Windermere Preparatory School has partnered with The Juilliard School to enhance its curricula in music, dance and theater.
Starting next school year, Windermere Preparatory School’s fine-arts curricula will have a direct connection to The Juilliard School.
The program is a collaboration between The Juilliard School and Nord Anglia Education, as Windermere Preparatory School joined Nord Anglia Education in the summer of 2015. In the course of the next few years, the program will roll out to all Nord Anglia schools.
Windermere Preparatory School’s fine-arts curriculum already is aligned with National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, and The Juilliard School’s program ties nicely with that, said Jason King, director of fine arts at Windermere Preparatory School.
“Students will engage in a curriculum that will help them discover personal talents, give them added confidence, and inspire and equip them to perform solo or as a member of a musical, dance, or thespian troupe.” — Thomas Marcy, headmaster, Windermere Preparatory School
“What (the Juilliard collaboration) is going to be able to do for us is provide more specific interests or experiences for our students, really preparing them for (top) performing arts schools and colleges and universities, giving us access to artifacts and resources that public schools and the majority of schools wouldn’t have access to,” King said.
The program provided by Juilliard will not replace the current fine arts curriculum at Windermere Preparatory School but instead will be embedded into it. A music curriculum will roll out first, but in the next few years, the program will expand to include dance and drama.
The program centers on 12 core works that include teachable moments for students, regardless of what aspect of music the student is studying. For example, a core work could include Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” which tells a story through the use of instruments, rather than words. Therefore, students will learn about the way the author’s choices in composition demonstrate emotions, settings and characters.
The core works include different musical styles and different cultures.
“Everything that we’ve created, any music teacher could implement into their lessons or even rehearsal,” said Betsie Becker, managing director of Global K-12 programs at The Juilliard School. “A choral teacher could use one of the 12 core works in a warmup to talk about how an ensemble works together.”
The program includes visits from two Juilliard-affiliated artists each year, according to Becker. The artists could be musicians, actors or dancers, who will come to interact with students. They engage with students through performances or workshops, depending on the artist’s specialty.
Teachers at Windermere Prep also will receive three visits from Juilliard curriculum specialists throughout the year. The curriculum specialists will provide support and professional development to the teachers but also engage with students. Students and teachers also will have access to an online platform that will allow them to continue their studies.
“Nord Anglia seems like a really wonderful collaborator because they do have some of the very same values that we have at The Juilliard School — high-quality access to art and they have a really wonderful approach to education,” Becker said.
The collaboration encourages teachers to create hands-on activities that encourage students to think creatively rather than a skills-based approach, something at which Becker says Nord Anglia teachers already excel. Juilliard emphasizes creative thinking and a joy in performance. Students could create a mini-composition based on one of the 12 core works.
“Students will engage in a curriculum that will help them discover personal talents, give them added confidence and inspire and equip them to perform solo or as a member of a musical, dance or thespian troupe,” Windermere Prep Headmaster Thomas Marcy said. “They will not only be developing interests — which they can mature and enjoy throughout their lives — and creating memories that will last for a lifetime, but also they will be taking significant steps to their becoming cultured young adults.”
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].