Music at Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing)


YCIS Beijing’s Diverse Music Programmes Provides Students of All Ages with a Variety of Avenues for Musical Exploration

A quality Music Programme is an essential aspect of any school, international or otherwise. The benefits that early and consistent exposure to playing an instrument or creating music bring to a child’s mind are well-documented. At YCIS Beijing, students across all year levels are given the opportunity to get involved with traditional bands and orchestras as well as personalized lessons with private teachers via the school’s In-School Individual Instrumental Programme (IIIP).

Primary School – Instilling a Love of Music in Children

Students who enter YCIS Beijing in Years 1-3 in Primary School will attend the school’s exceptional violin programme. With biweekly classes, the programme is an excellent opportunity for students to gain appreciation for music as well as reap the benefits to memory, focus, and self-discipline that learning the instrument at a young age provides.

Students in Years 4-6 may continue their violin studies or branch out into one of YCIS Beijing’s other offerings for primary school students, including xylophone and drumming, orchestra, Chinese drumming, and the school musical, in addition to attending regular music and dance classes. Heather Rugile, YCIS Beijing’s Primary Music Specialist, is responsible for teaching students how to play a variety of instruments as well as the fundamentals of music, including music theory, ear training, composition, singing, and performing. She remarks that, in addition to the positive effect music has on the brain’s development, “By playing a musical instrument, students have an outlet for self-expression and a tool to help relieve daily stressors in their lives. Performance is also a wonderful skill to learn as a child, as this helps to alleviate fears of speaking to crowds and builds confidence.”

The IIIP is the final piece of the Primary School music programme. In this programme, students are able to select any instrument or area of music they would like that is not already offered by YCIS Beijing. Highly qualified teachers are hand-picked from outside the school to teach IIIP students privately one-on-one. This is a great resource for students who are interested in pursuing independent or niche musical interests.

Secondary School – Performance and Achievement

YCIS Beijing students in Secondary School have a similarly wide variety of ways in which they can get involved with the music programme. In addition to regular music studies courses, numerous after-school activities are available as well, including the senior orchestra, jazz band, choirs, and rock bands. IIIP continues to be available to students at all year levels in Secondary School.

Performing is a major piece of the Secondary School music curriculum. Lianne Yu, Instrumental Music teacher for Secondary Years 7-9 and Music as an elective in IGCSE and IB, discusses the importance of performance for music students: “Having a platform to showcase their talents in front of their peers really helps to boost their confidence.   It also gives students the responsibility in the preparation process to put something together that is relevant and respected.” Students are also given opportunities to demonstrate their excellence through performance and assessment in the IB Diploma and IGCSE Programmes, which “pushes students to really concentrate on not only becoming a specialist in their instrument(s) of choice, but to become a well-rounded musician.” Finally, YCIS Beijing’s performance groups often perform at local functions around Beijing, which have included such mainstays as the British Ball, community events, and education events.

For students at YCIS Beijing, the music programme at all age levels offers not just the opportunity to learn a new skill but also the chance to nurture confidence, growth, and discipline. It remains a concrete representation of the school’s core philosophy of aligning with the arts and music within every YCIS school across the world.


Contribution from Greg Eiselt, 施睿嘉, Marketing Officer @ Yew Chung International School of Beijing, 北京耀中国际学校

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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!