Building a Community: Andante


Photo of Andante performing at the Kalahari concert last year

In our society today, a sense of community is becoming more and more important. According to studies conducted by researchers, since the COVID-19 pandemic has started, depression rates among people globally have almost tripled. Since the pandemic is getting worse everyday, this means that depression rates are likely to rise even more drastically. 

At Frankfurt International School, students and teachers work together to build a community not only at school itself, but also by addressing issues outside school. Since the pandemic, many service groups at FIS have acted differently to address this issue.  Andante, a service group at Frankfurt International School, tried to address this issue and build a sense of community through something unique – musical performances.

Sunwoo Song, a co-leader of Andante, was happy to share her experience as a leader of this group. 

What does Andante stand for? Does it have a particular meaning? 

Song:  Andante, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, means “at a moderately slow tempo”. We decided that this should be our group name because we were captivated by its meaning of going at a moderate tempo. Like its name, we wanted our group to go at our own pace to deliver joy of music, without any influence from external factors. 

How did this service group start? Were there any particular reasons? 

Song:  Andante started in August 2019, members consisting of a few of our friends that enjoyed playing their instruments and were willing to create music together. The service group was based on past experiences of some of our members. In 2018, on the Service Day that was held at our school, some of us went to the Kursana Villa in downtown Oberursel to perform for the people there. We were genuinely touched and surprised by how people really enjoyed our music, therefore we wanted to make this something “official”. We enjoyed creating music and also felt accomplished to see the elderlies appreciating our performance. 

What is Andante’s mission as a service group? Which issues does it tackle? 

Song:  Our mission is to create a group of students who are able to play an instrument, collaborate in music pieces and create musical performances that can be performed at local care homes, in order to make memories with the people and for them to enjoy the music. Out of the sustainability goals, we aim to address the goals for “sustainable cities and communities” as we aim to create a better community where everyone is included. 

What have been the accomplishments? 

Song:  So far, we have participated in several school events as well as community events. At school, we performed at service-related events such as on World Peace Day and at the Kalahari charity concert. Moreover, we created several musical performances as solos, duets and trios, and have reached out to local communities in Oberursel such as the Agnes-Geering Home and the Villa Kursana. 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Andante in any way? 

Song:  Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected us, especially because our mission involves face-to-face performances directly at the care homes. We had plans to perform at the Agnes-Geering Home in February 2020, however, due to the social distancing measures implemented, we weren’t able to visit. Therefore, we faced several challenges to come up with alternatives, and one thought was using online media platforms to deliver our music. We decided to use Youtube as our platform for sharing music, therefore we created a channel to post our individual music performance videos even during quarantine. We then sent this channel link to the different care homes so they could still have access to them and enjoy. 

What are your future plans? 

Song:  As of now, we would like to continue with creating musical performances to create bonds with the local care homes to create a sense of community. Due to the pandemic, there are many restraints that keep us from meeting our primary goals, but we are always thinking about alternative methods to still meet our goal in any possible way. We are hoping to continue with creating musical performances not only for the elderlies, but for our greater community during such hard times. 


In such a time, it is most important for us to build a sense of community. Especially in such times of the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of us feel lonely and depressed by social distancing and quarantine. Members of our community must work together to overcome this challenge. Many in our community are currently facing challenges as they become feeling more isolated, therefore service groups like Andante help to build a social connection in our society.