Through the key areas of Responding and Creating, every SWIS student studies Music with plenty of opportunities to express themselves as soloists and ensemble members. In all Grade levels, technical and aural musical understanding is honed using Kodaly methodology and moveable "doh". Additionally, British, North American and Chinese terminologies are utilized. This allows the SWIS Music student to be truly international and versatile in Music and more readily able to accept and explore the large variety of music systems in our world.

Through comparative exploration of the Elements of Music, Music at SWIS allows a student to open the doors to cultures other than their own. The study of these elements provides a meaningful and tangible way in which to discuss and describe both familiar and unfamiliar music.

A strong emphasis is placed on the authenticity of the musical experience using a wide variety of instrument timbres. The SWIS Music Department uses musical instruments sourced both locally and abroad, chosen for their excellent quality and recognized uses within both education and industry environments.

SWIS students also enhance their learning process using the following instruments at specific grade levels:

  • Early Years to Grade 2 – Orff instruments.
  • Grade 1 and 2 – Ukulele
  • Grades 3 – Recorder
  • Grades 4 and 5 – violin, cello
  • Grade 6 and 7 – flute, trumpet and clarinet.
  • Grade 7 – acoustic guitar
  • Grade 8 – rock instruments

In addition to the above instruments, every student has an opportunity to explore basic instrumental techniques of the Chinese erhu, liuqin, yanqin, guzheng and dizi. Students are also encouraged to share their home-learning of instruments with their class or at concert events.

Extra-curricular Music ensembles are integral to the cultural life of any school. SWIS is no exception. The Music Department offers a variety of groups for students who already have musical experience, own instruments and are keen to be more involved:

  • Grade 4-9 Shenzhen Bay International Schools Festival Choir
  • Grade 1-3 Choir
  • Grade 4-5 Choir
  • MYP Choir
  • Grade 4-9 Concert Band
  • Grade 3-9 String Orchestra
  • Grade 4-9 Chinese Instrument Collective
  • MYP Rock Bands

Technology plays an important role in the development of musical skills and creativity. A custom-made purpose built Music MIDI Lab featuring Garage Band, Music Ace, and the cloud based Auralia and Musition aural and theory training programs, allows for musical growth in our students. Grade 8 and above students are trained in Sibelius music notation software.

Students also have plenty of opportunities to express themselves musically as part of pit bands, chorus and soloists for staged production events and assemblies.

At the heart of our Music Program the words of composer Robert Schumann; A well trained ear, mind, heart and hand, work in tandem with the IB philosophy of developing the whole student.

Ultimately SWIS Music students are instilled with the confidence, creativity, know-how and self-discipline to become aware and articulate musicians and audience members of the future.

Significant events

Shenzhen Bay International Schools Music Festival

Now in its second year, the Shenzhen Bay International Schools Music Festival hosted by SWIS endeavors to bring together passionate and able musicians between Grades 4-8 from the city to prepare for a combined schools musical event. April 2015 saw two guest conductors sharing their expertise with faculty and students – Mrs. Darlene Elkins (USA) and Mrs. Mary Giles (AUS).

ChoP Festival

Collaboration between Polish and Chinese cultural government bodies has resulted in the annual ChoP festival. Innovative use of sound technologies is shared and explored with our Middle Years students.

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