Art & Music

Art and music are fundamental to the YCIS philosophy and objectives that aim to provide students with a well rounded and balanced education. A key component of this is to ensure they have wide exposure to a variety of music and art during their time at school.

Teacher Miss Mannerheim about IGCSE Art at YCIS:

Artist-in-Residence (AIR)

The school offers a unique educational opportunity called the Artist-in-Residence programme, in which a contemporary, working artist interacts with students in class. Students have the chance to learn about the dynamic art scene in China and worldwide, and to develop creativity and aesthetic sense, learning techniques and art forms straight from a real, professional artist. The artists are encouraged to lead various art projects in the school from cross curricula projects to murals, as well as to build their own professional body of artwork.

Our current AIRs are:

  • Mr Mark Montgomery, an American artist who specialises in pen and ink drawings (Hongqiao and Gubei campuses)
  • Ms Esther Chow, a Hong Kong artist who specialises in the forms and colours in nature, particularly floral imagery (Regency Park and Century Park campuses)

In-School Individual Instrumental Programme (IIIP)

YCIS Shanghai offers an individual instrumental programme, where select music teachers provide instruction on a wide range of instruments, in addition to the violin, according to the interests of each student. IIIP provides students with the opportunity to develop their interest and helps to build the YCIS orchestra programme.

The Music Programme

Music plays a major role in school life at YCIS. Research shows that music training enhances a child's spatial-temporal reasoning, leading to improved maths performance, memory span, and intellectual development. From the school’s initial founding, music has been one of the centrepieces and points of distinction that our students talk about – even long after graduation.

Violin Programme

Students receive violin lessons from Year 1 to Year 3, with lessons becoming optional activities thereafter. These young violinists have numerous opportunities to display their talents in school concerts and musicals, as well as public performances, contributing to their self-confidence as they learn to perform on stage, as well as to their development of a lifelong appreciation for music.

Teacher Miss Wang about Violin at YCIS:

Concerts and Musicals

From the young Primary violinists all the way through to older Secondary school students, YCIS Shanghai students have the chance to participate in a variety of musicals and concerts, sharing their learning and new skills with family, friends, and faculty. Some of our recent concerts include:

  • The Seeds of Hope Gala Concert, which featured more than 370 student performers
  • The Annual YCIS Battle of the Bands Competition
  • Annual winter, spring, and summer concerts, and cultural performances

In-house Recording Studio

Our Gubei Campus features an in-house, professional recording studio, complete with microphones, amplifiers, and the latest recording software. The adjoining music lab also features a full suite of Apple computers with the latest composition software, so our older students can develop their musical skills.

Drama and Musical Theatre

Drama is a central part of our English curriculum, and is very much a part of the teaching at YCIS, starting in Primary (Year 3), where students learn the fundamentals of drama and start to perform in school plays and musical theatre. In our Lower Secondary programme (Years 7 to 9), all students take three sessions of drama each week, focusing on the three competencies of the Drama Curriculum of England: Performing, Devising, and Understanding. In this way, all Lower Secondary students learn not only about drama skills and drama as an art form, they also improve their presentation skills, benefitting them in any future profession. In the Upper Secondary programme, drama becomes optional, and students can choose to take Drama courses as part of their IGCSE or IB coursework, or participate in a large range of drama related extra-curricular activities. Our theatre facilities, located on every campus, support a variety of productions, from intimate dramatic performances, to full-scale musicals.

Musicals and Play Productions

Theatre productions are highly encouraged and supported in the Secondary schools. These productions showcase not only the talent of students but also staff and other members of the community. These productions are presented in alignment with the school mission.


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