My training work covers three principal areas
I conduct programmes for Primary 3 and up (for lower primary pupils I feel choral verse or reader’s theatre is more effective at building oral confidence). Our secondary programmes have been well received (by kids and teachers) as have the adult oriented sessions for the Libraries.
The poetry is driven by my own love of writing, so I use a lot of my own material which is tailored to the age group and often contains local references. Choral Verse & Reader’s Theatre are both highly effective tools in developing oral confidence & expression and folktales transform into excellent RT scripts!
Drama is what brought me back to Singapore in 1978 as a specialist teacher at UWC. While I rarely get involved with productions now, I still enjoy conducting educational (process) drama sessions, mask and improv comedy workshops.
Storytelling is a powerful yet flexible tool with many applications in organisations. Recently (Sept 2016)
I was delighted to join the excellent team at Rohei to present a workshop on Managing Change for key healthcare professionals.
If you want to communicate your values, vision or who you are, either individually or as an organisation, a story is an effective way to make sure your audience not only listens but emotionally connects - and therefore responds with action.
Each of us has a story to tell. But the true artist is one who lives his life as though it were a story, and sees his life as a narrative.
… look at the infinite story-telling potential in every event. Had a quarrel with your spouse? Turn it, Walter Mitty-style, into a comic event. Humorist James Thurber’s character turned his mundane life into a heroic epic in his imagination.
Jilted in love? Had a fight with your daughter? Distil the emotion from that exhausting encounter, turn it into a work of art – if you are a writer, write a couple of lines,… a talker, a little anecdote to share with someone.
Look at events in your life not as though they are random, but as though they are meant and meaningful. Seek order and pattern, create harmony, in things that happen.
Act in a way that will make for harmony. End relationships with a sense of closure. That urge to make a story out of one’s life is instinctual for many. Think of how you met the love of your life: surely you have turned it into a story you tell each other?
Gone through a painful relationship and … the wound is still gaping? Time alone will not heal it. Only a sense of closure will do it. Do something ritualistic, symbolic of an ending.
The ancient theorists had it right, you see. We need catharsis, to be purged of pity and terror. And few thing do this as well as stories. This is the reason fairy tales, myths and parables are so powerful. Every child knows the terror of some bedtime stories. Every religious leader couches profound truths in simple stories.
Stories. Life is all about them. Imagine, a new year, 1999, a blank canvas, a pristine book, in which to paint, write or imagine all sorts of stories.
LIFE IS A STORY
(Lifelines, Chua Mui Hoong, Life!, 1/1/1999)
Great stories are everywhere.
A good story teller
a good observer.
— Marshall Ramsey
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