Happy Peace Day!

Today is International Peace Day, and parts of CDNIS are taking time to think about what peace means to us and how we can make it stronger in our world.

Since the start of the year, Grade 3 students have been exploring ensemble using voice, instruments and body movements. In doing so we’ve been pulling apart and putting back together a song by Philip Benson called “Peace Canon.”

Last week Grade 3 students started experimenting with rough drafts of choreography that matched the mood of the song. This week students had the chance to put the different elements together into an informal performance opportunity in the PA classroom or this morning in the 9/f lobby.

3D did a great job exploring choreography and making a music video putting all of their pieces together. Check out their two videos below:


Friday Fun in the Forum on September 22

The LS Performing Arts Department is excited to announce that they will continue working with representatives from the Lower School Student Council to host “Friday Fun in the Forum” (aka FFF on DDD). This event, hosted each Dress Down Day, is a informal performance in the style of an open mic. Students come to the Forum during lunch recess to perform or act as audience members. Performers bring 20HKD to play, it is free to attend as audience. Proceeds from the FFF go to the organizing charity for the Dress Down Day. Our next FFF on DDD is on September 22.

Grade 3 students are asked to sign-up via Google Form. You can find the form for next week’s DDD here.

Grade 2 and Grade 1 students can sign-up during PA classes next Monday-Wednesday. The entrance fee is due at the time of the event (please do not bring it to PA class).

How many acts will we take? As many as we can get through! Sometimes not everyone who signs up gets a turn because we run out of time! If this happens, leftover performances get priority in the following FFF on DDD.

Can parents come? We ask that parents do not attend this event. There are many other opportunities throughout the year to see your performer in action – to keep this event less formal, we like it to be completely about the students. We ask that students take responsibility to sign themselves up, set up their materials and remember their 20HKD.

If you have any other questions contact Ms. Benusa at ashleybenusa@cdnis.ed.hk

Getting Ready for Peace Day

Students in Grade 3 have been learning “Peace Canon” by George Benson in our recent work in Performing Arts. Through singing this song and accompany it with instruments, students have started to unpack what it means to be in an ensemble when making music. In this work we have started thinking of the following central idea:

Using part singing, melodic and rhythmic patterns, dance and improvisation Grade 3 students have started thinking about how we can make our music making more complicated, musical, interesting and fun. Through these creative extensions students have learned about:

  • initial harmonic work by singing in a three-part canon or a round
  • playing a bass line on xylophones or bass bars
  • playing a melodic pattern independently when other parts are playing at the same time
  • starting to read basic rhythmic notation

We will also be using the Peace Canon for CDNIS’ upcoming Peace Day activities on September 21st. Check out a video of the song featuring some of our LS musicians below:

Grade 1 Says Hello!

Students in Grade 1 have been learning a new community song that we call the “Global Hello.” In it we learn about how we can great each other in many different languages and with different body gestures. We will use this song to open our Grade 1 assembly next Friday. This song is from the dvd series called “Global Wonders.” Check out the lyrics in a video of last year’s Grade 1 students singing it below:

Sign-Up to Perform in a Grade Level Assembly

Each year, students in the Lower School are invited to audition to perform in grade level assemblies. Students may prepare a short solo or small ensemble piece of no more than 3 minutes. This opportunity is optional and is a great chance for young musicians to exhibit the music making that they do outside of school!

To sign-up for students in Grade 1-Grade 3, please fill in the information on this form. Sign-ups are first come, first serve (please use a CDNIS email address to sign up)! Students may only sign-up to perform in an assembly for their current grade level. Please only sign-up for one date to give more students an opportunity to perform! Also note that Grade 3 students may only sign up for the assembly that their class is hosting.

All assemblies are hosted in the Alan Dick Forum. Grade 1 and 2 assemblies start at 9:30. Grade 3 assemblies start at 1:40.

Once the form is completed you will receive an email from a Performing Arts teacher regarding an audition time and location. If you have any questions please contact Ashley Benusa at ashleybenusa@cdnis.edu.hk

Performing Opportunities for Grade 3 Students!

Love Performing Arts class but want a little extra challenge? There are many after school performing opportunities that Grade 3 students can take advantage of this year! Take a look at this post and consider signing up for one!

CDNIS Timbertones

Miss Chung will be directing the Lower School choir, the CDNIS Timbertones this year. To sign up, application forms can be found outside of Ms. Cheung’s room (Rm809). Auditions will be held during lunch times the week on August 21st (next week). The first practice is on Thurs, Aug 31st. Practices will be held every week on Thursdays. For any questions, please contact Ms. Cheung at vickicheung@cdnis.edu.hk.


LS Strings Ensemble

The LS Performing Arts Department is excited to offer an opportunity for students in Grade 3-6 who are already studying a string instrument outside of school to join the LS Strings Ensemble. Auditions will be held throughout the week of August 28. For more information and to sign-up for auditions check out the Strings page on Ms. Benusa’s PA blog.


Special Seussical Sessions

On select Friday afternoons from September – November the LS Performing Arts Department will run optional workshops called “Special Seussical Sessions” in LLAC 816. This activity is open to students in Grade 3-6 who are interested in joining the LS Musical. Attendance at each session is not mandatory for students who plan on auditioning for the show, but they will be helpful for young actors to prepare for auditions. For more information check out the LS Musical blog!

We’re Back!

Welcome back everyone! We’re excited for another awesome year in the Lower School of CDNIS!

This year the Performing Arts team looks a little different. We have some new members with new important roles!

Say hello to the new LS Performing Arts team!

  • Ms. Salvador will be teaching Early Years Music and Movement for Pre-Reception through Prep.
  • Ms. Benusa will be teaching Grade 1 to Grade 3 Performing Arts. She will also be directing the LS Strings Ensemble.
  • Ms. Butler will be teaching Grade 4 to Grade 6 Performing Arts. She will also be directing the LS Beginning Band.
  • Ms. Saunders will be teaching dance to the WHOLE SCHOOL! She will be working with both the PA and PE department to offer dance lessons within those classes.
  • Ms. Sunny is the new PA Education Assistant, she will be working with PA classes throughout the year.

As always you can follow what’s happening in Grade 1 to Grade 3 PA classes on this blog. You can also follow us on twitter or subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Have a Great Summer!

Wowee! What an awesome last day of school. I hope everyone has a great summer. See you next year.

New Community Song for Grade 1 and 2

The end of the school year can be so stressful! There is a lot of celebrating happening at our school, recognizing all of our accomplishments for the year. But it also can be a bittersweet time as friends and teachers plan their move to a different place. In Performing Arts we’ve been singing a little Bob Marley to find a sense of calm and remind ourselves that “every little thing will be alright.” Sing along below!