HQIS Music Curriculum



As a school that follows American curriculum standards, music plays a key role in our programs. From Early Childhood to High School, music is a constant element in our daily school activities.

Our IB-oriented Music Course

At HQIS, starting from Preschool, music is taught within the IB-PYP units of inquiry. In the IB system, music is not an independent subject, and it is integrated into other subjects.

G4 students have explored the planets by music ‘The Planets’, by Gustav Holst within the Unit of Inquiry- Knowledge gained from exploration. Through these lessons, students have learned about characteristics of the each planet and discussed what instruments were used for each planet.

While exploring within the PYP Unit of Inquiry about animals, G1 students had the opportunity to listen to the famous masterpiece “The Carnival of The Animals”, a group of compositions that describes the characteristics of animals through pieces of music; this allowed our students to learn about animal behavior and notions of classical music at the same time.

In addition, according to different themes of inquiry, students explored different kinds of folk music from various ethnic groups in the world, including Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian, Latin, and African folk music. They had the chance to listen to unusual and exotic instruments and they saw how performers play them.


This is my fifth year to teach IB PYP music and I still feel excited. Unlike any other music pedagogy, PYP music curriculum has no textbook nor established content to teach students. On the other hand, teachers need to cooperate and discuss all the curriculum together to achieve the goal of transdisciplinary teaching and inspire each other’s creativity.

In short, PYP curriculum tests the teacher’s ability and creativity. It’s a challenge and I love it!


— Ms. Fumann, HQIS Muci Director


Our PYP music curriculum is developed by all teachers’ cooperation and discussion to help students to experience (or benefit) transdisciplinary learning.

— Ms. Jessica, HQIS PYP Performing Art Teacher


PBL Music Projects

Upper School Music is designed to develop an appreciation of music through learning music history and music theory from the different genres of music. It will encourage students to develop an understanding of the elements of music; melody, rhythm, harmony, and form. At the same time, teachers will utilize the PBL system to allow students to express the knowledge they grasped through guided projects.

When students learn how to play a piece of music, they need to understand how it was composed, why it was created, and its significance to then and now.

For instance, Middle School students have learned the Western music history of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic Eras. They have learned different characteristics, musical forms, composers, and famous pieces of each Era. At the end of this Unit, they have worked on a group research project on musicians of the Baroque to Romantic Era, and each group gave a presentation in class.

Our music program provides our students with a lot of opportunities to learn, discover, practice, create, and cooperate. At the same time, our educators will provide personalized learning opportunities to meet the needs of every student, so that they can master the three most important modules (performance, composition and appreciation) of music learning in the best possible way.


We support students in their musical education by building on the good performance habits developed in upper school. Closely aligned with the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) Standards for music, students will refine their technical ability in the musical instrument of their choice, grow their performance skills and inform their performance in their instrument by improving their understanding of music theory and their ability to analyse musical works.

— Mr. Bryce, High School Music Teacher


On-Stage Performances That Make Students Fall in Love With Music

At HQIS music is a very important part of our model of holistic education, not just a minor subject for leisure. And in fact, students have a lot of chances to showcase their talent. They have a fixed schedule for rehearsals, grand performances on stage every semester, music competitions, and so on.

We strongly believe that every child has talent, and that on-stage performances are the best way to increase children’s self-confidence, enhance their musical skills, and foster a passion for music.

HQIS will always continue to provide the best in music education to its students, and to support them in the most effective and best way, valuing the talent and personal traits of each child.

Upcoming Events in 2022

The 8th European Union Conservatory of Music  – Junior Music Competition

Trinity Laban Conservatoire Music Competition for Schools

The 2022 8th EU National Conservatory of Music Youth Music Competition – the British Trinity Laban Conservatory of music and dance Cup Shanghai sub competition and music festival will be held in our school on January 1, 2022. We welcome interested families to participate. Parents can email MS. fumann, HQIS music director via fu-mann.chuang@hqis.org for further information.

Major: Piano, String

Registration deadline: December 10th, 2021

Please scan the QR code to register now