Page 21 - FIS World October 2018
P. 21

  A Sound Investment
FIS Summer Camps prove a rewarding experience in more ways than one
When my daughter leaves for school at 7:30 in the morning, I have eight hours before she comes bounding back through the door. There’s a lot that needs to get done in those eight hours and I always run out of time before I can create that filing system, bake homemade scones or decoupage an old vase.
But, for a group of enthusiastic and brave FIS students, eight hours was apparently all they needed to pick up instruments they had never played before, learn chords and scales, form a rock band (the Unicorn Skittles) and perform the Black Eyed Peas’ hit “I Gotta Feeling”.
This past July, nine students, aged 7–14, attended the unique Red Butler Music School offered through FIS Summer Camps to engage with their inner musician and explore the electric guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. Under the guidance of real-life rock star Alex Butler, students learned the fundamentals of their chosen instrument and the dynamics of playing as a band.
Striking a Chord
While the open-minded students were thrilled to make sounds on new instruments, making music together was truly rewarding. When the students unlocked their creative potential and learned how to perform together, they had an amazing transformation from rookies to rock stars.
There may not have been dry ice pumping out around their ankles and pyrotechnics flashing behind them (yet), but as they confidently performed in front of an audience, these happy campers gained what FIS hopes all participants gain through the REAL program: the opportunity to pursue a new interest and expand their potential.
The Halls are Alive with the Sound of Music
While the Unicorn Skittles were plugging in their amps, another group of students were down the hall plugging in their laptops and settling in for the TechWarriors camp to practice computer programming. It seemed unlikely that these two different groups of students would end up creating a musical collaboration greater than Aerosmith’s and Run DMC’s “Walk This Way.” But, nevertheless, they would soon come together in perfect harmony after Bas de Vries, a 2015 FIS graduate, took a break from studying for his Bachelor degree in Sound Engineering and Music Production in London, to drop in on
the TechWarriors.
Mixing the art of music and the science of coding, the tech students learned musical structure and how beats are assembled. The instruction from Bas struck a chord with the students who quickly transformed into music producers.
Raising the game an octave, the TechWarriors used the music created by the Unicorn Skittles and layered and mixed their beats. Bas noted, “the students were doing quite advanced composition by the end of the week and they all accomplished a better understanding of music structure and the different elements that make up a full song.” But most of all, the TechWarriors broke a sound barrier and learned that coding can be art.
For a group of FIS students, eight hours was all they needed to transform from rookies to rock stars.
Whether it was first-time rock beats or new music samples, it was evident that what was created during the FIS Summer Camp was pretty special. With smiles as wide as the white boards behind them, the students were full of excitement over expanding their talents and accomplishing great feats in a such short period of time. It’s powerful to learn what you are capable of and REAL programs are instrumental in discovering new passions.
Juliette Gustavsson FIS Parent
Scan the QR code above to see the Unicorn Skittles jamming
                                                                                                                                                  October 2018 FIS World 19

   19   20   21   22   23