Nord Anglia Education’s (NAE) collaboration with The Juilliard School, through the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme, is a step on our journey towards transforming what quality education means today.
At the heart of our ethos is our philosophy ‘Be Ambitious’ — ambitious for our students, teachers and staff, ambitious for our curriculum and ambitious for our schools. For us, this means creating learning experiences that lead to academic, personal and social success for our students, equipping them with key skills, attitudes and attributes that will empower them to achieve success anywhere in the world once they’ve left our schools. To achieve this, we need to review and evolve our education offer on a regular basis.
An acceptance of the status quo is common among many schools, who use league tables of examination results as a yard stick by which to measure themselves. In our schools, this ‘business as usual’ just isn’t good enough. We need to think carefully about how we develop an education which prepares young people for the future, for jobs which don’t exist yet — an education that ignites their curiosity and creativity and constantly challenges and broadens their horizons.
Bringing excellence to every classroom
At Nord Anglia Education, we believe that one way to ignite curiosity and creativity, and truly inspire our students is to collaborate with leading institutions from around the world to bring their excellence into our classrooms.
Working with leaders in the field is inspirational. How many times can any of us say we have experienced what it’s like to work with one of the best? We want it to be a daily occurrence for every student and teacher in our schools, and our collaboration with The Juilliard School does exactly that.
Orchestrating excellence by focusing on the performing arts
Some of you may ask why focus on the performing arts when we know how much weight is placed on other subjects? We believe the performing arts are the creative keys that can unlock many of those skills that inspire children to engage with their studies and love learning.
Expecting every student to develop into a world-leading musician, actor and dancer is not the focus of this programme. Rather using the world's best expertise and the power of performing arts to enable our students to develop transferrable, life-long skills. We do, however, want to use their expertise and the power of the performing arts to inspire and engage our students, to develop their creativity and innovation, to improve their self-confidence, empathy and compassion and to give them a medium for self-expression.
Our collaboration with Juilliard sets us apart from other schools. Delivered exclusively to our students, the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme has Nord Anglia teachers working together with Juilliard’s curriculum specialists to develop resources that enhance the way we teach our performing arts curriculum and promote excellence. In doing so, we believe your child will engage and connect with music, dance and drama at a much deeper level.
It is well documented that young people relate to the performing arts in ways that can rarely be replicated in other subjects. If we can ignite their love of learning using music, dance and drama. we can ensure it flows across all the subjects they learn at school.
Nord Anglia Education’s collaboration with Juilliard is the first of several collaborations that we are implementing in our schools, but it is very important for a number of reasons. It links directly to our vision to provide a holistic education – one that helps shape our young people to go out into the world as engaging, culturally aware global citizens. The performing arts represent one of the foundations through which we will help them get there.
These are some of the ways the performing arts collaboration with Juilliard enhance learning for our students:
An appreciation of the performing arts makes for more engaged, globally-aware students
An appreciation and understanding of the arts makes for engaging, curious and culturally rich global citizens – which we believe is a key component of the education we offer.
Put simply, the world is a better place with music, dance and drama in it. These subjects transcend cultural barriers, and can create connections between people with little or nothing in common. The more people that understand music and the performing arts, the more connected we will feel to the people and the world around us.
Learning music and the performing arts can increase academic development
Learning the performing arts is linked to high academic performance, and helps students to improve literacy, mathematics and cognitive development. Evidence suggests that students who participate in learning the arts achieve higher grades in school, and musically-trained students demonstrate enhanced brain performance. Music also helps develop various attributes from motor skills, by learning to play a musical instrument, to an appreciation of mathematics via the concepts of rhythm and tempo. While some education systems focus on excelling at exams, they aren’t looking at the whole picture. If they also created space for the performing arts into their curriculum, they would see their students achieve even more.
The performing arts teach young people a range of personal skills that help them thrive
The performing arts teach young people a range of personal skills that can enable them to shine in every aspect of their lives at school and beyond. In fact, the performing arts imbibe young people with the attributes that are required in the workplace, such as creativity, critical thinking, the ability to collaborate and various other social skills. For example, studying, rehearsing and learning to perform teach and empower young people to become confident, develop a healthy self-esteem and discipline. Recently, a number of educators have spoken about the need or the importance of building character — we believe the performing arts do exactly that.
Learning music can inspire joy in learning that can spread to other subjects
Learning music and the performing arts exposes young people to a form of learning that is increasingly rare, such as one to one (or small group) tuition. Learning in this way can ignite a spark in young people who may not be as engaged with learning, enhancing their level of satisfaction and sense of achievement at school. Once they fall in love with learning, it can incentivise them to transfer that enthusiasm to all their subjects.