G3 is into “Treble”

Grade 3 students have recently been doing work with a Western music notation tool – the treble clef. Students have started to develop strategies for reading pitches on the five line staff and applying that knowledge to music we’ve learned so far this year. Ask your student what their strategy is!

As we often find that humor can be a “sticky” tool in learning new concepts, Grade 3 students have been singing this treble clef song in class:

Grade 2 Spotlights Coming Soon!


Created with flickr slideshow.


We had our first rehearsal in the LLAC for our G2 “Connections” Spotlight today! As we prepare for our performance a couple of things to remember:

  • Performances are on the following days:
    • 2A/2D/2E – November 6 – 9:40am
    • 2B/2C – November 7 – 9:40am
  • Students are welcome to wear “free performance dress” for the performance. “Free performance dress” means clothing that is dressier than normal dress down days, but is still comfortable and to wear on stage. We want students to be proud of they way that they look. No ball gowns or tuxedos are necessary! Some students might already have clothing that enhances their performance, and that is great!
  • The performance will be recorded in live streaming. More information on that soon!

For ways you can help your child prepare for their performance, check out an older post about the G2 Spotlight here.

Getting Ready for the Grade 2 Spotlights!

Grade 2 is hard at work preparing for their Spotlights in a little over a month! Students will perform a selection of works that they have learned so far this year. Each works explores the PYP concept of connection. Students have been examining their music making in three ways:

  • How can we connect music to ourselves?
    • What music do we like? What music do we dislike? Why?
    • How does music make us feel? Is there a change in our mood after Performing Arts?
  • How can we use music to connect with others?
    • How can we work together to make our music more interesting?
    • How can we engage with an audience with our music?
  • How can we use music to connect to the world around us?
    • How do cultures use music to celebrate?
    • How do cultures use music to express themselves?
    • Can we see what we play? Can we play what we see?

In Visual Arts students have been exploring mindful art and creating abstract compositions that can be turned into music in Performing Arts. This has resulted in some very interesting creations that we hope to share with you at our performanc!

In preparation for the Spotlight, all students will have a unique special job in the performance. For some students this might mean doing a dance, others might be introducing a performance, others might be playing an instrument! Help your student to prepare for their performance by checking in with them following the October break about what their job is.

All students will sing a couple of songs and dances together. Feel free to practice some of these songs over the break:


Alabama Gal

Yue Guang Guang

Try a Little Kindness

Sign Up for the Hong Kong Speech and Music Festival

LS and US students interested in participating in the 70th HK Schools Music Festival must complete either the DUO form, or the SOLO form and submit them, along with payment to Mrs. Kimberly Butler (LS) or Ms. Jessy Po (US). Fees must be paid by cheque to CDNIS. Deadline for submitting applications is Friday, October 13. For more information regarding fees for duo and solo performances, please access the festival syllabus.

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: