International School Utrecht: Where music takes centre stage
Are you looking for an international school where music truly takes centre stage? Then the International School Utrecht is the school for your child.
ISUtrecht is settled in a city with a strong music tradition, so it felt like a natural step to make music the focus point of the school.
The ISUtrecht Music Academy
Music teacher and choirmaster David de Geus joined ISUtrecht a year ago. He is responsible for creating the music curriculum and a primary school choir, school orchestra and secondary vocal ensemble.
He now teaches all the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) grades, 2-3 hours per week.
It is the beginning of the "ISUtrecht Music Academy", a continuous programme throughout the MYP grades, aimed at giving students the opportunity to choose music as an IB Diploma subject.
"This is something we will build on, ensuring our students have access to various instrumental specialists during and after school hours," Mr De Geus explains. "I want our Diploma students to be able to directly go to a music conservatory, and to that end I am looking to work closely together with the Utrecht music conservatory.
One-on-one music lessons
Australian music teacher Amber Vincent joined the school in August 2016. Ms Vincent has since designed music units for the kindergarten and grade 5 classes, which she now teaches once a week.
Another full-time music teacher will be hired in August 2017, ensuring that all the PYP and MYP grades will have weekly music lessons.
Next academic year, the school will also see an extension of one-on-one music lessons by instrumental specialists - students can currently choose between guitar and keyboards - and the founding of the ISUtrecht orchestra.
Primary students are in for a special treat this spring, as grades 2-4 will participate in a unique project called Young Composers, led by music centre and concert hall TivoliVredenburg.
Over the course of 10 workshops, the students will learn to compose their own piece of music. The project will culminate in a concert at TivoliVredenburg, where the students will perform their own music, together with the French Danel String Quartet.
IB World School
International School Utrecht was founded in August 2012. What started as a tiny school with just 62 students is now, almost five years later, a fully authorised International Baccalaureate World School, teaching the Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme.
The school currently has an enrolment of 450 students, representing over 40 nationalities.
The school is currently spread over two temporary buildings at the Van Bijnkershoeklaan and Grebbeberglaan in the Transwijk area, west of Utrecht city centre.
The municipality of Utrecht, together with the school boards and Utrecht University, will start a feasibility study for a permanent campus based at the Utrecht Science Park. This campus will eventually house around 1.200 students.
Students come first at ISUtrecht
The ISUtrecht attracts highly motivated and enthusiastic educators from all over the world. Although they come from different backgrounds, speaking different languages, the teachers have one thing in common: they all put their students first.
ISUtrecht teaches in English. However, being a Dutch international school means the students learn Dutch too.
You can find some great examples of student work on the school's website, as well as a run-through of a typical day at ISUtrecht. And don't forget to check out the ISUtrecht blog, which is filled with posts by students, staff and parents.
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