The sound of music rang through the rooms of the Krannet Fine Arts building as the School of Music, Theater and Dance celebrated many successful camps this summer.
Students of all ages had the opportunity to participate in events such as the Orff Schulwerk Certification training, piano composition camp and Orangehaus music business camp.
Professor of music education Dr. Joani Brandon was in charge of the Summer Studies in Music Education program that included the Orff Schulwerk training.
“This was the 17th year of the summer studies program,” Brandon said. “From the beginning, we have had undergraduate seniors from AU as participants. Many alumni come back for training also.”
Because there were alumni as well as current students in attendance, Brandon said that the students were able to connect and network with teachers currently in the field.
“We had nine current master’s students and seven current bachelor’s students who participated in classes” she said. “The response by teachers was overwhelmingly positive.”
Many states and even countries were represented at the training including California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Canada, Nigeria and Oman.
Brandon also said that there were a variety of classes including Feirerabend first steps in music education, folk songs, dances and drumming.
Senior music education major Micaela Sharman took a few of the classes that were offered in this program.
“I took the Feirerabend class and Orff Level 1,” Sharman said. “They were both really awesome. Feirerabend focuses on K-2 grade, and it’s based on folk songs.”
Sharman said that she really enjoyed the Orff class because they were broken up into small groups, so it was a more intimate setting.
“We had pedagogy time every day, so we learned about so many activities and lesson plans for the classroom,” Sharman said. “It was awesome, because with this one, we actually got to do hands-on activities. We were hardly ever sitting down.”
Another highlight for Sharman was that they got to play and learn how to teach recorders every day.
She said that, overall, these classes allowed for a lot of community and relationships to build in such a short time.
“I’m so thankful for these experiences, because they help connect everything,” Sharman said. “I don’t feel like there’s any better way to jump into your first year of teaching than taking those classes.”
Assistant professor of music Dr. Caroline KyungA Ahn put on AU’s first piano composition camp this summer.
“We’ve wanted to have piano camp for a while, but it just never happened,” Ahn said. “We decided to combine the piano and composition parts together.”
Since there are a lot of piano camps in the area, she said that they wanted to make the camp unique.
“The program was not very academic, because the range of campers was from age nine to high school seniors,” Ahn said. “We did a lot of games and fun activities, and the kids were really learning a lot.”
The camp had four faculty and four student helpers. There were only eight students, so she said that it allowed for a lot of one-on-one training.
Ahn also said that students have already expressed interest in attending the camp next year, so she feels that the camp was successful.
“One family came all the way from Louisiana to attend the camp,” she said. “I had two international students this year also, so for our low numbers, we still had very multicultural group of students.”
Ahn said that they will continue to keep the camp open to all ages, and they are really looking forward to next year.
Adjunct Professor of Music Business Steven Potaczek has been on staff at Orangehaus Music Business Camp for many summers. He is a musician, producer and has had radio and chart success on Billboard’s Top 40. His work has been featured on shows like New Girl, Parks and Recreation and Good Morning America.
“The camp teaches high school students about the music business whether they want to become musicians, songwriters or producers,” Potaczek said. “It gives them a chance to get their feet wet in the field.”
At the camp, Potaczek’s role was to oversee the production side and help artists record their original songs. Students can audition with their originals and a few are selected to be recorded at Gaither Studios during the week of camp.
“Every year the students create an album of original music,” Potaczek said. “It’s professionally arranged and played by the highest caliber of session musicians. At the end of the week, they get a finished product that they can use to market themselves.”
He said that he wishes a camp like Oranghaus was around when he was a kid, and he highly encourages students to attend.
“If a high school student has any interest in the music business at all, this camp is going to give you a great overview,” Potaczek said. “You’re going to learn tons of tips, and you’re going to hear from people who are actually doing it day-to-day who can help you and get you started way before someone else who doesn’t go to this camp.”
Freshman music business major Cassidy Lee has attended Orangehaus Music Business Camp for four years.
“Going into it, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in music,” Lee said. “After I went to the camp, I knew that that was exactly what I needed to do. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
Two out of her four years at camp, Lee was selected to record an original song in the studio.
“My song I recorded this past summer was called ‘Half In Love With You.’” Lee said. “Since it was my second time recording, I felt a lot more comfortable.”
She said that she ended up choosing AU because of the camp, and that it really prepared her for her future.
“I feel like I already know the basics, so I feel really prepared to jump in,” Lee said. “It laid that foundation early so that I could already start my career.”