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Musical Futures International are offering 2 day workshops in Asia throughout 2018-19, read more....
I work at a small international school of about 450 kids. We do the IPC In primary, KS3, IGCSE and IB and our students come mostly from Korea and Vietnam.
Playing instruments in this region of the world is supported by most parents in some cases very strongly. I have students in year 12 who are working on concertos for their instruments. The downside however is that after a certain period many end up going to business schools and never touching an instrument again.
Music and Drama were 1 subject before I arrived and I have been slowly building up the KS3 curriculum for music. When I worked in the UK I found the schemes of work very enriching and interesting but the time frame to deliver them was a little unrealistic. In 6 lessons I was supposed to teach students about blues and jazz and then move on.
In the international school setting I have no Ofsted to worry about so I can take my time. For example I have just spent an entire term with year 8 doing blues and Jazz. They can improvise confidently and they can hear the changes very well and they composed their own blues lyrics.
With year 9 I also spent a whole term doing music for films. The quality of the work is so much better when we have time to feedback and make changes a few times.
I will be head of creative and performing arts next year which I am really excited about. One of my curiosities will be to look at more Musical Futures in KS3 and also to see whether there are similar approaches to Musical Futures in design, visual arts and theatre. I’m a strong advocate for cultivating informal learning. When designed well, informal learning leads to lifelong learning which is more than a buzzword in international education, it’s what students need in order to adapt in the 21st century information-frenzied environment.
Felipe Nurmi is Secondary Music, Global Perspectives and Student Voice Co-ordinator at Renaissance International School in Vietnam.
Renaisound (school radio station): https://soundcloud.com/user-555801284
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