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which summer program is "best"?

CLRN8MOMCLRN8MOM Posts: 347Registered User Member
edited April 2011 in Music Major
D (HS Junior, clarinet) is applying to Interlochen, BUTI (Tanglewood), and Brevard. I have heard great things about all these programs, and would be happy if she got into at least one.
If she is lucky/good enough to get accepted at all 3, does anyone have any thoughts on where she can get the most "bang for the buck"? I am hoping she will return home energized, more advanced, more self-confident, and more focused. I am more concerned with educational aspects than with day-to-day issues such as food, use of personal time etc.

thanks for any feedback.
Post edited by CLRN8MOM on
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Replies to: which summer program is "best"?

  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 32,512Registered User Senior Member
    My son went to Tanglewood and got accepted to Brevard off the wait list but didn't attend because he had already filled the time with other options. These programs are all DIFFERENT.

    I will speak to the BUTI program only because it does have one unique feature the other two do NOT have...and that is Tanglewood which is the summer home to the Boston Symphony. All BUTI students receive season's passes for their time at BUTI and can (and are encouraged) to attend as many concerts as possible. This adds immensely to the music experience. In addition to the concerts on the Tanglewood grounds, there are many chamber music, solo and master classes offered on the BUTI grounds for the students. My kid thought it was a fabulous place as it offered music all around practially 24/7. The quality of the players is great...but it also is at Brevard and Interlochen.

    I hope others comment on Brevard and Interlochen. I know that students we KNOW who went to Interlochen report it also was a life changing experience. I've heard good things about the Brevard programs too.
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    My S attended Brevard between 9th and 10th grades. It was his first summer-long music camp -- he'd done a couple different week-long programs previously. He loved Brevard, and didn't want to leave at the end of it. We had to fight to get him to call home once in awhile. It gave us the first real confirmation that he might be willing to do all music, all the time, for the rest of his life.

    Facilities are rustic - truly a camp, but no worse than any other camp he's been at, and better than some. (I think the girls' facilities might be a step up from the guys'.) The area is beautiful.

    Within the first day or two of being there, he had to audition. They had several different bands and orchestras. He was placed in a band - and he hates bands. But they switched half-way through summer. There are higher level orchestras, and a faculty orchestra. Students attend concerts for free. The set up - with auditiorium spilling out onto lawn - is similar to Tanglewood's.

    Students have weekly private lessons. We paid extra to get him lessons in composition as well. There are practice huts (literally huts) sprinkled throughout the grounds. It was fun to walk the grounds and hear people practicing.

    My S didn't attend BUTI, but did attend TMC (for college students and older) so it's hard to compare directly. Brevard is well respected in the south, but I don't know that it is as well-known nationally. Given BUTI's reputation for food, I'd guess that Brevard's is better! ;) Tanglewood does have the bonus of having the BSO on site. Brevard pulls teachers from all over - some better than others, I think. They do pull in some big name guest artists.

    The teachers can make or break a program, so if I were having to choose, I'd look to see who the clarinet teachers are at each of the programs you are looking at.

    Can't help you with Interlochen.

    When it comes down to it, you might find it to be an easier decision than you thought. Perhaps one place will offer you a better scholarship, or a better schedule, or a better teacher. A lot like deciding upon a college.
  • Just a Dad in OhJust a Dad in Oh Posts: 79Registered User Junior Member
    D - Flute (now HS freshman) went to Interlochen last summer for a 3 week intermediate program and though she had a great time, was not challenged enough. But note that HS division at Interlochen is certainly much more challenging. You may want to investigate the Emerson Scholars program at Interlochen (free ride).

    Emerson Scholars | Interlochen Summer Arts Camp

    However in our case - Teacher(s) want her to shoot for Tanglewood summer of 2011 or 2012. In teachers words "having Tanglewood on the resume, simply trumps Interlochen"

    Hope this helps.
    JD
  • violadadvioladad Posts: 6,640Registered User Senior Member
    "having Tanglewood on the resume, simply trumps Interlochen"

    I'd be careful in putting too much credence on picking specific programs as a means of resume building for music admissions purposes. Just as in choosing a range of schools to apply to, there are many reasons to choose one program over another. Notwithstanding the requisite talent and skill sets to "get in", instructor choices, peer quality, distance/proximity, financial concerns, specific focus (orchestral/ensemble/solo), conflicts with other program dates be they personal, family, or work/performance related all should all come into play.

    Targeting the immersion opportunities to fit the developmental goals of the student within the priorities and constraints of the family unit might be the best strategy. Audition based admissions are made on the strength of audition performance, and not the CV of the applicant.

    But again, that's just my $.02. It would be beneficial of those actively involved in the process (fddlestix, N8Ma, lorelei2702) to weigh in on this.
  • CLRN8MOMCLRN8MOM Posts: 347Registered User Member
    I do appreciate everyone's "$0.02". Of course there are a million variables that will determine how "good" a program is, not the least of which is the simple fact that what you get out of something is directly proportional to what you put in. Unpredictable things like rommate personality issues can make or break a whole summer. Again I am mostly trying to get an idea of the whole music atmosphere and education, and yes the "life-changing" factor. I would also be interested in comments about how these look on college apps. Definitely audition is key but what about those "tie-breaker" situations? That must happen a lot.
  • violadadvioladad Posts: 6,640Registered User Senior Member
    CLRN8MOM, a similar question/discussion here http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/586643-eastman-college-resume-building.html?highlight=resume

    What might be most important is the sum of the collective experiences for an individual applicant, not necessarily the "weight" of one experience versus another as they appear as line entries.

    Without the knowledge of what goes on behind closed doors, the best we can do is speculate.
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    I think you're asking good questions, CLRN8MOM. There are just no simple enough answers.

    We live in Georgia, so one factor for us is that Brevard was much closer than the other two. Many of the high schoolers at Tanglewood (such as teammom's son, or thumper1's son) live in the northeast. It made sense for us to want our kid's first long summer away from home to not be too far, and early on, we all tend to be more aware of programs closer to home.

    At the time S went to Brevard, we'd never heard of Brevard. Nor Interlochen. Nor Tanglewood. He was recruited for Brevard, and we asked the band teacher what it was all about. He told us it was the best summer music program in the southeast. We were totally clueless. We didn't even let him go the first summer they recruited.

    So for us, it wasn't a matter of choosing among several. I can only offer the benefits from hindsight. And when I think what those benefits are, they seem like they would be available at all the programs you list. The chance to do intensive music, and find out whether you can stand it. To study with teachers other than the regular private teacher, and benefit from different teaching approaches, techniques, and evaluations. To work among a peer group of a higher level than what is normally available to high schoolers, and get a sense of where you fit.

    At Brevard, cabin counselors are college students. This was useful to my S, as it was his first look at the variety of colleges out there for music, and he spent a lot of time talking to different students about their experiences with admissions and attendance.

    At Brevard, college students and high school students interact. Although they might be in different orchestras, they are in the same studio, etc. At Tanglewood, the HS and college programs are totally different - different housing and food, different teachers, etc. No interaction at all.

    At Tanglewood, college students (who are mostly grad students) are Fellows. At Brevard, they are either counselors (or interns or other "help"), or paying to be there. So they attract a different group of students.

    I'm inclined to say that Tanglewood is the more respected of the programs, in part because of the TMC program and the BSO affiliation.

    As far as resume - I really don't know. Since clarinet will be a pre-screen at many places, a resume might come into play (no pun intended.) I think a resume showing summer camp involvement is important. I'm not sure how much more weight they would give one camp over another, though.

    Another thing I "suspect" but have no proof of -- My kid plays horn, where everyone knows everyone - small community. I think it's not unlikely that they pick up the phone and call their horn-playing friends who taught the student one place or another, and get more info. I don't know if that happens with other instruments or not.
  • bookmama22bookmama22 Posts: 1,092Registered User Senior Member
    I can only speak for BUTI of the three from personal experience, but one of the BUTI advantages in addition to the free pass to Tanglewood and just being in the Berkshires is that you can audition for BU's music program while there and so at least one audition is finished going into your senior year. If you pass the audition, you have acceptance to the music school by October although you do need to apply for BU admission through the standard procedure. If you don't pass the summer audition, you can apply and re-audition during the audition season in the winter.
  • BassDadBassDad Posts: 5,381Registered User Senior Member
    When my daughter attended, the BU audition mentioned by bookmama22 only applied to the voice students, not the instrumentalists. Has that changed?
  • sopranomom92sopranomom92 Posts: 1,333Registered User Senior Member
    At Interlochen there are musicians from all over the world. My D turned down Tanglewood for Interlochen, in part for the total camp experience, but also for the specifics of the program there. The YSO orchestra at Interlochen rivals any conservatory orchestra anywhere. Professionals from all over, including professors from many different college/conservatory programs teach and perform at Interlochen every summer. My D was totally transformed by her experience at Interlochen summer, much more confident and focused, and the improvement she showed after six weeks was truly phenomenal. It was also great for researching possible schools--she was able to talk to many people, students and professionals alike, with first hand information about programs all over the country. As far as resumes are concerned, my D indicated all her summer acceptances, with details regarding her Interlochen experiences. Who knows if that will make any difference, but at least they could see that she had been accepted to 4 selective programs. Interlochen is spectacularly beautiful in the summer, and my D loved every moment of it.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 32,512Registered User Senior Member
    I would also be interested in comments about how these look on college apps. Definitely audition is key but what about those "tie-breaker" situations? That must happen a lot.

    Personally, I don't think you or your kiddo should be viewing these summer programs as potential "tie breakers" for admissions. Your musician should be going because they will gain valuable experience playing with, learning from, and living with other musicians.

    The only "help" I can think of...some of the Boston University music faculty work at the BUTI instrument workshops and also run master classes for the BUTI ensemble members. If a student is applying to Boston University, and had a very positive relationship with an applied faculty teacher, this might be helpful in admissions to BU only....not to any other schools.

    I have to say...there are tons of wonderful summer music festivals. Another one not mentioned on this thread is Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro NC. There are both high school and college students at this festival, and an orchestra comprised of the professionals who teach at the festival too.

    Any of these places will give your student a nice immersion in music and for many is the "deciding moment" that makes the student either realize they WANT to pursue music full time...or they don't.

    My two kids went to New England Music Camp for three summers. That four week (each summer) experience sealed the music deal for my son...and also raised his "bar" of playing as he wasn't with the same kids from his school. For DD, it was the opposite. She loved her music and still does...but knew that doing it full time day in and day out was not the career she wanted to pursue. BUT even for her it raised the level of her playing because she was with kids from all over the country...and EVERYONE there was the first chair in THEIR school.
  • flutegirl09flutegirl09 Posts: 13Registered User New Member
    I'm looking into the college division at Brevard...does anyone know any insider info on the living conditions? I've seen some photos and it looks rather rustic and difficult to put up with for that long.
  • CLRN8MOMCLRN8MOM Posts: 347Registered User Member
    thumper1: I mentioned in my original post what we are hoping to accomplish at a summer program. I only asked the question about "tie-breakers" after Just A Dad mentioned the Tanglewood trump. It never occured to me that there might be a difference in reputation among these places. And yes, you are correct that the most important reason to attend is to find out if a life of music is really the right path. Even though the programs are expensive, I see it as being much cheaper that spending a year in college only to discover that you are in the wrong place.

    I appreciate everyone's comments about their personal experiences. If my D is lucky enough to get into more than one program, we will definitely look closely at comparing opportunites offered and day-to-day scheduling as well as of course teaching, as it sounds like there are more differences in the programs than I originally thought. The great news is all the positive comments about all of them!

    By the way, Happy New Year to everyone!
    CLRN8MOM
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    It's definitely a camp. You will be in a cabin, on a bunk. But it really wasn't bad as camps go. If you don't want a camp, you might look for programs that are run on college campuses, where you stay in a dorm.
  • Just a Dad in OhJust a Dad in Oh Posts: 79Registered User Junior Member
    Just to clear this up, with hope that I stop receiving "interesting" private messages..

    What I stated was this "However in our case - Teacher(s) want her to shoot for Tanglewood summer of 2011 or 2012. In teachers words "having Tanglewood on the resume, simply trumps Interlochen"

    In no way would I have the knowledge to make this statement first hand. I was just sharing a bit of information from people that I respect.

    Again - It can't hurt to tale a look at the emerson scholarship program at Interlochen,
    (we intend to do this for a future date) which has an application deadline of 2.1.2010

    Summer programs are wonderful, not just for the musical enrichment, but for the relationships that are built, along with the real world experiences gained and... I hope some of you can get a chuckle out of this.. even the ability to unclog a cabin toilet, which was one of the first things D described learning when we picked her up last August.

    Thumper1 - would really like to hear more about the NE camp, which is on our shortlist for this summer. I will PM.
    JD
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