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BISS 12th Grader: Music Lights Up My DP Days

30/04/2019 1574



by Emma



“You in the fish market



Looking for the moon



I’m under the moonlight



Going by a small river”



Peter Wen, Grade 12 student at BISS wrote “The Master”, a song with beautiful lyrics and melody.


▲Peter Wen, BISS 12th Grade


In the IB Diploma Programme students choose one course from each of the 6 subject groups. Peter selected music as one of his core courses. Over the past two years, Peter composed three major pieces. "Music is a great passion and big inspiration for me.” said Peter.


The Master, a score inspired by a Chinese poem by famous poet Haizi, is a song for tenor solo with piano accompaniment. “I always liked Haizi. I wandered through his poems and came across this piece. I started to sing. Then I decided to compose music based on it.”


“Teaching and Learning in Context” is the foundation to understand the IB concepts. Students need to investigate into themselves and their lives to find where they are in time and place. It is well reflected in each of the courses taught at BISS. 


In the “Fragrant Hills”, another composition written by Peter, dived into the histories of Beijing and his personal experiences living in the city. “The Fragrant Hills are one of the favorite places to go for local Beijingers. When standing on top of the mountain, people can see the traditional architecture as well as the modern city skyline. That very distinction and contrast inspires me.” With the music going up and down, it transmits the spectrum of music with the harmony of three instruments, piano, harp and flute. “It is a blend of Eastern and Western art music with the use of pentatonic scale, that was widely adopted since ancient East."

“I have been studying music for three years since Grade 10. Some of my classmates chose Visual Arts, but I love music. I think, whenever I am around music, it gives me the light of life. When I write the scores, I feel empowered.” 


For IB learners, it is important that each student not only explores and takes action, but also reflects at every stage of the learning cycle. All DP music students must complete a reflective statement related to each composition. In his reflections, Peter revisited his intention for creating his pieces, which is a key process leading to the final outcome of his work.


At BISS, the high teacher-student ratio provides students with a great chance to learn in a very personalized way, and get the best instructions from the top level teachers. As Peter’s music teacher, Dawid Bochen, who is also the Pre K-12 Principal at BISS, says that it is a long tradition for BISS teachers to find the strength of each student, inspire their intrinsic motivation for learning, and finally empower them to attain their best. “Peter is very talented in musical composition. As a very sensitive, perceptive and reflective person, he not only applies the technical skill of manipulating elements of music into a coherent musical form, but also reflects his emotions and perception of the world around him in his compositions” said Mr. Bochen. 


It has been more than five years since Mr. Bochen started working at BISS. As a seasoned educator, he is also an IB workshop leader, school visitor and consultant, which are very well recognized and important roles in the IB world schools community (read more here In addition to his regular work at BISS, he travels around the Asia-Pacific region to help train IB teachers and evaluate the implementation of IB standards and practices in other IB authorized or candidate schools. 


Peter has received offers from 5 top Universities in the UK. The major he applied for is Mathematics and Statistics. His personal ambition is to become a top actuary.  “I love Math and I always wanted to go to the UK.” said Peter. "When I applied to the universities, my performance in music gave me a big advantage.” 


About BISS


Established in 1994, Beijing BISS International School was the first International school in Chaoyang District, and was one of the first to be authorized to offer the three IB programmes. BISS is a small school with a big spirit and excellent academic results. BISS graduates are widely accepted by top universities around the world, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, The Juilliard School, the National University of Singapore and Peking University among others.  


Contact us now to learn more about BISS!  



TEL: 010 6443 3151 




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