At ISO, we are committed to nurturing our students’ development in Music and the Dramatic Arts. Courses in the Performing Arts are offered at each grade level, PK-12, and are integrated into various school activities throughout the year including, but not limited to the Celebration of the Arts, WAISAL tournaments, assemblies, an annual musical, performance and instruction from visiting musicians and high school graduation.
Music in the Elementary school aims to instill an appreciation and the joy of music. It boosts social development, fine and gross motor skills, it helps foster teamwork in children, as well as concentration. Music encourages creativity, better behaviour and gives every individual a skill for life. The curriculum is designed to build a foundation of musical skills. Activities are designed to instill a sense of rhythm through body percussion, clapping games, folk dances and creative movement. The curriculum introduces singing songs from a variety of cultures and languages, rounds, and harmonizing. Instrumental performance starts with tuned and untuned percussion instruments in the early years and is integrated with the songs learned. Students are introduced to the recorder in Year 2 and this is also integrated with the singing and percussion repertoire. Students are introduced to the instruments of the orchestra, as well as traditional music and instruments of different cultures, including the rich local culture. Listening and developing an appreciation of classical, folk, world music, jazz and contemporary music takes place in the latter years. Creating, improvisation, short melodic and rhythmic compositions, reading music, as well as knowledge of basic music theory is developed throughout the Elementary school.
In upper school, music is an elective. 6th, 7th and 8th grade can join the middle school band in which they will deepen their theoretical and musicological knowledge through projects and collaboration with other classes or special guests. They are introduced to web-based resources such as Noteflight to work on composition units, and other software like Audacity and GarageBand. Each student learns to play a wind instrument and to perform standard band repertoire. The High School band focuses on jazz repertoire and includes the drum set and electric bass as instruments.
Performing Arts are mandatory quarter classes for students in the 6th through 9th grade, and an elective at the high school level. In middle school, students are introduced to a variety of short projects covering multiple aspects of the performing arts: pantomime, improvisation, dance, percussion, magic, sound effects and film music, shadow puppetry, musical theatre as well as the basic techniques of acting. They are given many opportunities to perform for their peers and do collaborative work with Visual Arts students. In high school, the course is geared more towards acting techniques and playwriting with the opportunity to perform for an ISO audience at least twice during the year.
After school, our students from 4th to 12th grade are able to expand their intellect and artistry and participate in the annual Musical production, a highlight of the ISO school year. Students can build their skills in the performing arts through acting & singing on stage as part of the cast. They can also be involved behind the scenes in the essential aspects of set design, creating stage props, backstage crew and stage management. In 2018-2019, The Wizard of Oz will be performed. Previous musicals have included Seussical Jr., Aladdin Jr., Fame Jr., One Smart Pig and Once on this Island Jr.