School Life

Music Programme

ISUtrecht has a cohesive music programme for all students from KG up to grade 12. We provide a comprehensive music curriculum for all our students with the option to join a choir, orchestra, band and take private lessons at school.

We communicate across cultures, using music to form strong bonds. That is why we offer an exciting music programme accessible to all students and connected to the rich music tradition of the city of Utrecht. (from the ISUtrecht Mission Statement)

We believe in connecting cultures through musical experiences. Music is an art form in which many different skills, the learner profile attributes and creativity come together. We like sharing the joy of playing, singing and making music together. That is why at the ISUtrecht we are creating an environment where music is always present and where children will be educated to become skillful musicians, whilst at the same time being encouraged to use music as a creative outlet.

Please also view the information about after school ensembles and private music lessons. This information will be updated regularly.

In our main building we have a dedicated primary, as well as a secondary music room.  There is also a practice studio, which is used for practicing, or recording music, but also for one-on-one instrumental lessons.

Music curriculum

Our enthusiastic music team: Jennifer Diepman, Juan Osorio, Paul Kemp and Elena Romano work across the primary and secondary grades and they collaborate with each other to give students to best possible musical experience.

Primary Years Programme

Throughout the Primary Years Programme we focus on giving the students a solid base in both understanding and making music. In kindergarten students start with the concept of steady beat. They also work on finding their ‘singing voice’. Music is taught with the Kodály philosophy in mind. Kodály, a mid-twentieth century Hungarian composer, has been a world-wide influence on the way music is being taught to young children. He developed a unique concept of working whereby children are first being introduced to musical concepts by listening, or singing, before they learn music notation. In the primary grades, students get a weekly music lesson and will participate in workshops and concerts throughout the year.

In the PYP, KG through grade 3, students have a specialist music lesson one time each week, whereas the grade 4 and 5 students have two specialist music lessons each week. Upper primary generally focuses more on knowledge and listening skills in one lesson each week and on performing skills in the other lesson. Students experience a variety of music from around the world and develop their creativity through performing songs with the class and creating new songs. 

Middle Years Programme

In the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) the students get to make and experience music during a host of dynamic projects, such as songwriting and recording pop songs, experiencing the polyphonic music of J.S. Bach, or playing songs from the sixties for the elderly people in a care center close to the school. Students in grade 10 also have a special music composing project at TivoliVredenburg called “Pronkstukken”.

Diploma Programme

In the IB Diploma Programme years students can pursue their interest in music by choosing the DP Music course, taught by the music teacher Paul Kemp.

Private music lessons at school

For students who are really interested in music, who want to learn to play an instrument or for those children for whom music is an essential and predominant part of their life, we currently have several music teachers providing private instrument lessons. These lessons can take place during the school day when students are available, or in the afternoon, when lessons have finished. It is currently possible to have guitar, singing, drum, keyboard, violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone and baritone tuba lessons.

Please view the information about after school ensembles and private music lessons here. This information will be updated regularly.

Choir, ensembles, orchestra & band

After school, besides private lessons, there are many more opportunities available for students to continue making music:

  • Grade 1 students can play a string instrument in the Primary Orchestra.
  • Starting in grade 2 and older, students can play wind and percussion instruments in this ensemble as well.
  • The Primary Choir is offered to students in grades 2 through 5.
  • The ISUtrecht Intermediate Orchestra is an opportunity for more advanced orchestra players in both primary and secondary.
  • Secondary students can also take part in the Vocal Group, Rock Band and Musical.