Summer Programs for Students

December 8, 2008 at 12:38 AM ·

It's come to the time of year when one must start thinking about what to do during the upcoming summer (or atleast it's that time for violin students). Does anyone have any recommendations for programs that are not so 'campy?'

Replies (45)

December 8, 2008 at 01:18 AM ·

Mr. Clifford, I have a wonderful suggestion.  There is a small camp in Ithaca, NY, called Preludio.It is in the middle of a large Suzuki camp, but this camp is separate from all that and only has around a dozen kids.  You prepare sonatas, kreisler pieces, two paganini caprices, have group classes, and have solo performances left and right.  Its really wonderful, and has two top teachers, Thomas Wermuth, a predominant teacher in Chicago, and his daughter, Allegra, a technical and musical genius who is currently principal second of the colorado symphony.

 

I have a blog on it.  Here you go.

 

http://www.violinist.com/blog/duncan/20088/

December 8, 2008 at 01:36 AM ·

Adam, I think I may have something for you...

The Strings International Music Festival, in Bryn Mawr, PA. It lasts for two weeks, from June 13- June 26. It takes place at Bryn Mawr College so it's not as "campy" as some. There really is a lot more info on their website and I don't have a lot of time to write right now so just check out the website: http://www.stringscamp.com

P.S. Brian- Since you went there, is choir required? Or can you take something else instead?! I seriously can't sing and I HATE doing it!!!

December 8, 2008 at 02:07 AM ·

Paul yes, strings international is a good camp, but Mr, Clifford wanted something with a little less people.  There are HUNDREDS of kids at Strings, all of different age groups.  Also, mr, Clifford, if you are of a very advanced level i would not reccomend going there.  I will not say I am advanced, but I didn't learn as much from it this year as I did the last.  You could still try it though.

I wrote about Strings in a blog as well.  It is after the first bit in the blog, but it is there.  Don't ask me about the other one in the blog-I know it's not for you.

http://www.violinist.com/blog/duncan/20086/

And Paul, no you do not have to take choir.  I think there is one, but you can apply for different classes.  There is one called "Ear Training".  Lots of fun, but sometimes you have to sightsing, which isn't bad if you're in a group, but not fun when the instructor asks you to do it yourself.  Then there is a class on Kreutzer etudes, which was the most beneficial for me.  It's a lot of fun to spend abotu an hour with a full class and an instructor helping with your bow arm.  Sicne you've only been playing for a short period of time I can only imagine that your bow warm would need some work, especially for the second movement of the Tchaikovsky.  That woud be great for you-just remember to apply for it early when you get the papers-vacancies go fast.

December 8, 2008 at 02:44 AM ·

Hi Brian,

I already applied and got accepted weeks ago so that's all tucked away and good... Just waiting for the packet to come in March! But I'm assuming your talking about specific classes.

And yes, bow work is what I need the most! I need to learn techniques like ricochet and other advanced techniques... I just barely learned proper spiccato a few weeks ago! Bad I know! And having the proper technique for that helped a lot when playing faster pieces like Presto from the G minor sonata. I want to learn more about harmonics and getting a stronger, better sounding left hand pizzicato and much, much more!

Got to go... My baby is crying. (No, not a real baby, a "real care" simulator that is my semester project for child development.... It's not fun waking up at 1 and 4 a.m. to feed it!)

December 8, 2008 at 02:46 AM ·

December 8, 2008 at 02:51 AM ·

Yes, Preludio seems to be the perfect camp for you.

http://www.ithaca.edu/sacl/suzuki/student/preludio/

It's definitely a lot of work-I needed at least 6 hours a day to get my pieces ready, but I left a completely different violinist.

And Paul, I think that the Kreutzer class is the one for you.  I wasn't just talking about advanced bow strokes-it's very common that someone who has been playing for one or two years has uneven slow bow strokes as well.  The Kreutzer class would really help with long, slow connected bow strokes. I know it took me about 6 years before I startet to get it!

December 8, 2008 at 05:11 PM ·

there's a searchable database that's worth a look for anyone wanting to know what's out there in the way of music camps & workshops.

December 9, 2008 at 01:45 AM ·

Adam,  I am not sure what level you are, but you might look into Quartet Program.  I think this year it is going to be held in two different places -- Fredonia, NY and Boulder, CO.  You live in the dorms, so it is not "campy", there are no counselors -- the faculty is living in the dorms -- and the program is excellent.  You learn a complete quartet every 3 week session.  There is a sonata week in between the two sessions, and you perform a solo piece as well.  My son has gone for a number of years and we think it is the best program of its kind.

 

December 9, 2008 at 02:55 AM ·

Two words - Interlochen & Sewanee

December 9, 2008 at 04:30 AM ·

that`s about ten....

December 9, 2008 at 04:59 AM ·

Oh Buri - do be nice!!!

December 9, 2008 at 03:02 PM ·

I think Buri is just practicing his Inflationary Language.

December 9, 2008 at 06:09 PM ·

Mr. Brivati needs to release some of his anal retention with some prunes.  I saw some at Giant for about $1.50 a carton-it should help.

December 9, 2008 at 10:38 PM ·

what could be more anal retentive than going round memorizing the price of prunes?;)

December 10, 2008 at 01:22 AM ·

December 10, 2008 at 01:33 AM ·

Mr. Clifford, if anything, it should be higher!  Mozart is incredibly hard to play-and if you play it convincingly with great style, I know that that would impress Thomas Wermuth (Preludio camp teacher), or Charles Castleman (Quartet program teacher). 

I know every who went to Preludio, and from what I hear, you will make it into Preludio NO PROBLEM!  Just record your Mozart, and any thing else you want, Vivaldi, Bach, whatever.  I assure you that if it is played well you will make it in.

December 10, 2008 at 01:59 PM ·

I would recommend that you send in applications to several programs in case you are not admitted to your top choice(s). I think the Strings International camp will take anyone who applies, but then will place them in the appropriate level, so that could be your safety. It's a short program, so if you could do more than one, you could go there first.

You might also consider Meadowmount (although I have heard the accommodations are on the rustic side). But MM has a great faculty and they are a practice/technique program. Quartet Program is wonderful, and you will find it is decidedly un-camplike in that there are not many organized activities and aside from rehearsals and lessons your time is your own to use as well as you wish. A plus at QP is that you get a dedicated practice studio and don't have to scramble for rehearsal and practice space. 

Other ideas include Heifetz and Aspen. And I did hear of a new program in either New England or New York that offers a "technique boot camp" but my memory fails me. Maybe someone else will come up with the name.

December 10, 2008 at 04:29 PM ·

Sorry everyone-this is Brian Hong on my mom's account (I'm at school on her computer, hehe).

Mr. Smith, IO have discussed MM with my teacher.  We have not been impressed with the faculty.  Even though the level is high, it is not the same quality camp it used to be.  Sure, you can go there and practice, but the teaching staff is-shotty, at least compared to the old staff (Galamian, Gingold), etc.

I want to go to Aspen really badly, but, as a 15 year old, my teacher and parents think that it is too old an environment.  However, a teacher whom I greatly admire, Paul Kantor, teaches there.  Anyone have ideas on how I could possibly audition for the camp to study with Professor Kantor specifically, and does anyone think that the enviornment is too "old" for a relatively mature 15 year old?

December 10, 2008 at 04:33 PM ·

 I am on the faculty in Aspen as well as an alum who started there at the age of ten. I can assure you that you would find a giant range of ages in the strings category. As a matter of fact one of the most gifted young violinists last two summers was 12! So it is not about your chronological age or even about how much repertoire you have learned as much about how you assimilate the instruction and whether you will thrive in a large music school type environment. If you are interested in a smaller camp, I run a two week program that has both chamber music and boot camp aspects. Website is being redone at the moment, so email me if you need more information.

December 10, 2008 at 06:40 PM ·

Thank you, Mr. Levinson.,  BTW, I read your biography and was very impressed-you must be an incredibly fine teacher and violinist.

What are the audition requirements for Aspen?  As in what pieces you have to learn?  I checked the website and was unable to find it.

December 10, 2008 at 10:06 PM ·

Brian,

I have applications and packets from a lot of the summer camps as well as boarding academies, and the packet requested from Aspen gives a lot of information.

Here is what it says for strings:

"All strings applicants must submit FOUR copies of their audition DVDs.

Violin, Viola, Cello

Two or three pieces in contrasting style, approximately 15 minutes iin length."

And if your insterested in the Violin Fellowship, here are the requirments:

  • Mozart, Violin Concerto No.4 in D major, K. 218 OR Violin Concerto no.5 in A major, K.219, "Turkish" (1st movement exposition only)
  • First movement of a major concerto (in addition to the Mozart concerto above)
  • Strauss, Don Juan, op.20 (beginning to 12 mesaures after Reh.C) (first page)
  • Brahms, Symphony No.3 in F major, op.90 (1st movement, m.3-Reh.B)
  • Mendelssohn, Symphony No.4 in A major, op.90, "Italian" (1st movement, m.1-110)

And that's quoted exactly from the book sent to me in the mail.

Tuition is 3,000; Health Service Fee is $175; Security deposit is $100; Room and Board Fee is $3,100. That is all for the full session.

I do think you would definately "grow up" after going there. And I imagine the thing that has you worried the most is being "alone" and kind of "freaked out" by things. It is a mature place and not for the faint of heart... Maybe you would want to spend the next year preparing and go to aspen when you are sixteen? I think you need to be of major talent to go there as a teen and you would have major competition.

I think it just comes down to if you think you can handle it. But the audition requirements don't seem too tough.

P.S. the deadline for Aspen is January 2, 2009.

December 10, 2008 at 11:05 PM ·

Hi Brian,

The summer in Aspen is a good idea. I highly recommend Connie Heard who just recently joined the faculty there. She teaches during the school year in Nashville and plays in the Blair String Quartet. Her husband is the bassist Edgar Meyer who also teaches at Curtis. Send in a cd of your playing, it's usually crowded at Aspen but you should at least try.Good luck with your summer plans.

Craig

December 10, 2008 at 11:16 PM ·

 Hi, Brian,

I think it's cute that you were on your mom's account. My daughter was accepted into Mr. Kantor's studio last summer, but we were not comfortable with sending her for the same reasons you state. But maybe we were being too protective. The younger kids there don't live in the dorms; they stay in condos with their families. My daughter had just turned 16 and would have had to fly there on her own and negotiate everything by herself. We found the whole idea a little overwhelming. But I do know plenty of other kids who have done it and lived to tell the tale. A lot of her friends from the former ENCORE went and loved it. She's re-applying this year, and if she gets in again we will take the plunge.

 

December 11, 2008 at 12:08 AM ·

Thanks for the responses....three pieces of contracting style seems like a good requirement. I have quite a bit of music so I think I'll try.  Thanks everyone!

December 11, 2008 at 03:46 AM ·

 I am not certain the DVD is a requirement, but it is always best to refer to the official guide. It is worth noting that Aspen is a fully functioning music school for the nine weeks it is in session which separates the organization from every other summer music program of which I am aware. In any case, studentservices@aspenmusic.org would be the place to start with any and all questions.

December 11, 2008 at 04:23 AM ·

 Aspen is crawling with families....I've never seen so many mothers clustered up outside rows of practice rooms before. :P

December 11, 2008 at 12:18 PM ·

I am teaching at two very good programs this summer:

 

ARIA International Summer Music Academy (This is the one referred to earlier with the "violin boot-camp"). It is an excellent program with an excellent faculty and wonderful people in charge.

The other is the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vt. The name implies one thing, while in reality the students practice solo repertoire, etudes, scales, etc. all morning, have lessons and chamber music in the afternoon. WONDERFUL environment and excellent program.

They both have websites. Nothing "shotty" in sight. ;-)

December 11, 2008 at 04:55 PM ·

I'm always extremely impressed with the artist/faculty roster for the Killington Music Festival each year.

December 13, 2008 at 12:35 AM ·

Not to stir any trouble here, but I called aspen student services, and violin applicants (and all strings if I remember correctly) only need to submit three DVD's.....

December 13, 2008 at 09:12 AM ·

I asked a related question about a week or so ago and got no responces, but is ENCORE  at CIM gone for good? I'm also curious about Aspen and the comment about it being a camp for older players. I seem to remember a fantastic violinist named Caroline Goulding ? (sp) who won the concerto competition there a few years ago. I think she was maybe 13 or 14, so I'm assuming that there must be quite an age range there?

December 13, 2008 at 01:15 PM ·

Ms. Bora, in response to your first question, ENCORE is taking an......extended break.  My friend attended two years ago and the camp stopped after that.  No idea if and when they will restart.

And, yes, Aspen has a very large age range.  However, the reason I was concerned is because my teacher told me that if you don't go in with the right teacher, you will get lost in that camp.  It is mostly college level players, and designed for as such.  It seems like a great enviornment though-I think I will try out.  I'm just old enough to live in their housing without a parent (ahem...IF I make it, which is not likely).

December 13, 2008 at 01:39 PM ·

Have a little more confidence, Brian :)

Your Barber recording is amazing! And look at me, I haven't even gotten around to recording yet.... And I'm scared expectations will be high because I've been puting it off so that's making me wait AND I don't want to put something bad out there!

December 13, 2008 at 04:03 PM ·

Brian brings up an interesting dynamic :  "entering with the right teacher".  Are we talking about politics? If so, are the other teachers not chosen because they are not as good? Or is it because they are not as "connected" to the power structure/scholarship, etc.? Is the "right teacher" also the best teacher? --or are they simply popular because of the doors they can open?

This is thought provoking to me. I often wonder if this is the best way to go about choosing a teacher? I'm sure there are political realities to consider, but to what extent should this dictate perceiving someone as the "right teacher" or the "wrong" teacher? What do other people think about this?

December 14, 2008 at 03:36 AM ·

...and he kills yet another thread! :-)

December 14, 2008 at 03:48 AM ·

Mr. Russell, I will keep this thread alive. The reason no one responded is probably because you chose such a profound topic that only a violinist and teacher of your stature could come up with.

In my opinion, you described exactly what people do.  They look for a well-known teacher that could "open doors" for them, even though they might nto have been the best teacher for them.  I know people who would audition for a camp to study with, oh, let's say Joshua Bell (I have no idea how he is as a teacher), to say that they studied with a great soloist, rather than to go for the musical enlightenment.  Maybe that is what I am doing; thinking of auditioning for Paul Kantor.  It is politics in a way; but maybe it is not bad politics?

Oh and by the way I am not auditioning for Aspen.  My parents and teacher did come to the consensus that it would be better for me to audition a little later in life (my teacher said around seventeen or eighteen).  Only 2 years......

December 14, 2008 at 06:22 AM ·

Brian,

 I guess my question is what do you have to lose by auditioning? (except the adution fee I guess). You get the experience and what IF you do get in.  On the other hand if your teacher is advising that you wait, I would trust them first and foremost.

  I don't want to divert the thread, but the cost of some of these camps is so High (at least for the average family) how do families pay for camps like this?  Especially if you have a young student who can't stay on campus.

December 14, 2008 at 02:21 PM ·

Brian,

I think you are on the right track with your thinking about this.

I have to say too, that my CIM colleague Paul Kantor is a wonderful teacher. Never meant to question that. Instead, hoped to open the discussion on such things as you brought up in teacher selection.

Good luck to you on the road ahead. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders.

Regarding the price of the programs... I understand that issue, too. I think its kind of clever of places like ARIA to offer the 10-day "boot camps" during the present economic crisis. It offers an alternative to the 6-9 week programs and thousands more dollars.

 

 

December 14, 2008 at 04:34 PM ·

Just curious, how helpful is it to have an influential teacher? Isn't it enormously helpful in getting a career started? How can we blame students seeking out an influential teacher? 

December 14, 2008 at 06:36 PM ·

Hi Adam, I think that the International Music Institute and Festival is exactly the type of thing you're looking for.

Firstly, it is kept small for the reason of giving each student maximum attention. We usually have between 25-30. The course itself is a very intense 10 days with an optional concert tour following. Faculty are all world reknowned and 100% dedicated to the students. The institute is focused on solo and chamber performance, thus there is no orchestra. In addition, there are seminars to help you with all the questions you may have about making a professional career; because we all know that sitting in a practice room all day is not enough.

Definitely check out www.imif.us for more info. If you have any questions just email and you should get a very quick reply.

-Emmanuel

December 14, 2008 at 07:14 PM ·

Insouk,

I think the reasoning is flawed. Teachers are there to help you learn to play your best and to give you the skills to start a career. They give guidance on what works and what doesn't. They can guide a student into a way of life which is appealing and wholesome.

Managers and publicists are there to start careers. They do the hype. They manage and promote. While some teachers try to help along their student's careers, I feel this is an invitation to forget our respective roles to the detriment of both the student and the teacher. There are MANY issues of fairness to all of your students be considered, as well.

That is my opinion on the matter.

December 14, 2008 at 07:19 PM ·

Mr. Russell, we are muddying up Mr. Clifford's original post.  I have started a new thread on this topic-it is visible now.

December 14, 2008 at 08:10 PM ·

Mr Russell,

I agree with you. It should be the way. My question was if it was practiced. How closely are we sticking to what it should be? 

January 9, 2009 at 08:55 AM ·

Well Adam, you may already know where you are going by now, but I can tell you that as a friend of Brian Hong I have experienced the joys and rigors of the Preludio Violin Program in Ithaca at the University. I also studied with the director (Tom Wermuth) for about 2 years, and he was the most influential teacher I've had yet, and is still a great friend and mentor.

I wholeheartedly reccomend this program if you want to take your playing to the next level. The way you describe your level, it appears that you are quite realistic and if you can honestly say that you've polished the 3rd concerto very well I think you've got what it takes. Besides the technique all it takes is a bit of guts and the will to have fun learning Paganini Caprices. What is really great is that it is a very small group of about 11-13 and you become very close-knit and good friends.

The program is kind of expensive, but the food at the college is good (of course I'll eat anything) and the facilities and the campus are gorgeous. Also Preludio reserves the exclusive use of the University Chapel for lessons, some coachings and group classes and technique sessions, so it's apart. Practice is done in the same facilities as other camps or programs, but Preludio gets rooms reserved for each person and you have the power to boot. You also can get a locker on the floor of the rooms.

All in all I highly reccomend this program to you and to anyone who is ready to take it to the next level and be with wonderful teachers and fellow students for 3 weeks in a beautiful place.

Adam, if you would like I will check back on this thread, reply and i can give you a detailed schedule of a day in the life of a preludio student if you like, as it is something that suprisingly enough, Brian did not do. Anyways, best wishes on your choice,

fiddlinmatt

January 9, 2009 at 08:55 AM ·

Well Adam, you may already know where you are going by now, but I can tell you that as a friend of Brian Hong I have experienced the joys and rigors of the Preludio Violin Program in Ithaca at the University. I also studied with the director (Tom Wermuth) for about 2 years, and he was the most influential teacher I've had yet, and is still a great friend and mentor.

I wholeheartedly reccomend this program if you want to take your playing to the next level. The way you describe your level, it appears that you are quite realistic and if you can honestly say that you've polished the 3rd concerto very well I think you've got what it takes. Besides the technique all it takes is a bit of guts and the will to have fun learning Paganini Caprices. What is really great is that it is a very small group of about 11-13 and you become very close-knit and good friends.

The program is kind of expensive, but the food at the college is good (of course I'll eat anything) and the facilities and the campus are gorgeous. Also Preludio reserves the exclusive use of the University Chapel for lessons, some coachings and group classes and technique sessions, so it's apart. Practice is done in the same facilities as other camps or programs, but Preludio gets rooms reserved for each person and you have the power to boot. You also can get a locker on the floor of the rooms.

All in all I highly reccomend this program to you and to anyone who is ready to take it to the next level and be with wonderful teachers and fellow students for 3 weeks in a beautiful place.

Adam, if you would like I will check back on this thread, reply and i can give you a detailed schedule of a day in the life of a preludio student if you like, as it is something that suprisingly enough, Brian did not do. Anyways, best wishes on your choice,

fiddlinmatt

January 13, 2009 at 08:44 PM ·

Another place that I would recommend would be Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine. 15 is on the younger side there but there are specifically under-18 dorms so it's not that much of an issue... and they have a really excellent faculty. They have two three-week sessions and I think they offer scholarships.... Anyway I went in the summer of 2007 and really enjoyed it.

Oh, about Bowdoin - I'm pretty sure the audition tapes are due at the end of January, so if you were going to look into that you might want to do it quickly. The audition requirements aren't that specific - just two contrasting pieces or movements, I think.

Anyway you might not be interested but the level is very high there, and there are a bunch of people under 18. I was 16 when I went and I didn't feel out of place at all.

The website is http://www.summermusic.org/ 

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