At Dulwich College (Singapore) we strive to ensure our students explore and develop their musical talents either for enjoyment or in pursuit of musical excellence.
Dulwich College (Singapore) places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of music education throughout the College, and it all starts in DUCKS.
I like music because when I play the instruments, it feels like I am one of them.
The DUCKS Music curriculum is broadly divided into four areas of learning:
- Singing: Active participation in music-making develops students on all levels through use of the most accessible instrument - the voice.
- Playing and performing: Repeated practice allows students to hone fine motor skills as well as develop the interpersonal skills needed to perform as part of a group.
- Composing: Music can be used as a medium to communicate thoughts and feelings to others.
- Listening and responding: People use music for different reasons and it can vary between countries and cultures.
Most of our DUCKS music curriculum has been designed around the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum of England and Wales and the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, but it has been adapted to allow the specialist teacher to maximise the student's potential. Although in performance situations expectations are high, the day-to-day curriculum is designed to allow the children access to a broad music curriculum that, most importantly, they can enjoy.
Music helps me to make friends - being in partners and playing in groups.
Our instrumental programme provides expert tuition on a wide variety of instruments. The College provides all students from Years 3 to 7 a musical instrument to choose from including violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone and tuba, which they can keep for four years. As part of the curriculum, each student is assigned one 55-minute group lesson on that instrument every week. In addition to the group instrument lessons, all students receive a curriculum music lesson every week.
The College offers an extensive ensembles programme where all students have the opportunity to participate in choirs and groups across many genres. This includes Symphony Orchestra, Senior Choir, Junior Choir, Dalcroze Group, String Orchestra and Rock Bands.
Students in Junior School receive a comprehensive and unique musical experience. We have woodwind and brass specialists, Kodaly and Dalcroze certified teachers, and vocal and string specialists. The students are exposed to a plethora of different musical styles including folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, and Latin. As music educators we aim to broaden students’ view on music and enlighten them so that they are intrinsically motivated to explore and learn about all of the different styles and genres of music.
In the strings program we strive not only to teach our students to become proficient in their instruments, but ultimately to be able to express themselves through music.
Through the study of a range of music and related practical work, we aim to foster a life-long love of music in curricular lessons, where each student explores their musical creativity. Activities are inspired by great music from diverse genres and focus on the essential skills of a musician: performing, composing, listening and appraising. Linked with our band and strings lessons in which every student in Year 7 and below participates, our Year 8 programme includes the study and formation of rock bands to further enhance ensemble skills.
I attribute my daughter's Violin success primarily to the great exposure and confidence she has gained from Dulwich College (Singapore) and in particular from being part of the Junior Strings group from Year 3.
Technology is always used to support the curriculum. In addition to the school iPads, laptops and Bring Your Own Device programmes in Years 9, 10 and 11, our Music Technology suite in equipped with iMacs fitted with a range of professional software and web-based applications like Cubase, Logic, Sibelius and Focus on Sound to enrich the creative learning process.
From Year 9, students follow the Cambridge IGCSE syllabus to develop their essential skills. They follow a broad curriculum, looking in depth at music while studying the history of Western Classical Music, traditions from around the world, jazz and other twentieth and twenty-first century styles and genres. Students study compositional techniques and create their own compositions. They perform as soloist and ensemble players in class and in public concerts.
Music makes us: with a tempo like hearts, with dynamics akin to minds, and with melodies for souls.
Our students participate in various festivals throughout Asia and beyond as part of the Dulwich College International network. This includes International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS), Music, Art, Drama, Dance (MADD) Festival, Dulwich Festival of Music (DFM), and the Vienna Boys' Choir trip to Austria. In addition, an extensive range of performances takes place at the College involving students and visiting musicians. This includes student soloist concerts, large ensemble performances and regular visits from top professional musicians including the Diversity series. A key feature of life at Dulwich is that there are many large scale performing opportunities where hundreds of students sing at events such as Remembrance Day, Christmas Concerts and Founder's Day. These mass choir events are always supported by full orchestra.