Playing, singing, listening and dancing in primary music
Performances, listening concerts, singing, playing instruments, moving and dancing to music: students from KG to Grade 5 are getting a wide variety of experiencing during their music lessons. Music teacher Jennifer Diepman explains the programme.
By Jennifer Diepman, music teacher
In the primary music lessons, we have been enjoying singing, playing instruments and listening to a variety of musical genres together. Students move or dance to music, either based on what we agree on as a class that is appropriate for the music or what individual students would like to express as they hear the music.
Upper primary students also take part in a weekly choir or orchestra rehearsals during the school day as part of the curriculum. In these ensembles, students have been working hard practising skills and learning repertoire in preparation for upcoming performances.
This school year, all students will experience musical performances from professional musicians from the Utrecht area. KG students will hear musical stories sung and told by Emma van Dobben. She will sing and play the accordion to express her stories in an exciting and creative way. Our grade 1 students will hear a string quartet from the Appeltaartconcerten foundation. They perform classical music from composers such as Haydn and Bartok during an interactive workshop concert.
Grade 2 – 5 students will hear a live concert by Freek and Eric from the percussion group Percossa and Stef Classens from last year’s Voice of Holland competition. The students will be singing along, performing body percussion and dancing to the music. Together they will perform an interactive and inviting show, accompanied by an Utrecht based string quartet. These students will go on a musical journey around the world, experiencing music styles from every continent.
Orchestra and Choir
Many primary students are interested in the after school ensemble and private music lesson programmes. Grade 2 – 5 students can choose to join the Primary Choir on Tuesdays and beginning instrumentalists in grades 1 – 5 can join the Primary Orchestra on Fridays. Students in grade 1 can choose between the violin, viola, cello and double bass because these instruments are available in various sizes for children. Students in grades 2 – 5 can choose any orchestra woodwind or percussion instrument to learn to play.
ISU Intermediate Orchestra
Students do need to arrange an instrument if they do not already have one. The school provides rental options for school instruments. For more advanced instrumental students, this year we have started the ISU Intermediate Orchestra which meets on Wednesdays and Fridays after school. This orchestra is for both primary and secondary students who already have mastered basic playing skills and are ready for new challenges and more advanced repertoire.
Primary choir and orchestra
The Primary Choir is happy to sing together again, especially because we did not sing as an ensemble in spring or summer of last school year during and after the lockdown. We are learning new pop songs, songs for the holiday season and upcoming performances as well as continuing our favourite songs from last school year so that we can perform them soon.
The Primary Orchestra is focusing on playing rhythms as an ensemble, how to hold their instruments, proper posture and having a lot of fun in the process! The ISU Intermediate Orchestra has ‘Happier’, ‘Ode to Joy’, ‘Singing’ in the Rain’ and ‘High Hopes’ currently on the music stand.
We are happy to welcome five new private music teachers to our team this year for students who would like to play the oboe, saxophone, cello, double bass and harp. The private music lesson programme also offers lessons in guitar, keyboard, piano, strings, woodwinds and percussion. Our private music teachers are working together closely with students to prepare them for upcoming online recitals.
It is a true joy to see how much enjoyment the students have while they are expressing themselves creatively through music. We hope that all students continue to develop their appreciation of music through singing, playing and listening to music throughout their lives!