Junior and Senior Piano

Junior Piano Camp: June 12-18, 2016

Senior Piano Camp: June 19-25, 2016

Pianists will receive a daily individual lesson in a master
class format, classes in piano literature, keyboard harmony
and technique, and piano ensemble. In addition, students
will have elective classes from which to choose (see
descriptions under Junior or Senior camp headings). Piano
Camp will culminate with a concluding performance
celebrating each student’s accomplishments.

Do I have to submit an audition recording to participate in Piano Camp?

No. Students for Piano Camp need only submit an application form and the tuition fee to sign up for camp.

If there is no audition recording required, how good should I be to make the most of my experience?

There is typically a variety of performance levels among students. For example, for Junior Camp, a student might want to be experienced enough to play music at least as difficult as Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook or from Schumann’s Album for the Young. For senior camp, Bach Two-Part Inventions would be a good level.

What do piano students do all day?

Students in the Piano Sessions divide their time each day between practice, masterclass-style lessons, chamber ensembles, and elective classes, as well as fun and relaxation during the lunch break and in the evenings. If you look at the sample daily schedule below, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what an average day is like.

Piano Camp Sample Daily Schedule Monday - Thursday 

(Friday & Saturday are slightly different because of concerts)

Time Event
7:15 Breakfast
8:00 - 11:00 Lesson/Individual piano practice (practice rooms and available classrooms)
11:00 - 12:00 Chamber ensembles
12:10 - 1:50 Lunch/Swim/Relax
2:00 - 5:45 Electives
6:00 - 7:00 Dinner
7:15 - 10:00 Organized recreation
10:15 In rooms

How do the masterclass-style lessons work?

Students are divided into classes of 3-4 students which meet for one hour each day. The teacher gives a lesson for each student for 15-20 minutes of the lesson period while the other students in the class listen and participate in discussion. Everyone learns from listening to and commenting on the performances.

Who teaches the lessons?

Dr. Sarah Chan, Director of Piano Studies at CSU Stanislaus instructs Senior camp. Joyce Lin Davies, a graduate of Indiana and Northwestern Universities, instructs Juniors. Depending upon the number of students enrolled, other highly qualified pianists teach as well.

Is it also possible to get private lessons during camp?

Yes, for a small additional fee, students can receive a private lesson which is usually scheduled during the lunch break. However, the lessons are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and there is a limited number of lesson times available.

How much practice time will I have?

There are two hours scheduled for practice each day. You are welcome to practice during lunch and at other open times as well if you wish. Keep in mind that there may be times when other activities are scheduled for everyone in the evening and you may not be allowed to be in the music building without supervision.

What kind of pianos are available?

Nearly all of the pianos in the music facility are new Steinway or Mason and Hamlin grand pianos. There are also Steinway and Boston uprights. The piano in the Snider Recital Hall is a new Steinway concert grand.

What are the elective classes, and how do you sign up?

There are many different elective courses offered, and they vary somewhat from year to year, but some examples include conducting, music history, music theory, singing for instrumentalists, percussion for non-percussionists, jazz improvisation, jazz ensemble, music technology, and so on. During the first day of camp, students are given a list of elective class options and are asked to give their top three choices. Camp counselors then organize the classes and attempt to give students their top choice where possible.

What music should I have prepared to bring to camp?

You should be prepared with a variety of pieces at different stages of development. Usually, you should bring one or two pieces that are near performance level, one or two that are started, but not necessarily ready to perform in concert, and finally one or two pieces to start working on. This range of music should give you plenty to work on during your practice time.

Will I be performing?

Yes. There are two concerts for piano students. The first one is a Friday afternoon concert and is for the duets that students learn during the week of camp—other camp students will play ensemble pieces for that concert as well. The second concert is Saturday afternoon and is for the solos that the piano students have been refining all week.

What about other aspects of camp life? Evening activities? Dorm life?

Many other questions about the camp are answered on the camp FAQs page. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us by phone or email (see contact info on left side of page).