Meet our New Music Teacher, Gordon Robb
The Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s holistic approach is an aspect families have a great appreciation for when enrolling their child. YCIS Beijing ‘s holistic education involves academic learning, character education and nurturing creativity in subjects such as Visual Arts, Sports and Music, which are given an equal priority.
Priority is also given to hiring the most suitable staff to teach these subjects. In this week’s Staff Profile, we talked to YCIS Beijing new music teacher, Gordon Robb, a great addition to the School Academic Team and Performing Arts Department. Gordon is a multi – instrumentalist who has 24 years’ experience teaching music in Primary and Secondary schools. He has experience playing in jazz, rock and function bands, ballets, churches and contemporary dances. When the opportunity to teach at YCIS Beijing arose, Gordon grabbed it with both hands. An excellent scholar in his own right, Gordon talked to us about how he was introduced to music and what his impression on YCIS Beijing students has been so far.
You are a multi-instrumentalist, when did you start learning to play your first instrument? And how about the rest?
I started piano at 5 and guitar at 7, church organ at 12. I have always sung in choirs. I have then self -taught ukulele, bass guitar and more recently I am learning the violin and am now on grade 6.
When did your love of music begin?
Everyone loves music from birth and my house always had music being played. My brothers also learned piano and guitar and my Dad loved Jazz and my mum was always keen to listen and sing along.
When did your love of teaching begin?
I tried teaching at 22 and realized I loved it and was comfortable in the classroom working with young people.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching music?
I love to inspire and motivate young people to learn and discover new skills and build their self-esteem.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Probably my children being happy and successful – however when I took my grade 8 piano – I got the highest mark in the country for that session.
What do you like about the YCIS Beijing music programme? What make it different from your previous schools?
The Chinese have a wonderful appreciation for all music which includes Western Classical music. It is lovely to be teaching in an environment that values the subject in such a special way and the violin programme seems a good start to the music programme.
What can students expect in your classes?
I expect all students to enjoy music, attempt the challenges I give them and to be positive about what they can do. My music lessons aim to be MUSICAL, enjoyable, challenging and creative.
What initiatives should we look forward to in our music department?
I am always looking to see how I can contribute to a school community in order to make music a vibrant part of everyday life. I am already working on Elf the musical and the Christmas concerts. But there is more to come.
What have been your impressions of our students so far?
The students have a good sense of pitch and tuning, they love to sing, and appreciate a good melody. Good music is valued and respected by all.
Should we expect to see you perform at our school events with the students’ band?
I am very keen to role model my musicianship not because I want to show off but because I want students to be inspired to do more themselves and who knows, maybe become a passionate music teacher when they grow up, or just develop a lifelong love of the live art that is ‘muse’, the inspiration.
We are looking forward to seeing our students’ jam sessions with Mr. Robb!