Art can inspire creativity and motivate us to work towards goals, and for the students of class 8A music is the art form that inspires and motives them. They were lucky enough to have a homeroom teacher in grade 7 who also ran the middle school music program. Their experience in music class with Teacher Dominic led four of them to decide to start their own band in their first semester of grade 8, and Hentai Sensei was born.
Bob started playing piano when he was only 3 years old, and over the years has learned to play the drums, Chinese flute, and ukulele. 2 years ago he decided to learn to play guitar and bass because they are “the core of the band”. He practices as often as he can to improve his playing but also so his parents will see how important music is to him. Bob likes to play the role of band leader, bringing songs to his bandmates to work as a team to decide what to play together. “Music is part of my life,” he says, “a routine every week I can’t live without.”
Sunny has been playing piano for 10 years, and her dedication shows in her skills on the keys. Although piano is her instrument in the band, she can also play ukulele and guitar. Her melodies add a rich tapestry to the songs they play together, and give credence to her view that “music is a language that helps people communicate without words.”
Lucas has been singing for 9 years, but only started learning to play guitar and bass after a suggestion from Bob at the beginning of the school year. In the band, Lucas holds down the musical rhythm section. He plays for the love of music because “it’s fun, and I’ve liked music since I was 6.”
Keeping the beat at the back of the stage is Patrick, who has been drumming for 8 years. Although he prefers rock music to some of the slower styles Sensei plays, he has loved drumming since the first time he saw it and is always keen to practice and improve his skills.
They played their first show in front of a rocking audience at the Shuren-Ribet Lawn Party Music Festival, who gave them a loud cheer and voracious applause. They’re currently practicing at lunch whenever they can, focusing on the jazz standard Blue Bossa and the 60s classic Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, which they hope to play at an event at the school in the coming months.
In the future they hope to write some original songs, but for now they are having fun playing together and practicing to improve their musical chops. They want to show their teachers and fellow students the power of music and inspire them to follow in their footsteps with their own music groups, and hope to expand the music program and facilities here at Shuren to support the musicians of the future.