The Complete Guide to Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Festival

The Complete Guide to Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Festival

By ILK Post

   March 12, 2021


Under the pandemic, the Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Organisation has converted their competitions to video format since last year. Participants need to continue recording their performances in advance and upload videos to the online form following official "Specifications of Video Recording", "Procedures for Submission" and the competition rules. ILK Learning organizes 3 important notes on video-submission competition to make sure parents understand the new arrangement, with some video recording tips for your kid to stand out from other fellow contestants:

Entry requirements

The 73rd Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival

The registration date for The 73rd Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival is from August 23th (10:00 am) to September 27th (5:00 pm), 2021. The deadline for submitting cheques for registration fees is September 29th, 2021.

This year's speech festival will continue to maintain the following special arrangements - only individual/two-person projects, including:

  • Solo Verse Speaking (1-70)
  • Solo Prose Speaking - Open (139-148)
  • Solo Prose Reading - Non-Open (158-175)
  • Bible Speaking (188)
  • Public Speaking Solo (192-196)
  • Shakespeare Monologue (212-215)
  • Solo Dramatic Performance (216-220)
  • Dramatic Duologue (223-225)
  • News Feature Presentation (238-240)

All full-time or half-time students, as well as full-time university and post-secondary students, who are studying in Hong Kong's secondary schools, primary schools, kindergartens, special schools, and full-time university and post-secondary college students aged from 5 to 23 can participate. University and post-secondary college students can sign up to participate in the project N300 (open group verse or prose solo speech).

Related blog: How Debating And Public Speaking Benefit Your Children?

The 74th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

The registration date for The 74th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival is from September 30th (10 am) to October 28th (5 pm). The deadline for submitting registration fee cheques is November 1st, 2021. Members of the Hong Kong Schools Music and Recitation Association can register for students, and some schools will register for students. Therefore, parents should confirm with teachers before registering on their own.
  • Duo Entry: covers duet, a violin sonata, cello sonata and art song classes
  • Solo Entry: covers solo and original composition classes
  • Open Classes: there are specific age requirements according to class. Professional musicians are not allowed to participate.
  • Scholarship Classes: participants have to be aged 23 or below and are whole-day school students. First-prize winners of any classes are not allowed to enroll in the same class.
Related blog: Through Learning Arts to Develop Kid’s CQ & EQ

Enrolment

Different from previous years, to achieve the best effect of pandemic prevention, the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival and Speech Festival will only accept online registration. ​​Members must log in to the Online Enrolment System (OES) for the registration process. In-person registration would no longer be accepted. Parents can still register for their children if they are members. Note that each entry form is limited to only one competition. Members can mail or submit the following documents to the office in person to complete the entire registration process (remember to register in the Online Enrolment System beforehand!):
  1. Payment Advice (PA)- can be downloaded from the OES system; and
  2. Cheque or Cashier’s Order (each payment advice can only be paid with one cheque or cashier’s order for registration fee)
If the participant is a university / post-secondary student, they must submit photocopies of their student ID cards with their entry forms. *Note the deadlines:
  • Speech Festival: September 29, 2021, or before
  • Music Festival: November 1, 2021, or before

Submission

After registration, members can download the "Entry Form Receipt" (EFR) on behalf of the participating students. Participants will receive the same number of "Competition Notification" as the number of entries to prove their identity. Parents/teachers can download the above documents required for the competition from the official website and distribute them to participating students:
  • Speech Festival: From 10 am on November 2, 2021
  • Music Festival: From 10 am on January 4, 2022
The video must be saved in MP4, WMV, MOV or MPG format, and the file size must not exceed 2GB.

How to make the best video?

Want to help your child achieve the best performance with the best video quality? The following aspects are essential:

Venue

The rules of the competition specify that any video editing and visual effects are prohibited. To add, video recording guidelines understate the requirements of the venue: shooting indoors with a simple background and a quiet environment, and ensure sufficient brightness to avoid backlighting. The literal definition seems to be very simple. But if you think deeper, there are a lot of gray areas!  For example:
  • How to keep the luminosity average, so that the child can showcase his/her skills in the best condition?
  •  How to ensure that the venue is "quiet" so that children will not be disturbed in any way?
  •  What is the definition of a “simple background”?  Do you need to relocate furniture and decorations at home?
From the setting of the venue, lighting to the position where the child is standing, there is a lot of knowledge behind this!

Equipment

In addition to the venue, the video shooting guidelines also specify the need to "ensure the sound and picture synchronization and smoothness of the video" when recording. Video equipment such as lenses, cameras or even tripods will affect the quality and smoothness of the video.  Moreover, the video-shooting needs to be a  "one shot to the end" and "keep the lens stable."  To make the video the right length that is suitable for viewing, it is very important to choose the correct equipment! In addition, in Music Festival’s competitions, parents should also consider the quality of the instruments at home.  For example, for piano competitions, will it be necessary to rent a grand piano with better sound quality to better showcase your child’s skills?

Sound Recording

Whether your children are going to participate in the music festival or the speech festival, both competitions are scored based on sound quality.  According to the video shooting guidelines, the video must be radioed on-site, post-dubbing is not allowed, and the sound quality must be very clear.  Participants are not even allowed to use any headset-style equipment for sound recording purposes, otherwise, they will only receive reviews with no scores, ratings or awards.  In other words, the sound quality determines the final score of the contestants. However, parents with any video-shooting experience will know this truth: in the world of videos, even the sound of an air conditioner can suddenly become a deafening noise.  The importance of professional equipment is not comparable to ordinary mobile phones or tablets.  However, high-quality radio equipment, such as external microphones, set-top microphones, etc., could cost thousands of dollars , while cannot be used frequently.  Do you want to spend a lot of money to turn your home into a professional studio for the sake of only one competition? To solve the above problems, parents can of course consider spending a lot of time at home, to set up the video recording venue and purchase professional equipment.  But in fact, there are also many venues for renting or professional film recording services available in the market.  As always, ILK Learning has prepared and considered everything for you:  from audio equipment to set up the venue and even the video-shooting process, there is a one-stop video service designed for you. Learn More: ILK Production

Conclusion

Under the new arrangements, children need more technical support from parents and teachers. Parents can get to know more about video-recording rules and mark down important dates to help submit required documents for their children.  ILK Learning team wishes all contestants to have their best performances and enjoy the fun of music and speech. Do you want your kids to acquire different skills and knowledge even at home? Check out ILK Learning’s Course Catalog to find THE course for your kids! Feel free to reach out for more information on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram! We look forward to seeing your messages!

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