ISB Music Inspires a Lifelong Love of the Arts

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( — October 3, 2019) Beijing, Beijing —

“Participation in performing arts programs is related to various positive personal and academic outcomes, improving child development as a whole, enhancing cognitive, motor and social skills,” according to David Murphey, Research Fellow and Director of The Child Trends Databank.

Enhancing the overall performance of students is just one of the reasons the International School of Beijing (ISB) is committed to teaching music.

For each program, the school researches and creates unique philosophy statements and uses them to support both the set up of the program and student learning. 

“[It] fosters an understanding of the world by facilitating a lifelong love of the arts,” outlines ISB’s Philosophy Statement for the Music program. “Each discipline of the Performing Arts engages the intellectual, physical and emotional aspects of a child to promote creativity, self-expression, collaboration, multicultural awareness, interdisciplinary study and critical thinking.”

Skye Sanford, Curriculum Area Leader (CAL) and Team Facilitator for Performing Arts in Elementary at the International School of Beijing (ISB), is passionate about the work the school is doing with the students. 

“Elementary music is an active, creative and joyful experience for all students to learn and make music together,” Sanford said. “All children in K-5 attend music classes twice in a six-day rotation for 40 minutes where they sing, play instruments, move and learn to read and write music.”

ISB Adopts National Core Art Standards in Music

Originating in the U.S., the NCAS allows ISB to create a unified arts curriculum between disciplines.

“I love the NCAS approach through the strands of Create, Perform and Respond – with the Connect strand embedded in all three,” Sanford said. “It provides a format for a more balanced music education of active music-making that includes creating music, performing music and learning how to respond to and evaluate music.”

According to Sanford, this curriculum works because it focuses on the learning process, development of skills and creative opportunities, rather than solely focusing on the end result. 

The NCAS is a popular choice for music at many international schools.

Child-Centred Approach to Learning Helps Students Succeed

At ISB, teachers focus on developing – and enhancing – their students’ intellectual, physical and emotional well-being. 

“We encourage our students to develop their self-expression through music and to develop a lifelong love of the arts.”

But why exactly is it important to develop a love of the arts? 

According to Sanford, music is a form of human expression and a unique way to experience the world. 

“When participating in a larger ensemble, whether it’s in High School band or Kindergarten Music, the students learn to cooperate, develop skills, engage in critical thinking, develop a sense of belonging and become part of something greater than themselves.”

And she has experienced countless moments where students recognized the power of music. 

When it comes to Sanford’s ultimate goal with her students, she described her passion for making sure they have fun, learn to be creative and to express themselves. 

“If children leave the room having joyfully made music and learned through making mistakes, they are ready to return and dig deeper.”

Learn more about ISB’s Music program

( — October 3, 2019) Beijing, Beijing —

International School of Beijing

10 An Hua Street
Shunyi District
Beijing, Beijing 101318