Q - Is my son/daughter going to be musically challenged at this music camp?
A - Since our string quartet coaches and
orchestra conductors are artists of the highest level, who attended the best
music schools in the world, and who are regular performers on the concert
stage, and/or educators of the best music programs in the nation, the answer is
yes. Students of the highest abilities have attended this camp and have
found not only a musical challenge, but have gained inspiration, and lifelong
friends and mentors in the process.
Q - Is this music camp for child prodigies only?
A - No, Although some of the students who have
attended over the years have fit this description, most have not.
We seek developing violin, viola, cello, and bass players that are
dedicated, diligent, hardworking, and that love music. If a student is
not an advanced player, but fits the adjectives listed above, we usually accept
them, because we know that this music camp is exactly what they need to help
them make years worth of progress in a short time. We can usually match
their level with other students close to their same age.
Q - How long do the excerpts need to be for
the audition, and should I play two entire pieces of music?
A - They need only be excerpts of a few lines of
music for each example. If the recording quality is good, we can tell how
advanced an applicant is in just a few seconds. We don't care if there's a mistake in the recording--we want to hear how you really play. We seldom make fun of students' auditions at skit night.
Q - What is the moral atmosphere like at your music camp?
A - We expect as high or higher moral behavior at our music camp as any other music camp or music workshop in the world. We explain it to the students, we expect it, and the students come through. Over the years, we have succeeded in maintaining this high quality moral atmosphere, and we won't compromise in the future. With plenty of leadership and an intense schedule, the occasion for straying from this pattern would be very unlikely.
Q - How should we make the audition recording?
A - With technology as it is these days, there
are many ways in which a good recording can be made. We hope you'll
choose the easiest way for you. Some easy ways to record yourself are:
Computer/Web Cam, Microphone plugged into the computer, Camcorder, Camera that
records video, Cell Phone Camera, IPhone, IPod, Android devices, and more. We urge you not to use
tape recorders, although we can still listen to them in our van. We don't
mind receiving CDs, DVDs, but we have no ways of watching video tapes anymore, and we especially
don't mind if you upload sound or video files to Youtube or some other video sharing website
including your own family blog or website. Email is always acceptable.
The sound files need not be video, but can be. We also ask that you (not your teacher) play on the recording.
Q - What time will check-in be on Monday?
A - Usually between 1:00PM or 2:00PM at Harriman State Park.
Q - When and how will I receive my information
A - When we feel like sending it to you (Just kidding, usually a week or so before it starts), and via
email. It will include important information about checking in and what
Q - How will I know if I've been accepted to
Mountains & Strings?
A - Assume you have been accepted unless you
receive news otherwise. Remember, we want you to come and have the time
of your life. We may have an awesome music camp, but we're not snobby
about it. You are the reason we do it.
Q - What time will the retreat be over on
A - When the chamber music stops, the camp is
over. This usually happens at about 8:30PM, Saturday night.
Q - What do we do when it's over and we live far
A - Go camp overnight at a nearby campground or
stay in a hotel or cabin in Island
Park. If these
don't work, drive all night to get home. Your excited teenager will keep
Q - My child is only 12 years old. Could
he/she still attend this summer?
A - Although the focus of Mountains &
Strings is chamber music, the social aspect is also very important. If
you feel your 12 year old is mature enough musically and emotionally to hang
out with teenagers then by all means, let's get them signed up.
Q - Why does Mountains & Strings cost
A - Actually, we dare you to compare the price
of Mountains & Strings with the price (including room and board) with other
youth music camps, chamber music programs, quartet camps, violin, viola, cello,
bass workshops of similar length and magnitude. You will not only find
the our price is reasonable, but actually would be considered inexpensive.
We would love to make it cheaper, but because of the limited time and
space we have in the most beautiful place in the world, we are forced to charge
what we charge.
Q - What is your refund policy?
A - We don't give refunds. If you decide not to come after having paid the tuition, then we put the money you paid into the Mountains & Strings Scholarship fund.