Summer camp opportunities


Alan Duncan said: Apr 2, 2019
Suzuki Association Member
81 posts

I’m looking for recommendations for summer music camp opportunities. To be clear, we have our plans in place to attend a Suzuki institute this summer; but are asking about the subsequent year(s) given the need, in many cases, to prepare an audition video etc.—just for advance planning.

Here’s our situation: my daughter is 10 years old and is a violinist. Through Book 4 we worked with a Suzuki teacher and followed the repertoire sequence. Owing to a move and other circumstances, for the last 3-4 years she has been with a traditional violin teacher who is in the music faculty at our university. Although she was able to complete Book 5 and much of Book 6, she’s become much more focused on preparing for music festivals, an upcoming concerto competition, quartet, youth symphony, etc. It has become more difficult to do everything. As a result, while we have a strong historical and philosophical connection to Suzuki, her repertoire is much more aligned with the Royal Conservatory grade list. Currently she’s playing works at an RCM grade 8-10 level. In the Suzuki repertoire, that would put her somewhere around the Bach A minor I would guess.

This puts us in a difficult spot vis-a-vis summer music opportunities. We’ve attended Suzuki institutes for 6 years now; but her repertoire now doesn’t line up with the Suzuki sequence—so I fear it will be a frustrating experience for her. Here’s my question—does anyone have specific recommendations for camps aside from the Suzuki institutes—camps that accommodate students as young as 10-11 y/o? We live in Canada but are happy to travel practically any distance. She does have plans to audition for Interlochen next year, but are looking to expand our search a bit. This seems to be a bit of a gap, as most camps for advanced students don’t take children this young. For example, Domaine Forget Academy in Québec doesn’t take students under 16. The age limit at Brevard is 14.

(I feel a little guilty posting this non-Suzuki inquiry in a Suzuki forum; but for many years Suzuki has been our life and it’s the community we know the best. So thank you in advance!)

Alice Chen said: Apr 2, 2019
Suzuki Association Member
1 posts

Hello, I don’t know if these camps take 10 year olds but you can look into Aspen, Aria, Bowdoin, Menlo, and Tanglewood. Good luck!

Mary Richardson said: Apr 2, 2019
 3 posts

My sister took one of her late elementary school kids to Indiana Summer String Academy run by Mimi Zweig. I believe he was playing one of the Mozart Concertos. This is a heavy duty practice camp with very fine instruction.

Another camp I am aware of through my “mom’s network” is Kinhaven in Vermont. Apparently very nurturing and with an emphasis on quartet playing. It sounds like your daughter has some experience with this already. Junior session is for late elementary kids.

Donna Curry said: Apr 2, 2019
Donna CurryTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Lake Forest, IL
7 posts

HI All,

Blue Lake Camp, Michigan. It’s a fantastic orchestra camp plus wonderful Suzuki teachers and class opportunities.

All the Best,

Alan Duncan said: Apr 2, 2019
Suzuki Association Member
81 posts

Thanks for all of the suggestions! Some helpful leads already.

Mary—Completely forgot about the program at IU. And I knew vaguely about Kinhaven because they also host an adult chamber music summer program; and the violinist in my old piano trio has attended in years past. Thanks for the input!

Stacy Smith said: Apr 2, 2019
Stacy SmithInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
8 posts

Alan, Intermountain Suzuki String Institute in SLC, Utah has a program called “Advanced String Camp” meant for students out of the Suzuki Books. While most of the students have a Suzuki background, it is NOT Suzuki based. Students have masterclasses, orchestra, chamber groups, and performance groups. We have 50+ kids enrolled, all instruments, and the youngest is 9.

I’ve also hear great things about the PEG program at the Heifetz Institute in VA. Geared for kids 9-14, its a 3 week long sleep away camp, highly structured. They get to participate in all the masterclasses and concerts that the college students do during the camp, and the faculty is outstanding. I have no idea how selective it is, but the audition requirements are solo Bach and a concerto movement, I think.

Lori Bolt said: Apr 3, 2019
Lori BoltPiano
San Clemente, CA
262 posts

Idyllwild School of the Arts (ISOMATA) comes to mind. I know they run summer camps for all of the arts. Located in the mountains of southern California.

Lori Bolt

Barbara Rylander said: Apr 3, 2019
Barbara RylanderViolin, Viola
Saline, MI
29 posts

Absolutely the most amazing would be Phoenix Phest Chamber music and Suzuki Institute, in August. Ann Arbor Michigan area, at Eastern Michigan University. Gabe Bolkosky, widely acclaimed as a teacher at Suzuki Institutes around the country, is the Executive Director.

All students are well integrated into chamber music ensembles, being coached by active chamber music professionals, members of the Cavani Quartet, retired violinist from the Cleveland Quartet, many well known Suzuki teachers from around the country.

The Suzuki portion is only one portion, and there are opportunities for overlap, but it sounds like in your daughter’s case, she might fit in best in the Chamber Music portion.

Although there are students at the college level participating, there are also many students at your daughter’s age and level who participate in the Chamber Music program. Gabe Bolkosky may be unique in his ability to actually make this work well, without compromising any level of coaching. There is also a weekend camp in May.

Jennifer Visick said: May 8, 2019
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1076 posts

Here’s a small one I’ve worked with in the past, in southern california, focusing on preparing students to play a concerto with an orchestra, and with a chamber music component as well:

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