This week has been pretty eventful – we visited 湖墅学校 twice, and I also got the opportunity to visit the Yamaha manufacturing factory for pianos and guitars!

We visited 湖墅学校 on Monday and Friday. On Monday, we were interacting with Grade 1 to 3 children, and we decided to host a paper aeroplane competition for them. It was an eye-opening experience for me because it’s the first time I’ve been put in a position to teach small children. What’s more, these children are different as they are more hyperactive and have much shorter attention span than usual. I was paired with this girl from Grade 1, and it was extremely hard to get her attention on the paper as I was teaching and demonstrating how to fold the aeroplane. We eventually managed to fold one together, and she enjoyed throwing it around! Subsequently, as most of the Grade 1s didn’t manage to make a paper plane, we spent time in their classroom interacting and playing their toys with them, while the Grade 2s and 3s went outdoors to compete. Interacting with the children and playing with them made me think a lot about how every little action we do affects the things they learn. For example, if they drop a toy, guiding them to pick it up themselves versus picking it up for them might lead to different results. As most of us are handling children for the first time, we tend to be more careful with our actions and the things we say, and I feel that this is eye-opening for the teachers here as well, because they get to see a fresh perspective on how these children can be interacted with. This allows them to improve their ways of teaching and interacting these children.

On Friday, we were tasked with interacting with the Grade 4 to 9 children. With the help of some talented dancers in our TFI group, we decided to teach the children how to dance a simple dance! It was slightly easier than on Monday because the children are older and they can follow instructions well. I was happy to see the teachers and children all dancing together, especially when they mastered it! Both sessions were very energy-consuming, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment to see the children having fun and learning something in the process, especially as I never feel that I’m good with children. I hope 湖墅学校 is happy to have us around and I can’t wait to for our next session!

Assembly in the morning

In between our sessions, I managed to get the opportunity to visit Yamaha’s factory for manufacturing pianos and guitars! As a musician it is extremely eyeopening to see how all the different parts fit together in one whole manufacturing process. The most amazing thing I observe is how everything is optimized for the quality and efficiency of the production process.

All the materials are brought to a single location. This means that the instruments are crafted from start to end in one location. This reduces the amount of movement required from one location to another, hence reducing the chances and extent of the instrument parts taking damage due to transport and handling. In addition, all the equipment and procedures used are designed for the specific task. For example, the whole area for piano assembly had rails on the floors to allow for smooth transport of the instrument across the floor, there were dedicated rooms with dedicated hardware and software for tuning of the instruments, and so on. Equipment for the employees’ use are also optimized for the job. For example, the types of gloves used by the employees to allow for both protection and precision, the height of the chairs used and how they have wheels and a small compartment to put tools in. The tables that the employees used in the guitar manufacturing floor were even more impressive. Every table had padding to prevent damage and were shaped with holes to suit the task at that station, be it sanding, buffing, or anything else.

This shows how much thought is put in crafting out the manufacturing process, step-by-step. I think for any procedure we should try to optimize every single step as well, in both quality and quantity. As a musician, I am glad to see that the instruments are well crafted in Yamaha’s factories.

That’s it for this week, see you soon!

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