- Published on Thursday, 26 January 2017 17:05
- Written by Constance M. Brannon, M. Ed.
The Benefits of Attending an Academic Summer Camp
Written by, Constance M. Brannon, M.Ed., Academic Camps Director, Malone University, Canton Ohio
Academic camps hosted by universities are not a new phenomenon, but their popularity has been climbing for more than a decade as demand for career preparedness for incoming college students has grown. In a challenging economic climate, students and their families are looking for reassurance that they will be prepared for job or graduate school placement after commencement.
At Malone University, we understand the weight of that pressure and want to serve as a resource for high school students who are beginning to weigh career options. Our academic summer camps program aims to provide an opportunity for college-bound students to test drive their academic interests and get a taste of life on a university campus in a safe and fun environment.
In collaboration with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, our Chamber Music Camp will coach pianists, string, and woodwind players in the art of listening and communicating like professional musicians in a chamber ensemble setting. Students will rehearse individually and in small groups with the goal of improving technical skills and musical creativity. Lessons learned through that kind of study extend far beyond musical growth, into the kind of discipline and reasoning ability which make for a strong employee in any work environment later in life.
“My daughters had two very different, yet beneficial, experiences by attending Chamber Music Camp,” said Jen (Martin) Carroll ’96. “My younger daughter texted me while she was at camp and asked if she could return next year, and my older daughter discovered more about her musical interests as a result of attending. She learned that Chamber Music isn’t the direction she wants to pursue as a musician. However, camp instructors used her arrangement of Fall Out Boy’s Centuries during the final performance, which was a highlight of the summer for her. That moment inspired her to delve deeper into music theory and attempt other arrangements of pop music for strings. It opened her eyes to a career she never considered before.”
My role today as Academic Camps Director is fulfilling because I, too, am the product of a music academic camp. The summer before my senior year of high school I spent two weeks on a college campus, immersing myself in curriculum I enjoyed with faculty members and camp counselors who were passionate about what they do best. I knew fairly quickly that I wanted to be a student on that campus, and even met my first college friend at that camp, someone I still count among friends today, more than 15 years later. The irony in my story is that I am not a career musician but I could talk endlessly about the skills I gained and lessons I learned during that season of life. I wouldn’t change a thing and firmly believe that none of that time was wasted.
When first-time campers contact me with questions about our programs, I sometimes share my story with them and reassure them of the value in their decision to join us for a week. At the very least, it provides them with an opportunity to learn something new about themselves just by trying it out. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.