音樂劇(Musical Theatre) 永恆不滅的價值;而音樂劇教育 (Musical Theatre Education)對一個學生來說,所帶來的根本影響力更不容忽視。

或許一般人認為音樂劇教育,著重嚴格的唱歌、跳舞、演戲訓練,所謂「台上一分鐘,台下十年功。」;但除了技術訓練以外,我們更看重的是,每一位學生經歷這些頗為嚴格訓練的時候,所磨練出來的精神價值,包括:守時、守紀律、團結、尊重、勇於求變、提升自我、無私及協助他人等精神,從而深入發掘及認識自我價值,且明白每個人都有其長處及天賦能力,學懂欣賞自己也欣賞別人,亦藉此擴闊學生藝術視野,提升個人品味,令生活質素提高,生活更快樂。而快樂 - 就是我所說的不容忽視的能量。

一個音樂劇製作看似複雜不簡單,但其內涵、本質都不離開基本:演繹出劇中角色靈魂,活生生地呈現於舞台上,給觀眾情感上的共鳴及生活中的一點提示。我們未必需要華麗萬分的舞台佈景,成本昂貴的戲劇服裝,技藝超凡的表演者等等來創作一個有意思,甚至乎是令人印象深刻(Impressive) 的音樂劇。一個簡單而貼近生活的創作,一夥純粹且真誠的心,一班人整齊地將最簡單、不花巧的動作,帶有能量的、流暢地演、跳、唱出來,就是一個令人印象難忘的演出。

我希望經Mermen訓練出來的學生,不一定要跟電影《大娛樂家》("The Greatest Showman") 中那班熱情、才華橫溢、奇特且看得人目定口呆的表演者一樣,但能從他們身上學習及體會到 - 表演是一種學習自重的藝術。不被世俗眼光打沉,只為每天追求比昨天好,當你追求到的時候,享受那股成功的快樂同時,也不需要驕傲,繼續以愛和包容繼續向前走。

在眾多藝術教育取向選擇中,複雜、花巧但不必要的,我選擇省略它。

向祟高的人性音樂劇教育出發!

Musicals has eternal value.

It is not a product of popular culture.  It stands the test of time no matter the trend.  Unfortunately, with a unitary social development and distorted educational ecology, Hong Kong has seen less and less quality musical training.  Musicals has hence become a candle in the wind.

I cannot but worry about the future of Hong Kong musical education when the Education Bureau stresses “Life Planning”.  After all, Hong Kong is dwarfed by most, if not all, big cities in the world, regarding long-term planning in arts and culture and also creative industries.  Even if a student dreams to be a professional musical performer, there is a long uphill battle awaits.  Why?  You may ask.  I will answer with a fact - the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) has ceased organizing professional musical programme for years now.  Just how can we nurture the next generation to be a professional musical performer? 

This is indeed a vicious cycle.  Without professional musical programme, students would give up on becoming a performer, and hence the academies put no resources into it.  Let’s  not talk about nurturing professional musical performers first; we don’t even stand a chance to teach them as simple as what is musicals.  This is exactly why we focus on the essence and value of musicals in our courses.   Through different forms of pedagogy, not only the students' interest towards musicals is deepened, but their potential in performing can also be realized.  They will learn how to appreciate the substance and value of musicals as an art form as well, thereby broadening their horizons and develop their taste in art.

We believe that effective teaching can be achieved through 1) enlightening the students to think broad and deep; 2) demonstrating in deeds on top of words; 3) taking an easy-to-understand approach with profundity, and 4) providing efficient repetitive training.

Our musical courses outweigh the counterparts in theatre education in the sense that the quality of the final performance is guaranteed.  It is our goal to correct the idea of "musicals = expensive production".  Many schools have always believed that putting on a musical means a waste in both money and manpower, and short training courses can only give the students a taste of musicals instead of letting them amount to anything. 

The truth is - musicals is much more flexible than other kinds of theatre education.  An excellent musical performance requires no magnificent backdrop, extravagance costume, nor exaggerating makeup.  In fact, there are plenty of musical masterpieces are down-to-earth creations.  Thanks to the rich layers brought by the music, a small musical production is good enough to be spectacular.  Compared to the experimental theatre productions or those with an abstract plot, the quality of musical production is better guaranteed.   From the parents' and the teachers' standpoint, the results of musical production are more appreciable and tangible.  Simply put, no matter the students, teachers or parents can get satisfaction out of it.

As a performing art, musicals means much more than merely adding entertaining elements or beautiful songs to the performance.   In a musical, feelings and emotions are sublimated and then conveyed to the audience through songs.  It's a kind of connection.  For children and youth, participating in a musical not only helps them to grow interests in arts, develop a healthy mind, but also allow them to better understand themselves - read the complicated thoughts and emotions deep down.  All in all, taking part in musicals is of great benefit to their personal growth.

Mermen Musical School perfectly embodies my philosophy.  The importance of musicals should be recognized and valued, and our future generations deserve a better musical education!