School here ties up with Juilliard

School here ties up with Juilliard
Charles Yang, a Juilliard graduate and violinist performing for students of Dover Court International School.

Students at Dover Court International School will soon enjoy a new curriculum designed by prestigious performing arts conservatory The Juilliard School in New York.

The programme is a tie-up between Juilliard and Nord Anglia Education, a global operator of 41 international schools. Dover Court International School is the only Singapore school in the network.

The new curriculum, starting in September, will begin with music, comprising an "aesthetic education" exposing children to works of music across genres and countries, as well as skills-based learning. It will expand to include emphasis on drama and dance disciplines, similar to that at Juilliard.

Alumni from Juilliard will act as "teaching artists" who will co-create teaching resources and train teachers who will be delivering the curriculum.

The collaboration was announced in Singapore last Friday by Mr Christopher Mossey, senior managing director of Juilliard Global Ventures.

He says: "The global aspect of this is very important. For the past four years, Juilliard has been developing ways to be more pervasive around the world, so it can share its expertise and connect with the world in new ways."

He adds that this new programme helps Juilliard be "in parts of the world where we never thought we might be". Asia is an important area for Juilliard. China and South Korea are the two countries with the biggest representation of its foreign students.

There is currently one student studying at Juilliard from Singapore and six other Singaporeans have studied there since 1987.

Dover Court International School is part of the first 10 schools piloting the programme alongside other international schools in Washington, Prague, Shanghai and Thailand, among other cities.

The new curriculum will be offered to all its students, aged between three and 16. There will be no increase in school fees, which range between $4,000 and $8,700 a term.

Most of the students at Dover Court are expatriates, with Singaporeans making up about 3.5 per cent of its cohort. Dover Court declined to reveal the size of its enrolment.

British housewife Aniksha Talsania, 37, who has two sons, aged seven and four, at the school, is excited about the programme. She says: "Most people have heard of Juilliard, but now it's coming to our school, as opposed to us going to New York."

Dover Court International School principal Neil Hopkin is thrilled about the "unprecedented expertise" this collaboration brings, but adds that "it is not a programme designed to produce the next Charles Yang", referring to the 26-year-old Juilliard-trained classical violinist who performed at the announcement event. Yang (left) is an American.

Mr Hopkin says: "What it is, is a raising of the standards of the performing arts education offered in Singapore and who knows where that might lead."

This article was first published on May 12, 2015.
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