As parents know, it can be a challenge after a long school day to motivate kids to pick up their instrument and practice. During the school year, students juggle extracurriculars and academics, and music can slip down in the list of priorities in a busy schedule. That all changes at RSC’s Summer Programs.
These programs provide a special time when students can focus on two things: improving their music skills and making music with their friends. “It’s a short-term program with a great reward because they are preparing, practicing, and working toward a concert together. It’s a team effort and a great launching pad for continuing to practice with their friends all year long,” says cellist Kirstin Peltz, a long-time teacher and new co-director of RSC Summer Music.
RSC Director Gabriella Sanna agrees. “I’ve heard many parents credit our Summer Programs with inspiring their children to practice year-round. There is something magical that happens in the summer, where kids get even more excited about music and are inspired to practice so they can return the next summer at the same level as their friends.”
According to saxophonist and Director of RSC Summer Jazz Philippe Crettien, the Summer Programs create a fun and immersive environment, where students get to the next level in a matter of two weeks. After playing all day with their peers and professionals, they are transformed as musicians. They get “the jazz bug” in the summer and want to go deeper into their jazz studies during the school year.
Making the programs even more exciting is the opportunity to play with professional musicians every day. In Summer Jazz, students work closely with gigging professionals in both ensembles and private lessons to hone their skills. Musicians working in the field give greater real-world, practical knowledge to course offerings like Brass Band, Intro to Jazz, Home Recording, and Rock Lab.
In the classical summer programs as well, students work with professional musicians for two one-hour private lessons a week in addition to daily coaching in chamber music ensembles, performance class, and larger ensembles.
“Summer Music is unique because students have access to playing music with professionals in an encouraging, positive, and safe environment where they are challenged and can explore music…[it is what] makes these programs special,” adds Crettien.