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A Visit from Juilliard

As part of the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts collaboration, we have had the privilege of welcoming Paul Murphy, our Juilliard curriculum specialist, into school this week.

  • Paul and APS Jazz Band

His week began with a fantastic performance in our performing arts assembly for the upper school on Monday morning. He demonstrated the different tones possible on the trumpet and played a beautiful haunting version of Debussy’s ‘Girl with the Flaxen Hair’. He then joined the British International School jazz sextet for a wonderful performance of Thelonius Monk’s ‘Blue Monk’, one of the core works Juilliard have introduced into our curriculum. Thanks also to Emily Kim and Sanny for their fine performance on cello and piano.

Paul also spent time observing all the music staff teaching and gave feedback on our use of the Juilliard Creative Classroom. This series of works and resources are excellent additions to our curriculum and the music team are working hard to embed them into our lessons effectively.

During his observations, Paul spent time showing the students how to improve their sense of pulse with some games and exercises. Paul also gave an informative session speaking to the Year 12 International Baccalaureate class and talked about his path to being a professional musician and Juilliard Alumni and the interview and audition process for college and professional work.

Tuesday saw Paul working with Mr Jonathan at Tu Xuong Campus. He was treated to a lesson on Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ with Year 5 and also gave May a trumpet lesson and a performance to Key Stage 2.

Paul joined the various school ensembles for rehearsals and was impressed with the number of students involved in the extracurricular groups in all campuses.

On Wednesday Mr Paul worked with the An Phu Primary children and supported lessons with Year 1 and Year 6. In Year 6, he helped children to look at the core work of Thelonious Monk’s ‘Blue Monk’ which children then compared and contrasted to ‘Blues Before Sunrise’. Children were also given the opportunity to question Mr Paul on the use of the trumpet in Blues ensembles.

In Year 1, Mr Paul took part in a discovery lesson looking at music from Mozart’s, ‘The Magic Flute’. The children learnt about the different rhythmic vocal patterns used in opera. Mr Paul then led an assembly in the afternoon, providing all of the APP children with an insight into the various timbres of the trumpet and performed to the delight of his audience. Mr Simon and Mr Carl were also given a snapshot of how to play the cornet, using quiet breath and good lip position.

We look forward to Paul’s next visit to British International School in February when he will working further with students and staff.

Ian Alexander, Director of Music

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