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The Walden School is an educational program that employs a unique, music-based method to foster creative thinking, problem solving, and risk taking in young people.
Through the exploration of music as a language, The Walden School inspires students to develop a personal, creative voice within the context of an intellectual and artistic community.
The Walden School seeks to encourage broad thinking and active listening, teach delivery and acceptance of constructive criticism, plant the seeds of wisdom, and nurture a life-long commitment to creative expression, all resulting in the development of individuals who are capable of effecting positive change in the world around them.
The Walden School envisions a world with a higher concentration of people who approach life creatively, collaboratively, and with conviction; support music and the arts; and understand and respect each other's differences.
The Walden School (founded 1972) is a summer music school and festival offering programs that emphasize creative application, specifically through music improvisation and composition. In residence since 1983 on the campus of the Dublin School in beautiful Dublin, New Hampshire, the school provides an inspiring retreat-like environment ideal for creative music making. The Walden School is the successor organization to the Junior Conservatory Camp. Walden's renowned Young Musicians Program provides thorough and creative theoretical training for young musicians ages 9 to 18. The school is deliberately small, and a student to faculty ratio of 4 to 1 ensures that coursework is geared to the individual student, beginner through advanced, and that a creative and supportive musical community is formed and nurtured. During the five-week program, students attend classes in music history, analysis, computer musicianship, jazz and other topics to complement their thorough training in Walden's core curriculum of musicianship and composition. During weekly composers forums, student improvisations and compositions are performed by faculty, students, and visiting artists and a guest moderator leads discussion about the pieces. The Walden School Concert Series features performances by world-class artists and ensembles that interact closely with students. All students and faculty participate in The Walden School Chorus which meets daily and performs a concert at the end of the session. Dances, swim trips, weekly mountain hikes, and 'open mic' nights balance this rigorous musical training and are integral to the Walden experience.
The Walden School's Teacher Training Institute offers unique professional development opportunities to help music educators sharpen their musicianship skills, enrich their teaching with imaginative activities, and more effectively guide the creative voices of their students. Weekend workshops and weeklong intensives are designed for composers, college professors, public and private school music teachers, and private instructors interested in learning proven methods for introducing or further developing composition and improvisation activities in the classroom or studio. Interactive sessions with master teachers include daily classes in musicianship, computer music, solfège, rhythms, and improvisation and provide participants with innovative ideas and specific teaching tools based upon an original music pedagogy, initially developed by Grace Newsom Cushman, that has had proven success for more than 50 years.
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