M Stories: Calvin Chen Makes Munich Listen Up
Calvin Chen plays violin outside at Munich International School

Over a thousand students compete each year in the Jugend Musiziert 2024 competition from 35 different regions of Germany. This year, MIS Grade 3/4 student Calvin Chen received 2nd place in the duo performance category. Considering that Calvin has only been playing violin for a little over a year, his progress and this major accomplishment is remarkable.  When asking Ms. Shinnie (MIS Strings Teacher and Orchestra Leader) if it is normal to progress so quickly, she replied that “It’s not normal. He is really talented”.  

Ms. Shinnie explained that “this competition was in the form of an exceptionally challenging duo competition, and Calvin, along with his talented pianist, Patrizia (who is only 13 years old), performed exceptionally well. Their hard work and dedication paid off, and they made us all proud”. 

What makes Calvin even more impressive is that he just moved to Munich, and it’s his first year at MIS. He started playing violin at his former international school in Shanghai and continued his violin studies at MIS in October.  

“When I first came I felt very shy. Getting friends and getting used to the environment was his biggest challenge. Now he has friends, he has won second in Jugend Musiziert 2024, he takes one private violin lesson each week with Ms. Shinnie, he plays violin in the Junior School Strings Orchestra, he plays basketball in the Student Life Programme at MIS, and he also registered to play soccer for a local club, FT Starnberg 09 e.V. Calvin says he loves playing violin, but he also is proud of his soccer skills and wants to play pro soccer when he grows up.  

His advice to other new MIS students who are coming from all over the world is “just keep going, and get used to the environment, and don’t be too shy”. Calvin hasn’t just gotten used to his new environment, he is taking it by storm!