Music holds an important and traditional place in our school’s curriculum. From Pre-Kindergarten through to Grade 12, students participate in a broad range of musical activities which include five strands: performing:singing and playing instruments, creating and composing, notation, listening and appreciation and music in society. Each strand is addressed separately, but in practice, they are interrelated elements. Through music, students can develop their creative skills and aesthetic appreciation.
The musical journey begins in the early years of elementary school at the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten level and continues all throughout the elementary years until Grade 5. All classes receive music instruction each week by a specialist music teacher.
Throughout the early years, which includes Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, students begin to make choices about sound, using body percussion, voices and rhythm instruments. They participate in a variety of songs from their own and from different cultures. Students begin to read non-traditional notation as well as basic traditional notation. They participate in integrated arts performances, which combine all areas of the arts, including music, visual arts and drama.
In the first, second and third grades, students gain an awareness and appreciation of music from a variety of times, places and cultures. Through singing songs and playing instruments, students develop the ability to perform accurately and confidently, making expressive use of musical elements. Students are exposed to songs in English and in Turkish, as well as songs from other cultures, in order for them to develop an appreciation of music from around the world. Students also have opportunities to play and compose music using Orff instruments. Once in Grade Three, students are introduced to the soprano recorder and learn to read traditional notation and to compose simple melodies using the recorder. Students in all primary grades take part in annual concerts and integrated arts performances.
In the fourth and fifth grades, students develop musical ideas in composition using musical notation. They gain an awareness and appreciation of music in all its forms from a variety of times, places and cultures. Students sing songs in both English and in Turkish, performing them with sensitivity and with accuracy. They create their own music and perform it for others using a variety of instruments.
In Grade Four, students continue to develop their recorder and Orff skills, including playing, reading notation and composition skills. These skills will prepare them for their participation in the Grade Five band program the following year. Grade Four students participate in a yearly integrated arts performance as well as concerts to celebrate special days and occasions.
The students at BLIS receive a thorough and rewarding musical education, one that will serve them well in future years and give them solid foundation in the Performing Arts.
By the end of grade 4, another stage of the musical journey begins and students need to choose a band instrument in time for the following school year. Students are then ready to take part in Band and Choir, both of which are a requirement throughout their Middle School years. Aside from preparing for two annual concerts, students also have the opportunity to perform in other venues such as the annual Solo Concert and Talent Nights. Another exciting possibility is that which is offered by the school’s membership in AMIS, the Association for Music in International Schools. For the past thirty years, AMIS has given Middle and High School students throughout Europe and Asia the opportunity to take part in very high standard music-making by way of the Honor Band and Choirs that they organize. Our school regularly takes part in these and has also hosted three of these events in past years.
Students begin band class as an activity in Grade 5. The instruments from which they can choose include flute, clarinet, trumpet or trombone. These instruments may be purchased independently or they can be rented from the school for a fee. All detailed information regarding the rental policies will be sent home to the parents at the beginning of the school year. Students will have an opportunity to perform in both solo and ensemble situations in concerts throughout the year. Another exciting possibility is that which is offered by the school’s membership in AMIS (The Association for Music in International Schools). For the past thirty years, AMIS has given middle and high school students throughout Europe and Asia the opportunity to take part in very high standard music-making by way of the honour band and choirs that they organize. Our school regularly takes part in these and has also hosted three of these events in the past years.
In grade 9, the final stage of the musical journey begins and at this point classes become somewhat smaller and even more focused as students have a chance to choose an artistic direction by continuing with either music, drama or visual art. Those who choose music, will find that musical performance is still at the heart of the program. Students take part in both High School Band and Choir and this extends from grade 9 through to grade 12. In addition, students are encouraged to take advantage of other performance opportunities. Students also explore a very broad range of music – music that they might normally encounter – by way of a series of organized ‘Music Projects’. Those students who wish to pursue an even more challenging music curriculum or may wish to continue their music studies into University also have the opportunity to follow the IGCSE music program in grades 9/10 and/or the IB music program in grades 11/12.
All in all, students at BLIS receive a very thorough and very rewarding musical education; one that will serve them well in future years and give them a solid foundation in the Performing Arts.