The rest of Sforzando String Festival 2014!

Everyone's version of the "artistic look" :)

Update 7/29/2014

Day 2 of the Sforzando String Festival!

Update 7/28/2014

What an amazing first day of the Sforzando String Festival!  Check it out! Did they have a great time?  You be the judge :)

Why Camp?

Laughter echoes in the breeze as the heat of the sun warms your spirit; multiple pieces of music merging into one beautiful sound as you walk the hallway; and smiles – smiles everywhere – it all comes together at summer camp. 

Why is summer camp so special?  Is it the faculty, the setting, or just the break from school?  I think the answer can be discovered in the shift of perspective that naturally takes place.  When students can redirect their focus away from school, and enjoy nature, they are already in a unique setting that allows them to view their art differently.  They are more in tune with their heart, and free to express themselves – and their music reaps the benefit. 

Of course, summer is a time when you can take a block of time and focus on one thing.  This attribute is valuable to everyone, but especially at ages where focus is hard to come by!  Music education is often compared to learning another language, and it is well know that the best way to learn language is full immersion.  So jump right in!

Throughout the school year, students are often relating to the same people day in and day out, creating an ongoing competitive environment for grades, social status, music, sports, etc.  But when the doors close for summer, and students head to camp, they can start afresh and learn while making new friends.  And since the program is short term, they are freer to be themselves and build a spirit of camaraderie rather than competition.

All in all, camp is fun.  This is important!  Students will have all of their life to do tasks that are demanding that they do not enjoy, but for a little longer, while we have them under our guidance, we can help them to see that even the incredibly demanding things like excellence in their art, can also be the most fun they have ever had.  The confidence created when a piece is played well, a difficult project is conquered, or an unknown area is understood, is worth more than the tuition of one summer camp – it is an investment that lasts a lifetime.

I love summer camp!  But one day after I had been teaching for some time, I realized how much I really missed camp.  Without it ever really occurring to me, the years slipped by and I had quietly outgrown the age limitations for summer camp.  This was a problem!  Yes, but a problem that could be fixed.  Now I chaperone for the Young Artist World Piano Festival and have begun my own strings camp, participating in everything from concerts and competitions, to ultimate Frisbee and round the world ping pong – and camp lives on!  Is this the year that summer camp will come to life for your child?  

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