Young Artist Summer Program: A Teaching Festival Online

Saturday, July 11–Saturday, August 1, 2020


 

 


 

“We’re committed to building an interactive and inclusive online community for our faculty and students, despite the physical distance. It will be an intensive learning environment, but also one in which we can still keep the fun and social atmosphere that we’ve enjoyed with every previous YASP season.”

—David Serkin Ludwig, artistic director and composition faculty member

Young Artist Summer Program

Discover the Music Within You


Challenge yourself to grow in an intensive conservatory environment. The three-week course features personalized attention from celebrated faculty, many of whom are Curtis alumni with thriving pedagogical or performance careers. A comprehensive musical schedule includes private lessons, diverse ensembles, opportunities to perform, and more.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Young Artist Summer Program will take place online during the designated festival dates.

Musicians aged 13 to 22 who have studied privately at the advanced level are encouraged to apply. Applications for the online program will be accepted on a rolling basis while positions are available. The final deadline is June 15 at noon ET, but positions may fill before then.

Students who were confirmed to attend the 2020 program were contacted via email on April 16 and may choose to either participate in this virtual program or decline.

 

What will the online curriculum look like for students?

Rather than the highly structured, immersive schedule of the in-person program, the online curriculum aims for maximum flexibility, allowing students to participate from home in whatever way they can. We anticipate using Canvas, the same online learning platform that Curtis Institute of Music students are using in the spring semester. It allows students to access recorded and written content at their own pace, and in different time zones, while also scheduling live events in a calendar.

The curriculum elements for students will include:

You will receive three lessons, rotating among the studio faculty. We will do our best to schedule these at workable times for students living in different time zones than faculty members.

  • Composition students will have six dual lessons with another student and the instructor, in order to learn from a peer’s discussion with the faculty member.

These may be live, or students may submit a pre-recorded piece to review in class, depending on faculty preference. Instrumental students will perform in at least one studio class during the program. Some instruments may have multiple studio classes per week. Studio classes may also address topics such as practice techniques, reed-making, breathing techniques, warm-up routines, etc.

Students may submit recordings of themselves made at home. Faculty will review submissions and curate virtual student recitals of a select number of these recordings, to be posted online.

Faculty will share pre-recorded or live performances from their home.

YASP’s musical studies curriculum explores the richness of music’s living past. Over the course of the program, students will trace the broad arc of Western music history, encountering masterworks from many eras and uncovering deep connections among them. This course synthesizes principles of music history, theory, and ear training, showing that careful study of a diverse range of music can deepen the way we hear, write, and play.

Any student may sign up to perform live in a webinar for their peers within the online learning platform. 

An array of speakers will present on age-relevant topics such as: art in times of crisis; engaging communities, time and stress management during the pandemic; applying to conservatories; career-building and sharing; responsible online promotion; creating performance opportunities; and music pedagogy.

Students will be led in additional community-building activities online and will be able to engage with faculty, Curtis Institute of Music students, and one another on discussion boards and informal virtual hang-outs.

Chamber ensembles, piano four-hands, choir, and orchestra cannot take place as planned. However we are committed to exploring online opportunities for group musical collaborations and will have more information as the festival period approaches.

Composition seminar classes will cover composing techniques, repertoire, and professional development, among other topics. Composition students will have the opportunity to write solo works for members of the YASP faculty ensemble, who will record pieces from their homes.

Conductors will have seminar classes and private lessons taught by conducting faculty. Seminar topics may include: score analysis of a variety of diverse repertoire, technique, rehearsal preparation and strategies, internalizing and memorizing scores, career guidance, and an exploration of historical recordings and performances. Private lessons will offer the opportunity for further discussion, as well as individual feedback on pre-recorded videos.

For the best experience, percussionists should have access to a mallet instrument during the program. Please contact summerfest@curtis.edu with details about your set-up at home, and we will be happy to put you in touch with percussion faculty to answer questions.

 

Online Program FAQs

Tuition is now $2,250. There is, of course, no housing and dining fee. For information on financial assistance, please visit this page.

Many of the faculty will be the same as those who were scheduled for the in-person program. In fact, most of them are already teaching students online. All faculty members are esteemed performers and almost all are Curtis alumni who are accomplished soloists, hold positions in major chamber and orchestra ensembles, and are teachers at recognized teaching institutions. Confirmed updates will be posted to the website as soon as possible. Feel free to inquire on the specifics for your discipline by sending an e-mail to summerfest@curtis.edu with “YASP faculty question” in the subject line.

Video sessions will be recorded so they may be referred to later if needed (for educational use only.) Here is one possible example, if a student is able to participate in all activities live, in real time. The actual timing will vary.

All times in Eastern Daylight Time:

9–10 a.m. Warm up/movement (at home, on your own)
10–11 a.m. Private live lesson via video app (may occur at a different time)
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Musical studies class via webinar*
12:30–2 p.m. Lunchtime mixer (call in to a virtual hang-out or check the discussion boards while you eat lunch)
2–3 p.m. Studio class via webinar*
3–4 p.m. Professional development speaker/Q&A via webinar*
4–6 p.m. Break/practice time
6–7 p.m. Dinner at home
7:30 p.m. Open Performance via webinar (optional)

*recorded for later viewing, if student is unable to tune in live

  • Computer or smartphone with internet connection (required)
  • Camera connected to computer, or camera built into computer, to stream video (required)
  • Headphones (required)
  • External microphone that connects to computer (optional)
  • Here are two examples:

Link 1 (Blue Yeti/Blue series USB microphones): This option is simple to plug into your device and can be used for both speaking and recording your instrument. Microphone settings are adjusted in Zoom and on the microphone itself. It has been tested by a Curtis staff member who liked it. 

Link 2 (Samson G-Track Pro/Samson USB microphones): This option is simple to plug into your device and can be used for both speaking and recording your instrument. It also has a setting that allows instruments to be plugged directly into the microphone. Microphone volume settings are adjusted on the microphone only. It has been tested by a Curtis staff member who liked it.

Selecting the “cardioid” setting that is on both of these microphones produces improved sound for Zoom calls.

Note on Remote Learning Equipment
Curtis is seeking sponsors to support student technology for students in need. If you lack the required equipment, such as a wifi hotspot or a device with a screen that will be available to you during the program, please contact us at summerfest@curtis.edu before you pay tuition.

There is no language requirement for international applicants. For the best experience, however, we suggest a basic understanding of conversational English.

We are quickly learning about options for virtual pianists and will make recommendations based on the student and repertoire. When a virtual pianist cannot be obtained, faculty will accept students playing their part on their own.

  • Students who have already been accepted into the program may choose to either participate in this virtual program or decline. All financial assistance awards will be reviewed in light of the new structure, on a case-by-case basis. Please contact summerfest@curtis.edu with “Enrollment decision” in the subject line by Friday, April 24 at noon ET.
    • If you confirm attendance, we will follow up about partial refunds (if your installments currently exceed $2,250, as many do) or payment. You will have the option to donate back your partial refund in order to support financial assistance for other students.
    • If you decline participation in the virtual online program, you will receive a refund of tuition and housing payments.
  • Students who have been wait-listed for the program will remain on the waiting list and may receive acceptance to the program if space becomes available.
  • Newer applications are now being reviewed by faculty for this virtual program. These applicants will be informed of admission status by e-mail.

 

About YASP

 

 

Every participant selects one area of focus:

Activities included for a typical year. Please see above for online program curriculum in 2020.

  • View a PDF of the composition schedule.
  • Composition participants will receive five lessons during the program.

    —In the first and second weeks, participants will attend a total of four hour-long lessons in pairs in order to gain the additional perspective from observing a deep conversation of a peer’s work. Time in each lesson will be split equally and both participants will receive feedback on their compositions.

    —In the third week, each of the composition participants will have the opportunity to meet privately with the chair of Curtis’s composition department and YASP artistic director, David Serkin Ludwig, for a 45-minute lesson.

  • Daily seminar class featuring discussions about the past and future of composition; advice from performers about how to write for their instruments; and conversations about commissions, competitions, publishing, and other issues composers face today.
  • Orchestral score study
  • A performance and recording of one of your works by Curtis musicians–unique to this program. The chamber work performed by the Curtis Summerfest faculty is written by composition participants before the start of the program. Accepted composition participants are sent specific options for instrumentation. Composers submit scores one to two weeks in advance of arrival. This chamber work will be performed by Summerfest faculty during the composition recitals in the second and third week of the program. Additional short works written during the program may be seen by composition faculty during lessons and the daily seminar, and may be workshopped by peers.

 

A young composer

  • Weekly private lessons
  • Orchestral score study
  • An opportunity to rehearse small and large ensembles of program participants (including a chamber ensemble, an orchestral movement, and a choir selection), conduct in performance, and receive a video recording.

 

A person conducts a small ensemble

  • Weekly private lessons with piano faculty
  • Chamber music rehearsals and coachings. Like a true professional ensemble, groups rehearse daily on their own in preparation for faculty coachings multiple times a week. Students receive chamber assignments a couple of weeks before the start of program and are expected to prepare their parts thoroughly in advance of the program.
  • Piano four-hands rehearsals and coachings. Students receive four-hands assignments a couple of weeks before the start of program and are expected to prepare their parts thoroughly in advance of the program.
  • Weekend recitals (performers are selected weekly by faculty members; each pianist performs at least once with their piano-duo partner and at least once in a mixed chamber ensemble) 
  • All instrumentalists who are accepted to the Young Artist Summer Program are welcome, but not required, to compete in the Concerto Competition.

Those interested in competing will be asked to submit a video recording of one movement of a standard concerto about six weeks before the start of the program. You may use a score for the video recording, but should you be selected to participate in the final round, your performance must be from memory. For the video, an accompanist is encouraged but not required. A panel of faculty judges will select ten finalists to go forward to the final round. Finalists will be notified by e-mail a week before the program begins. Each finalist will have ten minutes in front of a live jury during the first week of the program. Three prize-winners will be chosen. The first-prize winner will perform on one of the final concerts.

 

A young pianist

  • Weekly private lessons
  • Chamber music rehearsals and coachings. Like a true professional ensemble, groups rehearse daily on their own in preparation for faculty coachings multiple times a week. Students receive chamber assignments a couple of weeks before the start of program and are expected to prepare their parts thoroughly in advance of the program.
  • Orchestra: daily rehearsals and weekly recitals, with the opportunity to work with three different conductors. Students receive practice parts a couple of weeks before the start of program and are expected to prepare their parts thoroughly in advance of the first rehearsal.
  • Sectional coachings of orchestral repertoire
  • Studio classes, varying by instrument
  • Performances: Each week, participants are nominated by faculty to perform at the weekly chamber recital. All participants will perform at least one movement of a chamber piece at least once during the course of the program.
  • All instrumentalists who are accepted to the Young Artist Summer Program are welcome, but not required, to compete in the Concerto Competition.

Those interested in competing will be asked to submit a video recording of one movement of a standard concerto about six weeks before the start of the program. You may use a score for the video recording, but should you be selected to participate in the final round, your performance must be from memory. For the video, an accompanist is encouraged but not required. A panel of faculty judges will select ten finalists to go forward to the final round. Finalists will be notified by e-mail a week before the program begins. Each finalist will have ten minutes in front of a live jury during the first week of the program. The first-prize winner will perform on one of the final concerts.

 

 

A young percussionsit

In a typical year, the whole program, consisting of about 100 students, comes together through:

  • Daily all-program choir
  • Eight sessions of musical studies class
  • Two sessions of rhythm class led by percussion faculty members