The main focus of music classes is practical work and the exposure to a variety of music forms. The building of a musical framework develops from the experience of music through singing, dancing and playing. The project work covered by the students involves exploration of Baroque Music, Classical forms and Contemporary twentieth and twentyfirst century Music. ISB are proud of not only their Middle and Oberschule Choirs, but also their rock and country bands. The aim of music classes is to inspire students to independently think about and approach music analysis, singing, composing and performance skills.
In co-operation with the Berlin/Potsdam Orchestra School, students also have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument or to join the newly founded ISB orchestra.
The main focus in Year 7 is two-part singing and analytical ‘musical appreciation’. Music theory explores simple intervals, advanced rhythms and simple exercises in sight-reading and singing (rap/musicals). Practical teamwork and group composition/improvisation is another important part of the learning process at this stage. Music History involves: Renaissance works and Early Baroque composers in Germany.
In Year 8 and 9 students continue to explore seventeenth to twentieth century periods in Music History. This includes English Baroque (Purcell, Byrd), Classical Forms (F. Schubert, song cycles), Twentieth century American Minimalism (S. Reich, D. Lang and J. Adams), as well as New Music forms in the works of K. Rosenbaum, H. Lachenmann and M. Toledo. They also continue to development skills in two-part choral singing, performing extracts from musicals, raps and their own song compositions. Quizzes are given to test the students’ knowledge of Classical Music, cadences, chord progressions and intervals. Students participate in practical activities to develop their ensemble playing, sense of dynamics, form and instrumental choice.
In Year 10 students hone their listening and musical appreciation skills by being exposed to different types of music. They are presented with an extensive variety of music from Classical, Contemporary and Pop to Rock, Jazz, Minimalism, Electro-Acoustic, Musique and Concrete. Students musical theory knowledge is expanded to encompass harmonic chord practices, graphic notation, choral singing and the application of the composing process.