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EMERGENCY NOTICE
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Dave Meder Visit

Two weeks ago, BSB, Sanlitun welcomed a very special visitor. Juilliard alumnus Dave Meder, a jazz pianist from Houston, Texas, has a passion for music education and his visit to our school was a very memorable occasion for many students. Y6 had a wonderful opportunity to extend the understanding of blues music that they have been developing this term through activities based on Blue Monk by ‘High Priest of Bebop’ Thelonious Monk. From learning about ‘walking bass’ and hi-hat accompaniments to the varying improvisatory styles of John Coltrane and Bobby McFerrin, Falcons and Eagles got to interact with, reflect upon and participate in some of the diverse ways that a ‘jazz standard’ can be performed.

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Year 3 learnt all about ‘theme’ and ‘variation’ by thinking of different ways of performing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Mr Meder was able to demonstrate variations on request and it was a real treat for everyone to hear (eg) a quick, sad, low or a bumpy, slow, thick version of such a well-known piece. Some of the school’s piano students also had an opportunity to work with Mr Meder and he was amazed (and delighted!) with the standard of musicality that BSB students exhibit. The visit was rounded off with a wonderful performance in the hall. Opportunities to see live performances by such highly trained musicians are really precious and I look forward working with Juilliard to plan the next such event.

By Matthew Champness

Head of Performing Arts