While listening to music, our feelings and emotions dance along with the notes. Our brain can actively sense the happiness, sadness, or excitement within the magical combination of the sound we hear. Just as physical exercise changes the shape of the body, musical training alters and strengthens the brain, perhaps more radically than any other cognitive activity.
The dramatic activity in the brain caused by listening to music and revealed by MRI scans is beautifully described by Philip Ball, author of The Music Instinct: “when we listen to music, pretty much the whole brain may become active. No other mental stimulus comparably engages all aspects of our mental apparatus, and compels them to speak to each other; left to right hemisphere, logic to emotion. It’s quite simply a gymnasium for the mind.” (p.241)
As part of the holistic education we provide, SSIS’s String Programme has always been an integral part of our aesthetics programme. We believe learning and playing a musical instrument can help students build cognitive, attention, fine motor skills and appreciation.
Primary School students are exposed to a range of Western and Eastern instruments which allows every student the opportunity to discover and instrument the love, and to become a life-long music learner.
This year, we have added the Cello Programme as part of the music curriculum. We are honored to have Mr. JIN Zhuchun, who is a very accomplished cello musician and has studied in Vienna prior to joining our team of teachers.
In Grade 7, students may choose to continue to develop their skills on a string instrument or can choose an instrument from other instrument families such as woodwind, brass, or percussion.
In Grade 8, all of the students learn how to play the guitar. Students continue to expand their music understanding and learn how to play a variety of chords, building a varied repertoire of songs over the year.
SSIS Band is also one of the After School Programmes (ASP) offered in Senior School. They perform in many school and external events such as Christmas Light-ups, Music Festivals and even during the school lunch hour – SSIS Got Talent!
SSIS is also a testing centre for the Associated Board Royale School of Music (ABRSM) exams, thereby allowing students to participate in two professional level music tests every year.
As learning a musical instrument takes a lot of time and effort, Mr. JIN shares how parents can play an important role at home:
“Our partnership with the parents and their support play a key role in the students’ learning process. They will thrive with more attention and encouragement from their loved ones. Students who demonstrate the talent for this instrument will be invited to perform at events organized by the school. Participating in these events will help boost their confidence and courage.”
Let us enjoy the wonderful string music together!