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Online Summer Programs

VillandryVillandry 0 replies1 threads New Member
I am starting to see that music programs are continuing their high school summer programs to an online format (Interlochen, Berklee to mention a couple). The programs are still pricey for being online. My kids online education after their schools/universities have closed this spring has been hit or miss. I would like to hear your opinion about different programs and if you think they would be able to transition to a quality online program this summer. My son is a rising high school senior and is interested in composition.
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Replies to: Online Summer Programs

  • stringbirdstringbird 44 replies2 threads Junior Member
    We opted out of online Interlochen due to my daughter's particular circumstances. She is going to use this summer to study her instrument intensively with her teacher in preparation for fall prescreens.

    If we'd had one more summer - if she were a sophomore and not a junior - we would have given Interlochen consideration. I think it would have been an opportunity to "meet" peers and work with a variety of musicians. Not the same as in-person but that's where we are for 2020.

    Hypothetically, one advantage Interlochen might have in being successful online is that they've already made the transition during the school year. Assuming there are kinks to work out, they've encountered them and had the chance to make adjustments.

    I agree with you that the program is pricey. If your son ends up participating in one of these programs, I'll be interested to hear how it goes.
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  • AsMotherAsMother 361 replies21 threads Member
    edited May 15
    I think it really depends on what kind of classes they will be offering; some music classes are simply going to work better than others online, obviously. My son (also a Composition major, with film-scoring) just finished out the last month of his second year at Berklee online. He decided to drop conducting, because it just didn't lend itself to online classes. The other ones, including his private piano lessons, seemed to work out pretty well, although he probably will take next semester off it classes continue to be online for fall. Some teachers are just better equipped to teach online than others. He seems very fond of his Counterpoint professor and her class, but apparently she's pretty old-school (not a bad thing, in my mind) and wasn't thrilled with switching over.
    I think that Berklee (and probably a lot of other schools) did as well as could be expected on such short notice. Everyone really had to scramble suddenly, so it would be unfair to judge based on the last month or so of the spring semester. I think that @stringbird 's remark that everyone has had more of a chance now to work out the "kinks" is probably valid.
    I assume that there are more composition-oriented classes than performance-oriented ones that would work better online (theory, composition techniques, etc.).
    My son had been planning to do a film-scoring program in Milan (one of the faculty members is the Chair of the Film-Scoring department at Berklee, so I think it would be worthwhile). But they figured out early on that no one was likely to come to Italy in the near future, and put together an online program that he'll do instead. I'm impressed that they saw the writing on the wall early enough to have time to (I assume) work out a good way to do it.
    You and your son might want to investigate how well-prepared various programs are. Berklee already has a strong online component (probably with professors who are more used to teaching that way), so now that they have a few minutes to come up for air again I assume they could probably do a pretty good job. But yeah--pricey!
    (EDIT: For us, our thinking is that--again, depending on the courses--having something creative and productive to do that is related to my son's field is definitely a better option than having little else to do. And, as @stringbird says, it's a way to get to "know" others in the field, and peers.)
    edited May 15
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  • Pl1277Pl1277 45 replies4 threads Junior Member
    We've considered some of the online solo voice programs, but, at the prices I couldn't necessarily justify it. I can't see how it will work out..for instance, a concern I have is, will she have to spend two weeks in the house on a computer nearly full time ? I know that might seem like a strange concern, but part of what she liked about the programs, besides the instruction, was the social aspect.

    We are planning more private lessons and time spent on diction and preparing essays and audition videos.
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  • MusicaspirantMusicaspirant 67 replies2 threads Junior Member
    The programs that I've seen are too expensive for what is offered. Of course, I come from a perspective that a summer program would have enhanced a fine home program and good home teacher. If those are lacking and the summer program was meant to replace what can't be obtained during the year, perhaps there is some value, even on-line. (Contrast that thought with my thinking on the free fellowship programs such as Music Academy of the West that is doing virtual. No money lost for those fellowship programs - my kid would definitely participate.)

    The number of on-line FREE master classes, rehearsals, performances is stunning. Speaking strings, google Verbier for rehearsal videos, Steans Ravinia for masterclasses and chamber music performances. These are 2 of the most exclusive, elite festival programs for college age and young artist (under 30) players. Any high school student can benefit from watching. There are also historic master classes with renowned pedagogues from the last decades as well as masterclasses from current "names". Google the names of top teachers - you are likely to find something.

    As far as Zoom lessons - contact those who are teaching through the summer camps, Interlochen, Aspen, etc. Some instructors may be willing to take on a new student on-line for the summer if you were wanting a break from the current teacher.

    There are a number of online music theory websites and music history courses for free. These can be a great head start for college/conservatory.

    For us as parents, the sleep away, social aspect of the summer programs for our high school age kids was as important as the music. It happens that our kids' home teachers taught at summer programs, so they followed the teacher. I have to say that in the early years of attendance, there was more maturation socially and more independence developed than there was musical growth. Can't get that on-line!
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  • MusicaspirantMusicaspirant 67 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited May 16
    One more thought on the on-lines. We have multiple working professionals in the family. Trying to do ensemble work - even duo solo instrument with piano - is extremely challenging online. The time delay on Zoom and other platforms makes the attempts often ludicrous. Attempting to follow an online conductor emphasizes the differing delays that various people experience. You have to play with the others muted, so there is no give and take. Pre-record the other line for a duo and play with a soundtrack? No spontaneous rubato or subtlety allowed! Etc, etc.

    I am aware of groups that have individually recorded their parts while wearing a click-track for tempo, then this is mixed by a technician. Not technology that is always at hand.

    I don't know how the summer camps will manage when they say they will have chamber music. If anyone has found a successful solution, please share!!!!!!!!
    edited May 16
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  • BaribassmomBaribassmom 14 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Parent of a rising junior voice student here. We are actually coming at it from a slightly different perspective. Since there will be no travel expenses, even if the programs seem pricey for virtual classes, it's still less than it would be if travel were to be added, plus housing. So, we are taking advantage of that and the opportunity to get some exposure to a variety of college faculty. If it were a 'normal' summer, we would likely have to choose only one program, but with no travel and housing costs, we are letting him try two different programs.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2843 replies68 threads Senior Member
    I just saw a post about the 49th Annual Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin which will be all online this June. Sounds like it could be very rewarding.
    High school students accepted.

    https://www.oberlin.edu/summer-programs/bpi?fbclid=IwAR2hpJ6d_T5BAnuMf4OzwGebWkWMPKFI9FWeZZPdd1bQACcJNthZ09zJKWE

    Multiple options for participation, including free.
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  • MusicaspirantMusicaspirant 67 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited May 16
    ^^^^. That program does look good - at a very reasonable cost! Oberlin has had some very fine Baroque instructors traditionally - I didn't look at the faculty for this program. I assume students would need access to the appropriate early instrument to fully participate; not sure how easily those can be obtained. We own Baroque violins and bows; I don't know if they can be rented. But, the free version looks worthwhile and maybe one can participate further without having a Baroque instrument at hand.

    Thanks for posting @SpiritManager!

    @Baribassmom - that's great if he actually gets lessons and online interaction.

    If its just masterclasses, check to see if that is available online for free. (My opinion and experience of MCs over many years for what is worth - Masterclasses can be valuable, but can also give a false idea of what it is like to work within a given teacher's studio - both better and worse than the MC. Some teachers really put on a good MC show, with others -what you see is what you get, some are less effective in MCs than in studio, etc. This is my well experienced opinion only - others are free to disagree.)

    edit - @Baribassmom - I'm sure you have made a good, very appropriate decision for your family. I didn't mean to imply any criticism. I was just adding thoughts from my experience which may well not even apply to the programs you are registering for.
    edited May 16
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2843 replies68 threads Senior Member
    @Musicaspirant There is this line about the viola da gamba class: (Details about how to obtain an instrument will be given at the time of registration.) Still unclear how easy it will be to get access to instruments remotely.

    I heard about the program from Molly Netter who will be one of the vocal professors. She posted this on Facebook: Despite countless summer music programs and workshops being cancelled, Oberlin - Baroque Performance Institute is STILL ON for June 22-28! Accepting applicants in voice and HP instruments until June 1st! The workshop will be conducted entirely online.
    I hope you will consider sharing this opportunity with colleagues and students interested in historical performance! Open to all ages, from high school* and up. Offerings include masterclasses and private teaching in Baroque gesture, ornamentation, affect, etc, and access to lectures by all HP faculty. Voice teachers this year are Nancy Zylstra, Penelope Jensen, Daniel Taylor, and myself - please feel free to reach out for more information.

    Also, admission for high school students is by audition recording.
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  • hshj123hshj123 19 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for sharing?
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  • BaribassmomBaribassmom 14 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @Musicaspirant -- advice from someone with experience is always welcomed! I appreciate it.

    Neither program is a master class. Both are audition-only high school programs that were converted to online. And both are very short in duration, so in rationalizing spending the money, I came to the conclusion that getting some instruction (albeit, limited due to it being virtual) from college faculty is a good opportunity for our son to get a sense of what they are like and to get a little variety from different, well-known programs/faculty. In a 'normal' summer, he wouldn't have had the chance to do more than one program, and we would risk choosing one that might not be a great fit without having any idea in advance. So, you are right, we made the choice that suited our needs best at this particular (very odd) time. If he was a rising senior, the decision might have been different.

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