Nord Anglia Education has recently announced its collaboration with the prestigious New York based Juilliard School. A special performing arts program is taking place at Nord Anglia’s 31 schools across the world, including at the British School of Guangzhou.
Urban Family asked Christopher Mossey, Senior Managing Director for Educational and Artistic Affairs at Juilliard Global Ventures, some questions about the international collaboration.
What is the goal with the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme?
There are several goals with the new collaboration: to inspire and equip Nord Anglia students with skills, curiosity, and cultural literacy to engage with the performing arts throughout their lives; to provide the Nord Anglia family of schools with access to learning and teaching models co-developed with Juilliard, the world’s leading performing arts conservatory; to provide unparalleled opportunities for Nord Anglia’s students to work with experts in the performing arts, both inside and outside of the classroom; and to build a cooperative teaching community between Nord Anglia and Juilliard that strives for excellence in the delivery of performing arts education.
You have put a lot of focus into global collaborations in recent years. Why do you think this is important?
One of the strengths of Juilliard is its international network of high quality performers and teachers that make an impact on cultural affairs every day around the world. We are tapping into that network so that Juilliard can become more pervasive in a global sense, so that people outside of New York can have access to the excellence that makes Juilliard so special. Through the accomplishments of its alumni, the Juilliard ‘brand’ is very strong – market research from 2014 indicated that the Juilliard name is known by 66% of Chinese, for example. In addition, around 30% of Juilliard’s student population consists of international students.
Is Juilliard the best school in the world for studying the performing arts? What other schools do you think are on a similar level?
There are many excellent performing arts schools in the United States (and abroad). What distinguishes Juilliard from other schools is its location in New York City at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a campus of eleven professional performing arts presenters that includes the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. Many of our faculty members are working professionals in these organizations. Juilliard is unique in that it offers programs across three broad categories of performing arts – music, dance, and drama, and Juilliard also functions as an active presenter of high quality performances – more than 700 per year – that give students opportunities to perform in front of a discerning public.
What can students expect to learn from the program?
Over time, students in the Juilliard-Nord Anglia program will be exposed in the classroom to numerous forms of music, dance, and drama, covering a wide array of genres and cultures. Juilliard and Nord Anglia are working together to design a curriculum that is accessible, engaging and deep. Students will also undertake “hands on” activities that will help them learn the languages of the performing arts, such as reading music, and will participate in activities that bring out their own creativity, all the while learning within a framework infused with Juilliard’s excellence. In addition, Juilliard plans to leverage its network of performers and teachers to engage directly with Nord Anglia schools around the world.
What kind of expertise do you have to offer?
Juilliard has played a significant role in K-12 education for nearly 100 years. Juilliard’s faculty, students, and alumni regularly teach in education programs for younger children. Our audition-based Pre-College Program, which takes place on Saturdays in New York, was founded in 1918; in that program, talented students, ages 8-18, study directly with Juilliard faculty. In addition, for the past 25 years, Juilliard has trained students with the skills to be “artist-teachers” – high quality performers who are excellent at engaging educationally and creatively with young people of all ages and talent levels.
Can you give any advice to students who would like to get accepted to a prestigious and competitive school such as Juilliard?
The most important thing that any student can do is to find any and every way to immerse themselves in their art. Finding good teachers and training, opportunities to perform, looking in their community and outside of it to constantly find inspiration through attending performances, learning more about their art, and to deepen their understanding of what it is to be an artist. Through www.juilliard.edu, Juilliard can refer your child to a teacher in the area.
Your graduates have been very successful over the years, with numerous achievements such as Grammys, Academy Awards, Pulitzers, etc. Why do you think that is?
Our training programs are rigorous and highly connected to the highest standards of the music, dance and drama professions. We offer numerous performance opportunities at Juilliard in New York in a performance environment that mirrors the professional world.
The admittance percentage to Juilliard is extremely low. Who is the typical Juilliard student and how can you tell if someone has what it takes?
Ultimately, the audition is how we evaluate the artistic talent and potential of an applicant. However, the preparation for the audition is very telling - the length and quality of the training the student has had; the depth and breadth of their experience as a musician, dancer or actor; the immersion in the art form which can be demonstrated by how they choose to spend their time outside of school and in the summers. We have seen that talent can flourish anywhere, though – students who have limited resources and access surprise us on a regular basis with their passion and potential!
Are you planning on a more long-term collaboration with Nord Anglia?
Yes. Juilliard and Nord Anglia will be announcing other elements of the program in the future.