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Drama: Professional Development Summer 2019

Over the summer break, St Andrews International School Bangkok’s Head of the Performing and Visual Arts Faculty, Mrs Shelley Boswell, attended a professional development workshop designed and led by The Juilliard School experts in New York. Our curricula are enhanced through collaboration with Juilliard, a world leader in performing arts education. She recently reflected on the experience with our community.

During the final week of the Summer holidays, I had the privilege of attending the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Drama PD in New York. Attending week-long classes at the Lincoln Centre was a once in a lifetime experience. At St Andrews, we benefit from a collaborative teaching community between Nord Anglia and Juilliard that strives for excellence in the delivery of performing arts education. Drama is the third and final subject of the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme collaboration to be rolled out, following on from Music and Dance.

Highlights for me included a key address by Eric Booth, one of the United States’ 50 most influential people in the Arts. His inspiring talk explored the concept of students needing to have a personal connection in order to engage with art. Deeper learning takes place if engagement precedes information.

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Whilst there, I saw a number of alumni performances, including a duet by Music Alumni Colin and Eric Jacobsen and a beautiful dance by a recent graduate, Can Wang. Throughout the week, I participated in various Juilliard Drama workshops.

I was challenged to participate from all sides of the classroom - directing, creating, acting and designing with fellow NAE Drama teachers and with Juilliard specialists at the top of their field.

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I really enjoyed bringing the other disciplines of Dance and Music into Drama as this is an area we aim to develop at St Andrews. The Juilliard team were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the education of young people. Their humble and helpful attitude showed a genuine commitment to Arts Education.

I feel very fortunate to be teaching in a school which has access to expertise which helps develop teachers in all subject areas in creativity, experiential and student-centred learning. We are looking forward to our Julliard visits this year and are very excited to share the Juilliard approach to the Arts with our Primary and High School students.