“Do some of you speak French? That many. Then you will certainly know that AMIS means.. [students: “friends!”]. That is right. The first reason we are here, and that AMIS exists, is to make friends through music.” - Mr. Keith, Executive Director of AMIS Last Thursday we started a brand new chapter in our long history of AMIS (The Association for Music in International Schools).
It was the first day of the first ever AMIS Elementary School (ES) Honor Choir. AMIS and ASH go a long way back. The music charity - registered in the UK - was co-founded by Mr. Jim, one of our former ASH music teachers. He was the first board president from its starting in 1998 until early 2000’s. One of the organization’s goals was to give students a platform for a real life musical experience - choose a piece of music and perform in front of a real judge and get assessed in a non-competitive environment.
Despite working with young children, the inaugural ES Honor Choir very much adhered to the original goals and high standards of AMIS. First thing that morning, participating students from schools around the world gathered for the opening session where they met their conductor for the next two days, Ms. Nyssa and all the other people that made the choir possible, then they immediately launched into musical practice.
Together, they worked industriously, made friends, and had fun for two days. On Friday, there was a performance of the ES Honor Choir for parents and staff. Elementary School Principal Dr. Michelle remarked: “It was wonderful to see students from so many schools work collaboratively, this is really what #StrongerTogether is all about.”
Before the students kicked off the performance with a beautiful rendition of ‘Round and Round the Earth is Turning’, Dr. Courtney thanked our elementary school music teacher Ms. Jennie for coordinating the first ever AMIS ES Honor Choir, right here at ASH.
And the learning did not end on Friday, besides Ms. Jennie, two of other music educators, Mr. Ben and Ms. Cindy had been working relentlessly to organize and host the AMIS Music Educators Conference at ASH past weekend. No less than fifty workshops for teachers of all grade levels were be on offer, covering a wide range of topics including ‘General Music’, ‘Choral, Instrumental’, ‘Curriculum and Instruction’, ‘Music Technology’, ‘Social-Emotional Learning’, ‘Composition’, and other issues pertaining to our global community.
Mr. Ben shared "Many of the participants had never been to an AMIS festival before, so it was wonderful to build up that camaraderie again. It was about friendship, networking, musical fellowship and a great learning experience."
Ms. Cindy reflected on remarkable moments of the weekend, and said: “I spoke with a teacher who attended a lesson-planning workshop, simply because she didn't see anything else during the time slot that interested her more. She had previously never been particularly interested in curriculum planning, but came away filled with excitement about the possibilities that had been opened up to her by a completely different way of thinking about the process.”
We are grateful to everyone that worked hard to make last week’s learning experience possible. Ms. Cindy said: “Watching the music teachers whose students participated in the ES Honor Choir as they developed their bond. This is what AMIS is all about - forging relationships, both professional and personal, across the borders.”