The music programme for 2020-2021
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The music programme for 2020-2021

A team of four music teachers is ready to take the ISUtrecht music programme to the next level with extra Choir, Orchestra and Band lessons. They have a unique musical experience in store for every student from KG to DP2.

By Jennifer Diepman, PYP & MYP Music

After finishing up a school year that was unlike any other year, the music department is looking forward to next school year and has made some plans to further enrich our music programme. We will start the new school year with a team of four enthusiastic teachers: Juan Osorio, Paul Kemp, Melinda Miguel and Jennifer Diepman.

In the lessons during the school day, students of all ages will continue to develop their musicianship and performing skills, learn how to sing and play instruments properly, compose and deepen their appreciation of music from around the world. All students in KG through DP2 will have a unique musical experience each school year such as a music workshop or listening concert. At various points throughout the curriculum, students will also make a connection to their own personal musical heritage. Early years students will be asked to have their parents teach them a song from their culture to share with the class, for example. In secondary, one unit is dedicated to presenting a song that has played a special role in the student’s life.

Singing or playing an instrument

In grades 4 through 7, students will not only learn more about music through their regular lessons, they will also join a class that focuses on singing or learning an instrument during the school day. In primary, these groups are the Grade 4 Choir and Orchestra and the Grade 5 Choir and Orchestra. In grades 6 and 7, students follow the MYP music curriculum and can choose a focus of the Choir, Orchestra or Band Training during these lessons. We will ask students to give their preference for singing or learning an instrument and we’ll try our best to give all students their first choice. If too many students sign up for one ensemble, then we’ll ask students to write a motivation for a selection process.

All performing ensembles will perform in one or more concerts, such as the Winter Concert, the Spring Concert or during graduation ceremonies. The secondary musical, At The End Of The Day, was able to be rescheduled for 10, 11 and 12 November at the Metaal Kathedraal in Utrecht. We will also continue to look for ways to be connected to the music in the wider Utrecht community.

Online platforms

During the school year, the team will develop an online platform for students to use as a resource at home for learning and enjoying music. If students would like to learn how to play an instrument or learn how to sing or play a song, those resources will be on the primary or secondary platforms. Sheet music, chords or lyrics will also be posted for the ensembles so that students can continue singing and playing the ensemble repertoire at home. These platforms should make it easier for students to continue what they have learned in their ensembles at home and will also improve rehearsing when the ensemble meets again at school.

After school ensembles

In the fall, the team will have another look at what the possibilities are for after school ensemble rehearsals. If it is possible to meet and make music together in an after school ensemble setting, we will be able to make plans to start rehearsals again. Rehearsals for all after school ensembles normally begin in October. The music teachers will explain which music ensembles are available to the students during the music lessons in the month of September. We normally offer both vocal and instrumental ensemble opportunities to both primary and secondary students. If an ensemble cannot rehearse together after school, we will look into students sending in videos of themselves singing or playing via a personal channel to encourage students to keep making music at home.

Musical achievement system

We are excited to share that the after school Primary Orchestra has grown so much that we will be dividing this ensemble into two levels for beginning and intermediate players starting this fall. Interested students will submit a video so that they can be placed into one of the groups. If we will be rehearsing at school, the intermediate players will rehearse twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays and the beginners will play on Fridays. There will also be sectionals on Fridays so that the orchestra can rehearse in smaller groups. We will start working with a musical achievement system which sets goals together with the students and gives them recognition when they have reached the next level.

Private lessons

After school private lessons will continue for orchestra instruments, piano, guitar, drums and voice. The school encourages students who are in an ensemble to take private lessons. Some private teachers will be teaching after school at school and some may remain teaching online. We are looking into expanding our private lesson team by adding an oboe, saxophone and second voice teacher next fall.

We wish you all a safe and musical summer and hope to see you back in school again in the fall!