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Music Conservatory of Sandpoint

Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, Inc

Summer Music Camp anticipated teaching music to youth 2nd thru 12th grade — as well as guest artists, and was supported by nearly a dozen community artists. In its sixth year, we increased attendance of Idaho students by nearly 25% with three musical intensives (6-Day Choir, 5-Day Orchestra, and 5-Day Theater) with both morning and full-day options for students of varied ages and abilities. These back to back camps also provide important performance experience through a mid-week event, master classes, and a community concert. Theater students performed on stage as the opener to Montana Shakespeare in the Park, and orchestra students performed alongside local and national artists, the Shook Twins.

The goal of this program is to expand interaction of artistry between musicians from all over the globe. By exposing youth to players of all backgrounds and caliber, their own personal musicality develops.

Taught by highly trained and seasoned music instructors, our programs are reaching an increasing number of North Idaho families where music education has otherwise diminished, thus fostering positive connections and creating a sense of community pride through the pursuit of artistic excellence.

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 at the Panida Theater.

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, a combined choral piece with the Shook Twins, and a highlight from Star Wars..

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

From our survey results:

“Understanding how to work with a group. Learning how to play djembe.”

“She started playing her viola again and really enjoyed the one on one interaction.”

“So amazed at the level of music from exchange students. It has pushed my kids to try new things and advance in what they have learned through the school band program.”


MCS choir, theater, and orchestra camps served 75 students in 2018.

The MCS international youth orchestra was a collaborative effort that included local, regional, and international musicians. By utilizing the “Star Wars” theme, unity and purpose in performance increased the cultural experience of students by focusing on music as the universal language.

Student learning focuses on practice and performance in progression. 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.


From our camp director:

  1. The orchestra learned and played their music well. Concerts were a success. The best ones yet! Concerts were well attended.
  2. Overall week went well. Kids enjoyed and learned a lot.  Younger students learning and being exposed to higher level music and older students were mentoring the younger ones.  Older students were also challenged by more advanced music in the afternoon chamber ensemble.
  3. Solidifying the partnership with Spokane Youth Symphony by sending three MCS students and four visiting students from Mexico to the SYS summer camp, helped encourage collaboration beyond the week of camp.
  4. Our goal for local, regional and international students to connect and interact was attained. Several opportunities for the students to interact were put in place in addition to interacting during camp students have formed friendship across borders through music!

Three events:

  1. Tuesday, August 7 –  Master Class with Dr. Baldwin
  2. Wednesday, August 8-  at Heartwood Center featuring exchange students and guest soloist Maryia Ksondzyk.
  3. Friday, August 10 – Panida Theater MCS Without Borders benefit concert. Featuring summer youth orchestra conducted by Dr. Philip Baldwin and guest artists Katelyn and Laurie Shook.