Within the Arts curriculum this year we have been very fortunate to benefit from the Fund for Excellence. Projects and initiatives have enhanced the students' learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom across the curriculum.
Our Arts Programmes provide a foundation for imagination and encourage students to take risks in their creative expressions and artistic endeavours. Visitors to the ISZL art studios, music rooms and theatres will find students whose personal investment in pursuing a mastery of skill is evident in the purposeful atmosphere sustained in these classes. They will find teachers and students passionately engaged with music, drama and the visual arts, bound by their love of practice in these disciplines. Not that any creative journey is easy. Learning in the Arts often takes place outside of an individual’s comfort zone and challenge, risk taking and occasional frustrations are guaranteed alongside the joy and wonder of creating new works.
The creative accomplishments of ISZL students are both visibly grand and subtle. The obvious public achievements – a beautifully played piano sonata at an International Baccalaureate concert, a dramatic moment in the theatre that grips the audience or one of the many student art exhibitions – are indicative of our programmes’ success. Yet it can be easy to miss the individual breakthroughs students achieve each day as they develop creative skills and deepen their understanding of and personal connection with the world at large.
Our students are developing into cultured 21st century citizens. An education in the Arts helps students learn to identify, appreciate and participate in the traditional art forms of their own communities. As students imagine, create and reflect they are developing both the verbal and the non-verbal abilities necessary for school progress. Students of the arts learn to respect others’ (often very different) ways of thinking, working and expressing themselves and to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a variety of modes, giving them a vastly more powerful repertoire of self-expression.
The disciplines of visual arts, drama and music provide a medium through which students can explore, understand and develop their creative abilities. Learning how to express themselves through the elements of movement, sound, image and word, students develop their skills in performance, communication and collaborative works.
We build confidence in students to perform beginning with the youngest students at ISZL. From show-and-tell sessions and assemblies in lower grades, to reinforcing important concepts in grade level performances, concerts and musicals to their peers and parents, ISZL incorporates the Arts early in our students’ learning experience.
At the beginning of May, 8 Middle School girls flew to Germany to attend the AMIS European Middle School Girls' Honor Choir Festival. They joined students from around the world for 3 days of rehearsals culminating in a brilliant gala concert.
The month of March presented many opportunities to celebrate the artistic self-expression and skills of our students in the Arts, and none more so than two impressive visual art exhibitions that took place just before the break.
The Middle School has delighted us all with this year's musical, Beauty and the Beast Jr! The musical is an annual event that allows students to develop their skills in music, acting and technical theatre whilst making new friendships and growing in confidence.
Music has always been an important part of my life, and having played contrabass in a youth orchestra in Chicago, I wanted to find a similar opportunity here in Switzerland. I was lucky to be directed to the Zentralschweizer Jugendsinfonieorchester based in Luzern.
Students throughout the Early Years to Grade 5 benefit from transdisciplinary and integrated drama lessons which support their creative development. By bringing in live theatre to the Primary School, we allow the students to also experience the Arts first hand, inquire further and make deeper connections.