Erin Wight is the Juilliard Music Curriculum Specialist for BSB Shunyi. She has visited the school several times and worked with our students. Due to the current travel restrictions, she is unable to come here in person, but Erin is still working with our students and staff virtually!
Here are some examples of how we are collaborating with our Juilliard specialist from a distance:
Earlier this year, we sent Erin videos of the Y13 IB Music students performing one of their recital pieces. She watched them and then made personalised videos for each of the four boys, providing them with feedback. The Y13s were very flattered to have a Juilliard expert on the other side of the world involved in the preparation for their IB recital. And Erin told me afterwards that she was thrilled to do it – not only was it something we had never done before in our collaboration, but she was also very excited to hear some new pieces of music, chosen by students!
If you had dropped into a Year 9 music class earlier this month, you would have seen a laptop in the back with Erin’s face on the screen. She was watching Mr. Maia’s lesson from the Juilliard Creative Classroom on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, and she had a great time observing the students exploring the piece. Using a small musical idea borrowed from Beethoven as their starting point, students experimented with their own ways of varying and extending a musical motive to create a larger musical idea. She writes: “It was great to hear this class's creativity in action on the keyboards!” Mr. Maia also commented on the experience: “It's always great to have a Juilliard specialist to touch base with during the preparation of the lesson. In this visit we discussed ideas and strategies to have the students fully engaged in the activities, which are designed to provide them with a holistic approach to learning.”
Behind the scenes, Erin is working with each member of the Music Department on various projects for different ages. It is always a joint effort: we ask for ideas on which Juilliard lessons to use or strategies in the classroom, and Erin asks us afterwards how it went with the students and feeds back any suggestions teachers have to the Juilliard programme. Erin says: “I'm looking forward to hearing more about Y7's deep dive into elements of Folk Music with Mr. Piotrowski, and am excited to be a "virtual guest" once more to check out Y2's explorations of ostinato with Mrs. Piotrowska!”
It is a wonderful collaboration, and BSB is very lucky to have such an involved music specialist as Erin!
Director of Performing Arts