By Rachel White-Hunt, Director of Music & Curriculum Fellow
The programme aims to deeply engage students with performing arts, promoting cultural literacy, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. Together on two campuses, BISC is the only school in Illinois offering this innovative curriculum.
On Friday, Mr. Jankowski spent a whole day getting to know staff and students. In the morning, he visited a Year 7 music class where students explored one of the 12 core works that make up our music curriculum repertoire, Blue Monk by Thelonious Monk. Using their instrument and keyboard skills, students worked on the head (the song’s main theme), 12-bar blues and improvisation. At the end of the lesson, they jammed out with Mr. Jankowski and his French horn. Mr. Jankowski also visited children in Nursery and Reception. He showed them his French horn, and they were blown away! Their reaction was priceless and really highlighted the importance of integrating visiting music professionals into the curriculum. The children asked some excellent questions and were thrilled when Mr. Jankowski played extracts from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 because they recognized it from their lessons. Then, the rest of the children in Primary school joined Mr. Jankowski for a question-and-answer session about the history and development of the French horn, and the different contexts in which it can be played.
Mr. Jankowski’s visit was inspiring. It gave students the chance to hear a beautiful instrument and get to know a professional musician. Students were engaged the whole day, demonstrating the importance of providing children with regular and ongoing opportunities to interact with performing arts.