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[GD Expats] Kiwi music teacher organizes popular festival

2015-May-25       Source: Szdaily.com

Three are two big things Fritha Jameson did not expect in her life: teaching music and living in China for over 12 years.

Three are two big things Fritha Jameson did not expect in her life: teaching music and living in China for over 12 years.

Jameson is now the Head of Music from Shen Wai International School (SWIS).

Twelve years ago she and her husband decided to come to China for an adventure like many of her friends back in New Zealand at that time.

“We were part of the new wave that chose to go to China and Japan rather than America or Europe for a period of time,” said Jameson who describes her 12 years in China as a “zodiac cycle,” a reference to the 12 animals on the Chinese zodiac.

Before “taking an adventure in China,” Jameson earned a degree in music composition and a teaching diploma in music and performing arts in New Zealand.

She says she tried everything not to become a teacher, but teaching opportunities kept presenting themselves.

Jameson spent her first year in Bao-ding, Hebei Province, where she taught English.

Jameson was invited to become a music teacher in a newly opened international school in Shanghai and spent the next six years there and helped develop a music program that continues to grow.

After another two years teaching music in Taiwan, she landed a job as the head of the music department at SWIS.

At SWIS, Jameson proposed a music festival between the international schools in Shenzhen.

“It was a very informal event at the beginning and the school decided to put trust in me for what I could do,” said Jameson.

The music festival, known as the Shenzhen Bay International Schools Choral Festival, has become more popular over the past two years. The first festival took place last year and was used to promote the idea of “belonging to Shenzhen.”

“Our idea is to help the students, most of them originally coming from different countries, feel they are part of the city and not living here as visitors,” said Jameson.

This year, the theme of the music festival was “Radiance: Light of Tomorrow.” Jameson and other music teachers hoped to inspire the students to think about their futures.

“I did not plan to teach for so many years, but I enjoy the success of working musically with my students,” said Jameson. “One of the benefits of teaching music is that I get to create music with the students and not just pass on knowledge.”

She has decided to stay for another year in SWIS and build on the success of the first two Shenzhen Bay International Schools Music Festivals.


Editor: Steven

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