BSB Year 9 student Saraine Chan described her inspirational trip to the "Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard" in Switzerland. The 2 weeks programme was designed by the world-renowned Juilliard School and was held on 9th -22nd July, 2016 at our sister school, College du Leman.
1. What was a typical day like?
We go to breakfast at 7:30 every morning and classes start at 8:00. We practise our choral songs for around an hour and then we would join the people from the orchestra and have lessons. They change every day and they include lessons like a rhythmic lesson, dance, yoga etc. After that, we have lunch which lasts for an hour and then we have festival choir, which is where all the students from the camp sing choir songs and preparing for the final performance on the last day. We would then have our own practice time where we can practise anything we want or have private lessons with our teacher. The last lesson of the day would be back to singing choral songs until 5:00.
When we go back to our dorm rooms, the house parents would organise some activities for us to do as a group (swimming, basketball, tag, badminton etc.).
2. What did you learn?
I learnt a lot about classical and Broadway music since that was what we mainly focus on. We practised a lot on breathing and how we can sing or how we can accurately pronounce words in a foreign language.
3. How did the programme help your knowledge of music and/or performing arts?
I learnt more about how the teachers there do every day and I have gained more confidence singing in front of people since I know more about the different techniques there are in singing.
4. What surprised you? (If anything?)
I was surprised by the number of people there were in the choir. There were only 9 of us and we had to be separated into 3 groups, which meant there were only 3 people per group. This meant that when we were performing, we had to sing really loud so the piano or orchestra won’t cover our voices.
5. Did you make any new friends? Did you perform music together, and, if yes, how was it structured?
I made a lot of friends on this trip, since there were only around 40 people. We learnt a lot about each other in those 2 weeks and it was really interesting to know why and what they did before they came to this camp. I was friends with all the people in the choir and every day we would perform to each other, as an individual or as our group of 3.
6. Would you recommend the experience to others? Why?
I think it was a great experience because I learnt a lot on this camp, you get to meet new people who share the same ambition as you but they may have a different experience but it’s something that you can learn from.
7. What was it like to work with Juilliard staff?
The staffs there was very supportive and since there is such a small group of people they know you very well and they also know the things we have to improve on to make us better. Since they have a lot of experience on performing, they would tell us what we can do in different situations or how you can study a song before you sing it. They also taught us a lot about our posture and how it can affect our voice.
8. Did you have to prepare any music before the programme? Did you perform there?
I didn’t prepare any music before the programme but when we got there, Rachel, our choir teacher gave all of us an individual song to sing and we performed it to the whole camp towards the end.
9. Did you have fun? How did they make learning music/performing arts fun?
I had a lot of fun, mainly with the students and teachers at the camp. They would make up really weird warm up exercises which would brighten up your mood before you start singing at the start of the day. The activities we had everyday which helps you learn but also having fun.
10. Please share anything else that made this experience unique or special for you.
This camp was a really unique experience for me because I made a lot of new friends who inspired me because of their ambition towards thing and a really special bond that we created in the course of 2 week. My birthday also came up during the camp, although it was the first time I spent my birthday away from my family, it was really special because there were a lot of surprises that were planned, and really creative gifts that were given.
Click below to read more about our Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Curriculum at BSB.