February 1, 2016
Music at Port Milford students perform for seniors at Black Walnut Garden, Milford
My First Music Camp
by J. Huang
My first music camp experience was at the age of 6, at an optional day camp organized by my primary school. The teachers had set up in the gym with some fifteen musical instruments in order to give us the chance to learn about and try each one. Our goal was to create and make an audio recording of a fairy tale by the end of the week.
As a child, I never really liked playing with other children my age that I didn’t know. The idea of spending time with strangers and being far from my parents distressed me considerably. And yet … the week went so well, the project was really interesting, and I was able to meet other students who seemed to have similar interests, with whom I studied until I was 15. We’re still friends today. What’s more, I think that I can say that it was then that my passion for music truly began.
I remember first having tried the violin and the piano, but other kids wanted to play these instruments, too. So I headed for the tuba. After succeeding, with some pain, in making a few miserable noises, I was out of breath. I saw a lyre at the back of the gym. I started to pull on the strings, and I remember that one of the two teaches came over to show me how to play a few easy melodies.
From that moment on, I was never without my lyre. I wanted to bring it home with me every night for the whole week of camp to play it again and again. My parents, both musicians, had wanted me to choose an instrument for a long time so that I could start at the conservatory. I remember my sadness and inability to understand when they told me that there were no lyre teachers …
Finally, they gave me another solution: the harp. I wasn’t quite convinced, but I nevertheless attended a class with a teacher at the conservatory the following week. It was love at first sight! Following this encounter, I studied harp with Mrs. V. for twelve years, until the day she retired. During my studies at the conservatory, I met the people who would become my best friends and with whom I would spend many superb years. I had numerous chances to attend summer camps after my first one, and I would recommend the experience without any hesitation to all children and teenagers! Because a camp is a guarantee of new discoveries and serendipitous encounters, but also an opportunity to grow, to enrich yourself, and to blossom in a marvelous setting.
Translation: Rebecca Anne Clark
Summer Music Programs
by Ellen Kogut
Summer is the perfect time for families to take advantage of music programs. From introductory classes for toddlers to intensive training camps for advanced-level teens, Canada has hundreds of options to choose from. Why enroll this summer?
During the school year, academic study and homework often take priority, but summertime leaves kids free to pursue music with more intention. Families often marvel at the quick rate of progress in summer programs. A lot can be accomplished in just week or two.
2. Social Setting
Summer programs put kids in contact with others who share their interests. This is particularly important for teens, and can lead to great friendships. Many programs also strike a good balance between music study and recreation, with supplemental group activites like sports and swimming.
A change of routine can refresh kids’ interest in music study. New repertoire and practice techniques can be a great source of inspiration that kids take with them into the following school year. New peers can also have a positive influence – kids often learn as much from one another as they do from teachers.
In addition to classical music, there are plenty of opportunities to explore jazz, rock, and traditional music. Summer programs can also introduce kids to music theory and composition. This is a great chance to discover a new interest or passion!
Families who are new to music study can get their feet wet in short-term programs. A camp or a few lessons can give your child an idea of the instrument he or she likes to play, and can help jumpstart the school year.