The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:
Enduring Understanding: Analyzing creators’ context and how they manipulate elements of music. Student experiences included group practice, instrument specific (violin, percussion, woodwinds, and brass) break outs, and one on one instruction. Music skill progression occurred via practice, demonstration, and repetition. Students were exposed to professional musicians and trained music educators who conveyed the meaning of a composer’s work and music theory. Special focus is placed on sequencing techniques for developing performance skills. As a demonstration of learned progression, all groups convened together for a joint community performance.
The core learning aspects include analysis and interpretation of music. In preparation for camp, curriculum specialists and expert instructors select skill appropriate music that introduce technique in both small and large group settings. Rehearsals are structured with a combination of group, individualized, and instrument specific training.
Students groups focused on scales for warm ups, ear training and following conductor cues, as well as exploring new repertoire. Students practiced beginner-medium pieces in a variety of different styles and genres including, classical, traditional styles from Mexico, and a popular piece.
Professional and student mentors in each performance group captured teaching and skill improvement opportunities throughout each of the 5 days. Student-teacher ratios were less than 10:1 to allow for personal training. Modeling encouraged junior students in performance skills and in the real-life preparation skills such as how to turn pages and not lose your pace, plus the ability to work collectively created a joint sound.
At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:
The culminating performance of our fifth annual Summer Music Camp was promoted as Music Beyond Borders, due to the collaborative nature between local, regional, and international musicians during our Camp.
During this capstone performance, students expressed unity of sound and social cohesion that resulted from consecutive days of study and hours of practice.
The audience was not only wowed, but eager to seek additional music opportunities for their children. It was the common thread of parents and participants, “when can I do this again!”
I was surprised how quickly students gelled in sound quality, attention to conductor cues, and response to peer mentoring. With only five days of practice, beginning and advanced orchestral students progressed to concert readiness with excitement and proficiency. Thank you ICA!
Not only were parents amazed, but students themselves experienced tremendous self-worth and success as a result.
With two concerts, one master class, and daily hours of practice, our students experienced the power of the arts!
Two new relationships were formed as a result of the Music Conservatory’s Summer Music Camp, thus connecting Idaho students to the greater arts community.
With guest director, Dr. Phil Baldwin from the Spokane Youth Symphony on staff during camp, students in the Northern Panhandle experienced first-hand a connection to its closes metropolitan city, Spokane, Washington.
At the international level, Idaho students sat side by side visiting student musicians from Mexico. Similarly, the capstone Music Beyond Borders concert raised awareness for a Sandpoint run orphanage in Ethiopia.
Music truly is the universal language.