Performance Arts: A serious commitment at AIS

Performance Arts: A serious commitment at AIS

When it comes to performance arts the Australian International School (AIS) is shooting for the stars. Alongside its strong academic credentials is a commitment to the arts. Principal Dr. Roderick Crouch, himself a passionate fan of the arts, argues that participation in the performance arts leads to greater engagement in learning. Not only that but they also offer “a shared activity with a common purpose transcending cultural boundaries and building confidence”.

AIS Concert Band 2019-2020

Investment in Resources and Partnerships is Key

Since 2016 AIS has invested heavily in skills, equipment and facilities. The school boasts a team of dedicated international teachers who motivate the students to achieve self-confidence and express their individuality through performance arts. Each year AIS aims to raise the bar for itself. This year AIS has joined the Inspired educational group (who have performance arts as one of their three pillars), and partnered with Asia Music and Performance Arts Education (AMPA) to start a dance program while in 2020 AIS will benefit from Inspired’s partnership with Berklee College, Boston.
The school is among one of the few in the country offering a full band programme – the scarcity and cost of musical instruments in Vietnam excludes most others. Each child in year 7 – 10 has the opportunity, at no extra cost, to learn a musical instrument and is encouraged to join the concert band. Secondary music teacher Mr Colin Burstow, a professional session musician for many years, stresses the importance of offering opportunities to try not only different instruments but also different styles. Burstow is keen to get all students involved in music regardless of ability. Since joining AIS he has been impressed by the work ethic and positive learning attitude and feels fully supported. He adds “the environment at AIS allows me to do my job without restrictions and this shows. For a small department we are able to produce performances of an exceptional standard”.

Band Practice Session

Opportunities are there for the taking

None of this would be possible without the students. One such student is Young Jin Cho (Eric). Eric has eagerly grabbed the opportunities on offer. After only three years of learning the trombone, he took part in an international orchestral performance at Carnegie Hall. Inspired to take things further Eric set up his own group ‘Cho’s Trombones’ developing leadership skills as he leads the juniors. Eric also conducted the live orchestra in the school’s recent production of The Adam’s Family. When asked how he finds the time given his IB workload he replies…
In addition to music, dance plays a large role in school life at AIS. With support from AMPA in the form of expert dance teachers, AIS has added a dance option to the year 7 – 10 curriculum. The inter-house competitions for years 11 and 12 are hugely popular. The opening of a performance arts center to include a dance studio later this year is a further example of AIS’ long term commitment.