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ASU School of Music summer camps give students a sneak peek at life as a music major

Students outside School of Music building between classes.

May 31, 2018

Students get a sneak peek at life as a music major and a taste of what attending Arizona State University, or any college, would be like by participating in ASU's School of Music summer programs.

During the month of June, the School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts offers two distinct music programs — a one-day “Be a Music Major” workshop and a weeklong Musician Enrichment Foundation/ASU Band Camp.

The “Be a Music Major” workshop on June 8, for undergraduate transfer students and juniors or seniors in high school, offers information and activities designed to help students continue their high school music studies and provides students with the necessary tools for a successful college audition.

A variety of topics are covered in the workshop, such as: how to select good audition repertoire, career options in music, and how to fill out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Students learn about class piano theory levels and requirements, hear performances by ASU students and faculty, and attend three mock college classes of their choice.

“Most students who have decided to major in music or those who are thinking about it are involved in music ensembles in school, take private lessons or have attended a summer music program,” said Hannah Creviston, professor in the School of Music and coordinator of the “Be a Music Major” workshop. “All of these are beneficial to a student’s performance, but often the basics such as the type of preparation needed for a successful college audition, tips for filling out a college application or how much piano they need to know to test out of the first level are not covered.”

Creviston said students will meet with faculty or graduate assistants of their particular instrument to discuss the types of repertoire and level of preparation that college professors are looking for in auditions.

“We want students who attend the workshop to know that college faculty are approachable and want students to be successful in their auditions,” Creviston said. “We want them to feel empowered, rather than scared, going into the application and audition process and, while BAMM"Be a Music Major" is not ASU-specific, we want them to feel welcome in the School of Music.”

More: Information about the “Be a Music Major” program and registration

For students who want a more intensive program, the weeklong Musician Enrichment Foundation/ASU Band Camp, offered by the Musician Enrichment Foundation in partnership with the ASU School of Music, will be held June 11-15, for students in grades seven to 12.

Classes include large ensembles, sectionals, master classes, electives and faculty recitals. Students are also introduced to the ASU School of Music faculty, including professors and graduate teaching assistants, and to seasoned school music educators and performers from the community.

“The focused, intense nature of the band camp creates an environment rich in possibilities for personal growth as a musician and as a person,” said Carol Mellis, ASU alumnus and executive director and founding member of the Musician Enrichment Foundation. “Camp attendees return to their schools with improved musical and social skills, increased confidence, motivation, focus, tolerance, empathy, time management and a deeper love and appreciation for music. Students that attend the camp become so excited and eager to become better musicians and that positive attitude spreads throughout their school band program.”

Mellis said the camp is the only designated full day concert band camp in the valley where students work closely with world-class camp staff and use innovative explorations of musical topics to improve their skills in the areas of tone, intonation, rhythm, articulation, phrasing, sight-reading, ensemble, stage presence, posture, music theory and creative expression. Electives are taught nonlecture-style to ensure high comprehension and knowledge retention and include: music history and introduction to student improvisation; drumming circle with study of world music and student improvisation; beat making with the students’ instruments as the sound source; introduction to music composition for students’ chosen instrument; and chamber ensemble with a culminating performance.

The camp is supported through grants from the city of Tempe and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, making the camp accessible to all interested students.

Fall 2018 juniors and seniors can apply for the camp’s tuition-free High School Leadership Team and receive leadership training from the camp band directors Jason Caslor, assistant professor and associate director of bands and orchestras in the ASU School of Music; David DuPlessis, director of bands at Corona del Sol High School; and Arlie DuPlessis, band teacher at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School.

Mellis said a new partnership between Musician Enrichment Foundation, ASU and the Tempe Elementary School District will facilitate Title 1 students’ participation in camp, promoting the exceptional value of music education and community music making. On June 13, 225 fourth- to sixth-grade summer school students will attend a field trip to ASU to attend a camp concert and try out band instruments, provided by Milano’s Music.

The band camp culminates in a free, public performance at 5 p.m. on June 15, in ASU Gammage.

More: Information about the Musician Enrichment Foundation/ASU band camp and registration.