The Music Department at Dubai College has an outstanding record of achievement at both GCSE and A Level with over 50 students taking it at GCSE and 7 at A Level.
With 3 full time members of staff teaching curricular music, a full-time piano teacher and accompanist, a new Head of Brass and 14 visiting tutors, the department is a very successful one, providing in-house, expert instrumental and vocal tuition to approximately 300 students.
There are over 30 extra-curricular activities take place over the course of the week which provide wonderful opportunities to either play in one of our many varied bands, ensembles and orchestras or sing in one of our five choirs.
Students follow a progressive and differentiated scheme of work over the 3 years at Key Stage 3 that challenges all abilities and encourages students to be creative, confident and collaborative critical thinkers.
The scheme embodies the three main areas of music: listening, performing and composing. Digital skills are encouraged through the use of composing software packages and through recording and filming their work for assessment and evaluative purposes. Achievement is very high and students enjoy target setting in order to further their own learning. More than half of all students at Dubai College learn an instrument and are encouraged to bring them to class.
What makes a good teacher at Dubai College?
A good teacher should have a love of their subject and be genuinely interested in spending time with young people! Being passionate about imparting their knowledge of their subject is key in order to inspire and enthuse students. Other important skills include being a good listener, being approachable, organised and willing to give above and beyond the classroom in order to support students into achieving and being the very best they can be. It sounds obvious, but being a good communicator is so important and being able to explain a concept in many different ways to ensure it is understood and learnt properly by every one of their students.
What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?
Creativity, through well planned and exciting schemes of work. Innovative thinking and learning, critical thinking skills and confidence in their abilities through composing and performing. Students should be equally able to learn collaboratively as well as independently. Music is immensely enjoyable and also encourages self-reliance, confidence, memory and self-discipline. Taking part in an ensemble or choir encourages team spirit and a wonderful sense of being a part of a very special community.
In your opinion, what makes Dubai College special?
Dubai College has an ethos which I think is truly exceptional. Students are encouraged to work hard, be the best they can be, to play hard, to be neat, to be civil, to be co-operative and always give of themselves. The philanthropic side of this school is quite amazing. I love how much we think of others and raise money for good causes.
Who or what inspires you?
Composers such as Bach, Mozart, Brahms and Mahler. How they composed everything in their heads and wrote their incredible works with simply pens and manuscript paper. We are so lucky having the technology we have these days! Singers who have inspired me include Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance and Cecilia Bartoli.
Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.
I have a twin sister, I enjoy dragon boating and sailing and I am a little bit of a crazy cat lady!
Mrs J Lee-Foster, Director of Music