Any ideas?

February 25, 2008 at 05:16 AM · Greetings,

I am wondering if anyone can recommend a summer camp in the USA, Canada or anywher else for that matter that would meet the need sof the following profile.

A rather over protected 15 yearold Japanes e girl with no English who is rather shy.

Recnelty became interested in the violin and has worked hard to come in one year from being barely able to scratch through a simple Vivaldi cocnerto to playing Dancla Theme ad Variations with some panache.

Having been exposed to a distorted verison of the Suzuki mehtoid she has greta diffculty in reading music but she loves playing in orchestra.

So I gues I am lookin for something serious but non competitive in which having fun and making friends balances out good quality coaching that gives young people who have had a struggle some space to grow and be inspired.

Is this too tall an order?

Maybe she cna just go and stay with Laurie;)



Replies (20)

February 25, 2008 at 05:24 AM · My fondest music camp memory is with the Sewanee Music camp in Tennessee.

If I remember correctly, I had to audition for it - though I did not know I was doing so at the time - my parents and teacher were quite sly about it all. It is a bit difficult to get into though.

Music was balanced (at that time in the early '80s) with other outdoor activities during our "off hours". We were housed two to a dorm room (my roommate was a 14 year old cellist, I was 11). There was alot of individual coaching, ensemble work, and orchestra work.

February 25, 2008 at 05:25 AM · Well, that's inspirational. Did she start at 14? Or did she just not have a good teacher before you?

February 25, 2008 at 05:18 AM · But I don't speak Japanese! :) I'd be happy to give her a lesson without speaking at all, that's actually quite fun.

I'm going to teach at the Southern California Suzuki Institute, but since I've been working so much with the smallest munchkins they'll probably have me teaching the tiny ones. I also can't tell you what it's like, because it's in its first year in a new place, after several years' hiatus. But the chamber music program is for older kids and should be very fun (and not all-Suzuki by any means). We southern Cal Suzuki-ites tend to make the kids read early and often. (You read words, you read music) I know the person who will be directing the chamber music (Cheryl Scheidemantle) and many can testify that she is one whopping good teacher.

Another very established Suzuki institute that has an older-kids chamber music component is the Colorado Suzuki Institute.

And then also, geez, I think I want to go to Sound Encounters myself! Brian Lewis, Michael McLean -- both very nurturing teachers. And it sounds totally fun, at least Sydney and Ruth say so. Sound Encounters is the older-kids division of the Ottawa Suzuki Strings Institute.

All of these Institutes have teachers that were trained foremost as violinists at places like Juilliard, Northwestern, Royal College, USC, etc. and then trained in Suzuki pedagogy. I only mention this because I get the feeling that standards for Suzuki is not the same in all countries, maybe even in all states of the U.S. But the Suzuki Association of the Americas requires that a teacher jump through quite a number of hoops before being certified in each book. Still, there are plenty of "Suzuki" teachers in the Americas with little or no SAA certification.

Have I run on adequately?

February 25, 2008 at 06:37 AM · Greetings,

she started at four but had such bad teachers and illnesses to the extent that when she came to me she was paralytic. It has been a long hard slog for both of us but sonmehow I can see a lot of talent in there. What really bothers me is how all the other msuciains around are so negative. Instea dof saying `oh, you are too far behind ` or `you lack the talent` I thought people shoudl have been saying `okay lets enjoy playing the violin and see how far it goes. You don`t have to decide to be or not to be a pro at fourteen.` I think the hidden treasure is just coming out and it has certainly enriched her previously rather moribund existence- clunky adolescent versus famous musician mother and glamours older sister.



February 25, 2008 at 07:00 AM · Stephen - While I do not know what this particular festival's age requirements are, I do know that it is a wonderful place where students are not only very proactive in moving forward artistically. Additionally, the atmosphere is incredibly congenial, supportive, and noncompetitive.

International Festival-Institute at Round Top

February 25, 2008 at 07:57 AM · I'll second the Sewanee festival. It was the pivotal moment in my early musical education, and many of my friends from there who have gone on in the profession feel the same way. It's a nurturing environment and an arcadian setting, but there's a lot of playing and a lot of learning.

February 25, 2008 at 09:03 AM · If she is interested in a range of musical styles, I would suggest our Fiddle Hell in Buxton, which is set up exactly for that non-competetive and fun approach.

But there is little classical music, no classical coaching, and no orchestra, so it probably wouldn't be appropriate.


February 25, 2008 at 03:20 PM · One of my (now former) students had a marvelous experience at Kinhaven last summer.

February 25, 2008 at 03:31 PM · Buri —

Here is another possibility as it is extremely nurturing on many levels and has a very good faculty — possibly a very good 1st time camp.

I am not surprised by what you write, but was totally delighted to hear how sensitive you are to the needs of this young girl.

God bless,


February 25, 2008 at 06:25 PM · Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro North (South?) Carolina. Best summer of my youth. Lots of playing and fun.

February 25, 2008 at 06:58 PM · Hi Buri,

Maybe this one fits for your student?

See section "Summer Chamber Music Workshop"

My daughter participated there last summer and was so exited that she is planning to go there again. This coming summer her teacher, Daniel Phillips, supposed to work there.

February 26, 2008 at 05:13 PM · Interestingly, I know a native Japanese speaker who was peripherally involved in Credo a few years back. If I find out more of relevance, I will message Buri.

February 26, 2008 at 06:08 PM · Laurie,

I believe the Ottawa Suzuki Strings Institute is not in Canada, but in Ottawa, Kansas.

(BTW,Round Top is quite advanced)

The Marrowstone Music Festival in Washington State offers a fine & venerable orchestral program for advancing musicians, with two orchestra levels and coached chamber music opportunities. It is affiliated with the Seattle Youth Symphony, & Dale Clevenger is the artistic director. James Buswell is listed among this year's faculty.

February 26, 2008 at 06:53 PM · LOL! Mea culpa :)

February 26, 2008 at 11:14 PM · Greetings,

thanks Bill. My e mail is not working now. Sorry.



February 27, 2008 at 12:36 AM · Stephen,

I've heard good things about Brevard.

February 27, 2008 at 01:12 AM · I would also vote for Sewanee. That was one of the most influential musical experiences I had as a teen (9th-10th Grade). My roommate was actually from Japan, and this was her first experience in the states. We are still friends.

February 27, 2008 at 03:31 AM · I was thinking how nice it is that you are teaching this student, Buri.

I mull these things over, the question of WHY a teacher takes a student. I see studios where the teacher has made a very conscious decision to weed out and reject any students that would reflect badly on the teacher's reputation, and I do see that this can work very well for the teacher. Build up a studio of very talented kids, and the talented kids see you as the teacher of the talented kids. And it's way easier to teach some people than to teach others, why not just teach the easy ones? It does become easier and easier to discern who will be easy to teach.

I can't follow that model, and maybe I'm naive. But I just follow my gut. I ask, can we work together, and will we accomplish something meaningful? And if the answer is yes, the answer is yes.

February 27, 2008 at 05:39 AM · "I see studios where the teacher has made a very conscious decision to weed out and reject any students that would reflect badly on the teacher's reputation, "

This is the only way to become a violin teaching magnate on the way to taking over the reigns the North American violin teaching cartel.

February 27, 2008 at 06:20 AM · Laurie,

I wholeheartedly agree! It is not who one teaches, but how one teaches and what is given to that student literally for life. Their whole perspective is changed regarding so much.

Yes, it is a pleasure to work with a brilliant and talented student, but equally with one who is doing their best with the abilities they have.

At the end of the day, both put a smile in one's heart.

Enjoy —


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