Last week, BIS Abu Dhabi welcomed Andrea Lee, our Music Curriculum Specialist from Juilliard, to the school.

Andrea arrived with a full programme of Music for her to see and take part in. Music teachers at the school were observed teaching and Andrea also led some Music lessons with students so that staff could see how the Juilliard Creative Classroom can be implemented.

These lessons were held with students in Year 4 and Year 8. In Year 4 the students were working on complex rhythms and looking at how these rhythms could be written down and understood using graphics. In Year 8 students were exploring musical rules and how these can sometimes be broken. They tried out different sounds and how instruments can be played in different ways (extended instrumental techniques) Both of these lessons linked to the Juilliard Creative Classroom.

In addition, GCSE Music students were treated to a workshop led by Miss Rochell and Andrea Lee. The basis of this workshop was centered around composition as for IGCSE Music students have to create a portfolio of original compositions. In this workshop the students were given the 4 note motif from Beethoven’s 5th symphony and then they had roughly 30 minutes to compose a piece of music based around the 4 note melody. Students were allowed to change the melody or the rhythm and were working in pairs to do this. To have a listen to what they came up with in this short time please click here.

This is now the second year that the Music department here at BIS Abu Dhabi have been teamed with Juilliard. Therefore the main focus of this visit from Andrea was to observe the delivery of the Juilliard Creative Classroom and to see how this had been imbedded in our schemes of work. Andrea delivered a professional development session to all Music staff as well as hosting a coffee morning for parents to discuss the Juilliard approach and answer any questions.

It was an engaging and exciting two days during which both parties reaped the benefit of the visit. Our next Juilliard visit will be in the second term where Andrea will continue to observe the delivery of the Juilliard Creative Classroom, offer training for the Music staff and conduct community events.