By Brian Worsdale Summer camp can be one of the most exciting things your students do. A mention of summer camp brings a feeling of euphoria to many and to those who have never been a mysterious place that has yet to cross their path. I have experienced summer camp since my youth in Boy Scouts. That love of summer camp continued through my adult life and is one of the cornerstones of my life experience. I even remember my first summer attending music camp. The chance to continue my studies in the summer was exciting. To make music with young people from across the country was a new experience, and the conductors and instructors charged with out enrichment were inspiring. In essence, camp was a chance to have a life changing experience. Wherever you choose to go to camp, there are many questions that are asked that help make that decision for you. From instruction, to schedule, repertoire and programming, many factors are considered for you to choose a camp. What kind of experience are you looking for? Music Intensive These kinds of programs usually require an audition and are intensive music programs. Your schedule is usually chock full of rehearsals, chamber music, private lessons and individual practice time with some leisure time built into the schedule. These stellar programs will also split their camp into sessions or younger and older campers, allowing for each to have their own experiences. From Idylwild on the West Cost to Blue Lake and Interlochen in the Midwest to Kinhaven Music School and Lake Luzerne in the East Coast these programs offer high-end music making in a variety of environments A Camp or A Campus? Many music camps are sponsored and facilitated by colleges. These generally run for a week and offer students music by way of ensembles, private lessons, and chamber music. The staffs are usually a combination of college students and professors at the school and that can sometimes give you a glimpse of what the college program may be like. For a total camp experience some programs mentioned above offer a woodsy environment (Kinhaven, Interlochen, Blue Lake, Idylwild and Luzerne.) These kinds of camps give you an outdoors experience while maintaining a high standard of music making. The Music for All Summer Symposium takes place on the campus of Ball State University and serves students from more than 30 states. It provides a safe, away-from-home campus experience, with faculty consisting of many BSU educators, plus artists from around the country. Can I go somewhere that gives me more programming options as well as good music? There are comprehensive performing arts programs that offer multiple activity tracks for their campers. Someone in music can play in multiple ensembles or can be involved in more than just music. The French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in Hancock, New York offers campers a chance to make music, be in theater, visual arts, circus and also offers music making at multiple levels while still offering that summer camp experience. Are there summer camp programs for students and directors? Music for All’s Summer Symposium offers a large menu of options. Student Leadership, The Directors Academy and ensemble opportunities for high school students are offered at Ball State University. The chance to work with some of the country’s great educational leaders is also a part of this unique experience. In the end, selection a summer camp is not an easy process. No choice is the right or wrong one. Each program offers its own special opportunities to have the summer of your life. The most important thing is to choose one and have fun!
About The Author
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