by Jeong Bin Lee
On the November of 18th, 2016, music teachers from all around the world came to American School of Warsaw for the AMIS Music Educators’ Conference.
“150 teachers from seventy different schools across Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Many schools have opted to send their entire music faculty to Warsaw,” said Keith Montgomery, the Executive Director of the Association for Music in International Schools.
The morning of November 18th, all the 150 music teachers from international schools gathered in the theater assembly to be welcomed and greeted by the whole assembly of ASW choir students. Ranging from elementary, middle and to high school students, the choir performed “Sing dem Herrn” by Michael Praetorius and “We Rise Again” by Stephen Smith.
“I was truly impressed with how brave Mrs. Bechdoldt and her students were to agree to perform for a group of music teachers! It’s still very early in the school year, and Mrs. Bechdoldt is new to ASW, so the students and the teacher are still in the process of getting to know one another. And yet they performed for us an a cappella work, as well as a processional. I heard a lot of comments about how professional the presentation was, and the focused discipline of all the singers on the stage,” said Mr. Montgomery.
This conference schedule contained a variety of events so that the teachers could specifically pick a topic that they would like discuss with other teachers.
Ms. Bechdoldt has already once attended the AMIS Music Educators’ Conference before when she had taught at Hong Kong International School. One valuable thing that Ms. Bechdoldt has learned from the AMIS conference and would like to share would be excellent techniques to help middle school boys with changing voices. The techniques she acquired from the other internation school teachers will improve her assistance to middle school boys who experience difficulties with changing voices.
Mr. Montgomery, who has attended all of the AMIS conferences, believes that teaching music is one of the most noble professions that exist. “Teaching young people about music enriches their lives in ways that no other activity can equal.”
Mr. Armstrong, the band teacher at ASW, stated that he was most excited about learning, meeting, and having opportunities to learn from other professionals from international schools.
This year is the 4th official AMIS Music Educators’ Conference. Next year’s AMIS conference will be held at the American School of Dubai.