. Victoria Chen (Theatre, 2012) was part of the Hopefull project, an initiative that taps on community resources to help needy families. With a group of like-minded friends, Victoria put together 'The Tinker Kit', which consists of arts and crafts materials, activity sheets, simple science experiments and more to help children from these families.

Our students and alumni truly exemplify the SOTA value of people-centredness in these initiatives as they use their artistic talents for the good of others. We are proud of these young cultural leaders in the making!

Note: Some initiatives were completed at the beginning of 2020, before safe distancing measures were mandated.