The Music department had a very successful two days with Juilliard curriculum specialist Jessica Meyer. As part of her visit, Jessica observed and interacted in classroom lessons with different year groups. She experienced new Keyboard development skills with Year 6, and creative developments of a detective composition with Year 7, all of which were delivered by our Music teacher and included links to the Juilliard approach.
Our Year 4 students had a great lesson with Jessica where initially she led them to discover all the notes on the keyboard. Afterwards they were tasked with only using 3 repeated notes to make a melody. This lesson was inspired by Sean Shepherd, a composer that lives in New York who composes very powerful music.
In the Year 8 lesson, students were asked to brainstorm different personalities and needed to consider how they could represent them through music. The students listened to Schumann’s Carnaval, Op. 9, Eusebius, Florestan and had to describe which melody represented each portrait Schumann was painting through his music.
Jessica also led a workshop for parents where she explained what the Juilliard programme involved. The parents took part in a hands-on activity on the keyboards and had to work out a 3 note motif after they were inspired by Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The parents were encouraged to hear how their child would benefit from the partnership between Nord Anglia and Juilliard.
All students in Years 1-11 enjoyed listening to Jessica’s performance in assembly. Jessica performed some of her own compositions and the students discussed ways as an individual we can express ourselves. Jessica performed some of her own compositions that expressed emotions she had felt at a particular stage in her life, including ‘Source of Joy’ and ‘Into the Vortex’.
All of the students had a wonderful time meeting Jessica and are already excited about her return to NAISAK in February.
Here is what some of them had to say:
The best part of Jessica’s visit was to see a viola. I have never seen a viola before. The sound shocked me because it could play very loud. I have learned that a viola can play soft and loud.
I felt happy and I’ve learned a lot of new things on the keyboard.
Ganga Gopan 4I
We liked it when we could experiment different sounds on the keyboard to express different backgrounds and feelings of different personalities.
We enjoyed the part where we had to brainstorm a person with a variety of personalities like:
“By day… she was a kind, innocent and sweet granny. By night… she was hardcore, selfish and a cunning gangster”. Then we had to find sounds on the keyboard that represent those character trades and we all had fun exploring the personalities a bit more.
Jessica was fun and amazing. It was a new experience for us. We count ourselves quite lucky that she came to perform for us.