At the Western International School of Shanghai, music is offered throughout a child’s education, from Early Years to IBDP. Our students are encouraged to follow their musical talents and develop a passion for music. Many opportunities to develp their knowledge in music are avaialble both within the classroom and outside of the classroom through orchestra, band, choir, and numerous performances.



Visual Arts

Film and Media


Each section of the school puts on a musical performance and throughout the year there are community events such as WISStival, Sundowner, and International Day which give students the opportunity to showcase their musical talents. Our students with a deep interest in instrumentals have the opportunity to work with a team of international freelance music teachers on an individual basis during the school day through our Instrumental Program. The Western International School of Shanghai also hosts musical performances each year from visitors from all over the world to inspire and entertain our students, and show them the endless possibilities in the field of music. Past visitors have included the Harvard a capella group (Din & Tonics), Andy Summers (Guitarist from “The Police”), and John Altman (American Composer and Editor).

Music in Early Years

Early Years students have compulsory music classes weekly to cultivate their love for music from a young age. They work on tuneful singing, having a steady beat, and moving artistically. WISS focuses on learning musical concepts through an inquiry and play-based model. Early Years students put on an annual show tied to a literary children’s story. This musical performance involves every student in the Early Years which gives students a chance to build confidence in their musical abilities.

Music in Primary School

Students in the Primary School take music twice a week and develop skills through integrated lessons involving storytelling, music, and media. Primary students focus on various skills from composing to singing to instruments. Orff instruments are the focus in lower primary and as students advance they move up to working with recorders in Grades 3 and 4. In Grade 5, WISS Primary students are able to choose an instrument. Primary students build their confidence on stage and showcase their talent during the annual musical performances.

Music in Secondary School

Music study in the Secondary School is a time for students who have identified a passion for music to build their foundation for future study. Secondary students have advanced facilities for music including soundproof independent practice rooms, instruments, and equipment. Technology is also integrated into the music program through music composing software. In Grades 11 and 12, IBDP Music students are professionally focused on gaining the skills for potential further study and appreciation of music. The students hone their skills in performing, creating, and music history/theory. Each student specializes in an instrument or musical talent that they are proficient in and they continue to develop their skills in that area.