Since the start of the 2016-17 academic year the ISUtrecht is building a cohesive music programme for all students from KG up to grade 10. It is our aim to provide our IB Diploma Programme students with the option to choose music as an exam subject from August 2018.
We believe music is an art form in which many different skills, the learner profile attributes and creativity come together. 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.
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 guitar, flute, violin and keyboards lessons.
Music in the Primary Years Programme
In the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) music teacher Jennifer Diepman focuses on giving the students a solid base in both understanding and making music.
She teachers the students in kg-grade 4 once a week and the grade 5 students twice a week. In addition to the regular music lessons, students from grades 3-5 will participate in the Young Composers’ project. This project, developed by ISUtrecht in conjunction with music centre TivoliVredenburg, teaches the students to compose a piece of music, which they will perform at TivoliVredenburg this spring.
Choir and orchestra
In kindergarten Diepman starts her music education by introducing the students to the concept of steady beat. She also works a lot with the youngest students on finding their ‘singing voice’. Ms Diepman is teaching music 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 the idea of working backwards, whereby children are first being introduced to musical concepts by listening, or singing, before they learn music notation.
Ms Diepman leads the primary choir, as well as the primary orchestra, which she started in January 2018.
Music in the 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, learning about the economics of the music industry, 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. This is all part of a thorough music programme that eventually will give secondary students the option to choose music as a DP subject. Responsible for the secondary music lessons is music teacher and choir master David de Geus. Mr de Geus also leads the secondary a cappella vocal group. This vocal group, together with the ISU Drama Troupe, staged the first ever ISUtrecht production – A Midsummer Night’s Musical Dream – at Theater Kikker.
ISUtrecht Music Academy
For some children, music is an essential and predominant part of their life. For these students, highly gifted and interested, we are creating a parallel track with additional hours of music in the curriculum, differentiated to their level, leading to a Diploma Programme music course at high level. We also offer private lessons and instruction on several instruments. These lessons can take place during the school day when students are available, or in the afternoon, when lessons have finished.
After school music lessons
We currently have several music teachers, providing private or group instrument lessons after school for primary and secondary students. It is currently possible to have guitar, keyboards, viola/violin and flute lessons. Over the coming years this programme will be extended to include more instruments.