By: Melissa Stevens
When leading US chamber musician Erin Wight performed at a Nord Anglia International School assembly, she delighted and surprised students by demonstrating the ways a viola could sound like an electric guitar.
The performance capped off a visit from the Music Specialist from The Juilliard School, who also held a technique workshop for three of the school’s violinists, as well as consulting on the music curriculum.
Naomi Rowan, NAIS’s Director of Music, said Erin’s visit was a highlight of the school’s special relationship with the world-renowned Juilliard School. “Our music curriculum has been designed in collaboration with Juilliard and gives each child a unique opportunity to learn about music through iconic works and regular connections with practicing musicians,” she says. “It gives students a deep engagement with performing arts – promoting cultural literacy, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.”
Principal Brian Cooklin points to the depth of specialist subject offerings as one of the school’s key strengths. It aims to provide rich and broad educational experiences in the areas of physical education, art, drama, music and Mandarin, with an approach that not only extends students in these fields, but also maximises how participation in one field can have learning benefits in others. Development of gross motor skills through physical education, for example, can assist in other areas of learning. Music, art, and drama can help students express ideas and feelings.
The collaboration with Juilliard is just one of several alliances Nord Anglia has forged with leading institutions around the globe as part of its approach to these specialist subjects. For example, the school also works with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) over its Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum.
That collaboration has seen students undertake an ambitious project to collect data to better understand water pollution. Students have collected and analysed water samples in beaches and rivers in the city for the Data-Driven Curiosity Challenge. “STEAM subjects play an invaluable part in helping your child to develop academic, social and personal success,” Brian says. “Through practical, hands-on problem solving, they will build on transferrable skills such as creativity, curiosity, resilience, resourcefulness, collaboration and confidence to help pave the way to a wide-open future. In-school challenges, an annual visit to MIT, and specialised training for our STEAM teachers, means we’re putting your child at the vanguard of developing skills for the 21st century.”
Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong has three campuses; Sai Kung and Tai Tam are dedicated Early Years campuses; Lam Tin’s Primary and Secondary campus will see Year 11 phased in from August 2018, with Years 12 and 13 to follow. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 3958 1428 for more details. nais.hk
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This article first appeared in the December/January 2017/18 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.