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Music and Inspiration

Our Spotlight on Music event on Monday 26th October was an opportunity for parents and students to enjoy some wonderful musical performances by visiting Juilliard Curriculum Specialist, Andrea Lee, and our own students, as well as to gain a fuller understanding of the Juilliard curriculum which is now in use in our music classrooms from Year 1 to Year 9.

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Mrs Wallace opened the evening with a brief overview of the Juilliard collaboration with Nord Anglia Education to create a bespoke music curriculum for all Nord Anglia Education schools worldwide. As a launch school for the programme, NAIS Pudong has the opportunity to be one of the first ten schools globally to offer the music curriculum to students. Mrs Wallace gave a welcome address and brief introduction to the Juilliard collaboration saying, “Our main aim is to inspire our students at NAIS Pudong students to engage in performing arts throughout their lives.” She continued, “The curriculum will focus on core skills in six key areas: performing, composing, listening and appraising, notation, cultural literacy and responding.”

The evening had a consistent theme – Bach and inspiration. The performances began with pianist, Joung Jin Kim from Year 7, who played a very complex piece, Prelude and Fugue, performing from memory and displaying a level of skill which is simply amazing for his years.

Mrs Wallace also had the pleasure of introducing to the stage Jason Shi, currently on a sabbatical from school spending time in various international locations furthering his music aspirations, for an emotional and compelling violin recital of Bach’s Three Sonatas and Three Partitas.

Director of Music and The Arts, Mr Phil Bailey then gave an overview of how the curriculum is being embedded into music classes, including the importance of introducing notation to students from Year 1. Both Mr Bailey and Mrs Lisa Passante, Head of Primary, continued with a discussion of the 12 Core Works, a central component of the curriculum which are used to enhance students’ understanding of music, and which are also woven into other areas of their learning.

Finally, the moment the audience was anticipating. Visiting cellist and Juilliard Curriculum Specialist, Andrea Lee took to the stage for her own Bach moment, playing Cello Suite Number 3 in C Major which is one of the Core Works. This is the first of three trips to NAIS Pudong Ms Lee will make in her capacity as curriculum adviser and she had already spent the day observing music classes as well as working with some individual students.

As a final treat, Year 9 cellist Ji Woo joined Ms Lee on stage, playing together a piece they had only practiced briefly during the afternoon, but which beautifully highlighted the inspiration to be had for young students given the opportunity to collaborate with experts in their field.