In past decades, the performing arts curricula of dance, music, and drama have become a popular option with students competitively jostling for those precious few spots at specialized colleges and universities. The British Schools of Beijing will, as of September 2016, begin implementing a unique Juilliard-Nord Anglia embedded music curriculum at both the Sanlitun and Shunyi campus.
Andre Lee, curriculum specialist with the Juilliard Global Ventures went to visit some of the piloting schools and was able to see the application of the program. “It’s amazing to see the creativity that the teachers apply when implementing the curriculum as it was always a thought on paper and this brings it to life.” Lee resides in New York, holds a Bachelor’s degree in history with distinction from Yale University, whereupon graduating; she received the Bach Society Prize and the T. Whitney Blake Memorial Prize. She went on to earn graduate degrees in cello performance from New England Conservatory and Mannes College.
Features of the music curriculum are Juilliard-curated repertoire comprising of twelve categories that encompass a wide range of genres, styles, and cultures. Children will pick one of the twelve core categories and study these musical works throughout their schooling to aiding them to become masters of the category.
These core categories are:
The Instrument as Soloist
J. S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 3 In C Major, BMV 1009
Music for Small Ensembles
György Ligeti: 6 Bagatelles for Woodwind Quinet
The World of the Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67
Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64
Thelonious Monk: “Blue Monk”
Music That Tells a Story
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Doudou N’Diaye Rose: Chants Du Burgam (Senegal, West Africa)
Music for Dramatic Productions
W. A Mozart: Music From The Magic Flute, K. 620
Music for Ancient Instruments
Traditional Chinese: Ambush From Ten Sides
George Gershwin: They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Music for Film
John Williams: Score to E. T the Extra-Terrestrial
Specially selected active composer from Juilliard’s network
This is part of the wider roll out to all Nord Anglia schools after successful piloting the program in ten schools around the world. The British Schools of Beijing are part of the Nord Anglia Education Group that has 42 schools worldwide. The roll out will initially be the music program only while the dance and drama will follow in the coming years.
Educators from both institutions designed the curriculum to give students a “deep engagement with performing arts to hopefully achieve promoting cultural literacy, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.” From the age of five, students will use the keyboard to learn the fundamentals of music then move towards a specialized instrument
The British Schools of Beijing will benefit from this arts program, especially the expansion towards a dance and drama curricula. “We currently don’t have a formal dance program, and the one here is done by a third party,” says Clark. Haley Clark is the director of music at the British School of Beijing; her short introduction found here.
Andy Puttock, BSB Shunyi headmaster said that there isn’t going to be additional cost on basic course excluding the summer school fees and extra classes offered through the program. These extra costs have not yet been released but will be published before the academic year ends.
The summer performing arts with Juilliard is currently accepting applications and is open to both Nord Anglia and non-Nord Anglia families. The program takes place near the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland at the Collège du Léman, a Nord Anglia boarding school. Information about this program can be found here.
Photo courtesy BSB Shunyi