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Music Medals in Malaysia

2 months ago

Ryan Lewis

ABRSM’s Malaysia National Consultant

Fairview International School in Malaysia recently became the first school outside the UK to pilot Music Medals – our teacher-led assessments for younger learners. Music Medals build on work done in group lessons and give students opportunities to gain recognition for their hard work. There are five levels. Copper and Bronze are stepping-stones to Grade 1. Silver, Gold and Platinum reward further progress.

Fairview International School is Malaysia’s largest International Baccalaureate (IB) education provider with campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Subang Jaya, Penang, Ipoh and Johor Bahru. Since 2016 music has been a mandatory curriculum subject at the school and all students from five to sixteen years of age are now involved in the Music Medals pilot programme.

The school’s principal, Dr Vincent Chian, has a clear vision for music at Fairview: ‘We’re proud to be the first school outside the UK to use Music Medals. Our newly designed curriculum provides a pioneering model of IB education and Music Medals, integrated for a 21st century learner in a modern-day classroom.’

The music curriculum was set up by the school’s Global Head of Arts, Kirstin Oliver. It has enabled over 3,000 students to receive both instrumental and general music lessons in their timetables, giving them the opportunity to learn an orchestral instrument of their choice from scratch. Kirstin explains that ‘these woven lessons are conducted by full-time orchestral musicians and classroom specialists who teach Music Medals, without the need for after-school peripatetic tutors or clubs’.

The creative integration of Music Medals pieces into the curriculum means that students may end up performing their Copper solo piece as a ringtone arrangement or their Bronze ensemble piece in a bhangra remix version! Kirstin goes on to say: ‘Music Medals are taught in conjunction with the IB, resulting in this exciting programme. With use of repertoire, work on dynamics, creation of compositions (on an iPad), sight-reading and aural musicianship all given a new twist. ‘

ABRSM’s Commercial Director, Jeremy Phillips, visited the school earlier this year. ‘Seeing children of all ages at Fairview School enjoying their music lessons was the highlight of my trip to Malaysia. Kirstin and Vincent have an inspiring vision for music as a core curriculum subject and we at ABRSM look forward to supporting the Fairview team during this exciting international pilot and beyond.’

Vincent sums up the school’s approach. ‘What we do at Fairview International School is to make education as exciting and happy an experience for the children as possible. Being chosen to pilot the Music Medals programme illustrates our commitment towards that end.’

Find out more about Fairview International School: music@fairview.edu.my

Apart from this pilot programme, Music Medals are currently available in the UK only. Find out more about Music Medals.

 

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