From Rookies to Rockstars: The Band Programme at ISP

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“Playing in Band can be a life-changing experience for a child. Music is a vehicle to teach people how to be good humans, and the world needs that now more than ever. In Band we close our laptops and come together with a common purpose and goal with our instruments. An outstanding Band program doesn’t have one person in charge but rather a group of musicians ready to support one another and make music.”

Lindsey Simondet, MS and US Band Director

Playing in a band is an incredible experience, not only because you learn how to play an instrument but also because you learn how to play with others, develop resilience, and engage in creative collaboration.

At ISP, we prioritize these skills and see the immense value in musical arts experiences for our students, which is why we have designed our Instrument and Band programme to extend from Upper Elementary School through Upper School.

Through a comprehensive after-school programme at the Elementary School level, interested students can meet weekly with one of our expert teachers for introductory lessons playing an instrument and being part of the ensemble.

“Many teachers helped me get progressively better at my instrument, especially my after-school band teacher, Ms. Teresa.  I don’t think I would have learned to play the trumpet without her. If you want to play an instrument, you have to stay with it. You have to know that it will be hard, so you need to push forward to meet your goals. I will definitely continue playing in Middle School.”

Jack, Grade 5

Our Elementary School Music teacher, Ms. Suzanne Higgins, is one of the after-school ES Band teachers, along with ISP Visiting Artist, Andy Schofield, a jazz saxophonist, and conductor of Jazz Dock Orchestra in Prague. Accompanying them in the music room are two other visiting teachers, Ms. Teresa and Ms. Misha. 

When a child begins their musical journey early on, they are presented with a unique advantage. Playing an instrument requires discipline, dedication, and patience, and starting at a young age helps instill these qualities from the very beginning.

“Having the opportunity to play in a band at such a young age was where it all started for me, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if that initial spark hadn’t been lit.”

Suzanne Higgins, ES Music Teacher

“As a Visiting Artist at ISP, my role is to bring my professional experience as a musician to students at the very beginning of their musical journey. I was very fortunate, when I began learning, to have teachers who had practical experience as performers, and were able to communicate the fulfilment and joy that playing music can bring.”

Andy Schofield, ISP Visiting Artist

This Elementary Band programme culminates at the end of the year with a speculator concert, showcasing the growth and development of our Elementary students.

In Middle School, our elective programme offers two possibilities; for budding musicians, we have our Rookie Band, and for more experienced players, we have our Rockstar Band.  These bands are scheduled simultaneously to meet the needs of all our students as they grow and develop throughout the year.

“The Band room is a unique place in a school and kids who are in Band know exactly what I mean by that. Band is all about teamwork. There isn’t one musician that is more important than the other. Everyone gets their chance to shine and their chance to play a supporting role. In Band we use our head, heart and hands to reach a common goal of sharing our music with the community. Music makers are changemakers in countless ways. It is truly a special space for our students at ISP. “

Lindsey Simondet, MS and US Band Director

By being part of a band, young musicians gain valuable collaborative and performance experiences, broaden their musical horizons, and lay the foundation for future success. We are fortunate at ISP to have an incredible team of music teachers supporting our young musicians as they learn, experiment, and play.