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How Northbridge uses music, movement and drama to develop natural young musicians

Jennifer Harris-Lowe
Jennifer Harris-Lowe (1 post) PYP and MYP Music Teacher View Profile

In our PYP music program at Northbridge International School Cambodia, we have been enjoying starting to use our new NUVO j-flutes in Grades 4 and 5. Ms Jennifer was lucky to be able to visit our sister Nord Anglia school BIS Ho Chi Minh City last year and learned a lot from the Music Director there, Mr Ian Alexander.

Northbridge Music

One of his recommendations was the j-flutes as they are very durable and living in Cambodia we struggle to find instrument repair technicians. They have proven to be very durable and as they are washable, we get to share a set of 28 instruments between around 150 students.

The students overcame that initial struggle of making a sound and are now able to play simple songs. It has really developed the students’ resiliency and risk-taking to start to learn a difficult instrument and they are now so proud of themselves!

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We have also been using more of the Orff approach of music education in the primary. Orff uses music, movement, drama, and speech to develop young musicians in a natural way. It has been a great way of bringing the other performing arts into the music room.

At the Festival of Lights performance, you may have noticed the use of xylophones and percussion instruments as well as some of the grades including some movement as part of their performance. That was integrated using an Orff approach and the students helped to create it.

The Orff approach is a great fit with the PYP and this is summed up well with a quote from the composer Carl Orff himself “Tell me, I forget, show me, I remember, involve me, I understand.”

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