In both our Lower and Upper schools, students begin to learn about the origins of music and to build a greater appreciation and understanding of different sounds and melodies from around the world. With visitors from places such as Ghana, the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands, ISA students are able to experience an authentic connection to music, making it more relevant and alive.
As a standard part of their curriculum, Pre-School – Grade 5 students engage in singing, rhythmic and instrumental activities in music classes with a specialist teacher. In addition to their regular music class, Lower School students in older grades can join the Lower School Choir or the Lower School Percussion Group to experience more structured training and to have the opportunity to perform for their classmates and the school community. Vocal and instrumental lessons for Lower School students are offered as well after school through our ISA Music Academy.
Middle Years Programme students take music classes in grades 6 and 8 as a component of the Middle Years Design, Arts and Communication programme at ISA. Music is also offered as an elective in grades 9 and 10. Additionally, Upper School students can further pursue their interest in music through various extracurricular activities including local, regional and international Choir and Ensemble competitions and individual voice and instrumental lessons through the ISA Music Academy.
For Diploma students, the ISA music programme provides a foundation for further study at university level or for a career path in music. It is offered at Standard or Higher Level and students should already be practising performers/ and or composers and have acquired considerable general musical background knowledge.
Drama & Theatre Studies
The ISA Lower and Upper School Drama programmes are designed to allow for self-exploration and self-development for all of our students.
The Lower School curriculum allows students to learn about dramatic expression through a variety of techniques (role play, mime, story-telling, acting and cooperative games) and cross-disciplinary activities, such making masks in Art class for their own drama productions. Students are encouraged to share their own cultural heritage and stories in drama sessions and to be active in the various stages of a production – from writing to set creation to performing. A specialist drama teacher works with grades 2-5, while homeroom teachers in the younger grade levels incorporate dramatic play and movement activities into their programme.
Middle Years Programme students take drama courses in grades 6 and 8 and have the opportunity to take drama as an elective in grades 9 and 10. Students train with international theatre experts and both the Middle School (Grade 6 -8) and the High School (grade 9-12) are active in the production and performance of plays and musicals.
ISA Theatre Arts is a two-year programme that allows our Diploma Students to explore the essential role that Theatre plays in Contemporary society. It is offered at Standard and Higher Level and is divided into four parts: Theatre in the Making, Theatre in the Performance, Theatre in the World and the Individual Project.
Amsterdam has a deep appreciation of art and has the highest museum density in the world – with over 60 throughout the city. The ISA Art programme takes advantage of this by integrating historical and contemporary art from the region and beyond to inspire our students to find creative talents within themselves.
ISA Lower School students explore the visual arts with a specialist teacher using a variety of media and processes, including painting, collage-making, drawing and mask-making. It is a sensory experience, allowing our youngest students to touch and feel the materials used to make art pieces and to gain a better appreciation in general of the work that goes into making art.
Our Upper School students build on this foundation and explore Visual Arts within a rich and varied cultural context. Investigations and research of multiple art conventions and styles inform the students’ own art practice in the studio. Work in Middle School combines experience in numerous media with an expanding knowledge of formal qualities, such as line, composition, and colour. As students move into Grades 9 and 10, studies become increasingly theme-based and student-resourced. In these years, emphasis is placed on the artistic process. Developmental workbook practices are key throughout the MYP and provide robust routines for the development of creative, inventive mindsets.
Within the IB Diploma Programme, students can pursue their interests in Visual Arts further at both Higher and Standard Levels. Increasingly student-driven, the Visual Arts programme offers students the opportunity to develop strong technical skills whilst strengthening their critical and analytical skills to extend their knowledge of the history of art as well its cultural context. In Year 2, studio work is largely independent and provides students with the opportunity to develop a highly personal, authentic body of work.
ISA’s graduates routinely secure places in premium Arts schools across the world. In addition, the vigour and strength of the programme provides a unique and powerful skill set for all students that is recognised across all fields.
This programme is for Diploma students and aims to develop students’ skills so that they become adept in both interpreting and making film texts. This course explores film history, theory and socio-economic background to develop student’s critical abilities, enabling them to appreciate the multiplicity of cultural and historical perspectives in film.