By Guest Blogger Cameron MacManus

Summer is a great time to introduce a child to music study or help continuing students grow their skills while their school band or orchestra program is on break!  Summer offerings at the UNC School of the Arts Community Music School include group experiences for the youngest students and ensembles for young jazz and rock players.  Many students that start lessons over the summer continue to pursue music throughout the year.  Students who start or continue studies over the summer get a valuable jumpstart heading into school band, orchestra, and choral programs, allowing them to assume peer leadership roles in their school band and orchestra programs.

Music is an important component of early childhood experiences.  At the Community Music School, children as young as 6 months old can join a parent and child class called “Mini Maestros.”  “We’ll be singing lots of songs about summer for great summer fun,” says instructor Emilie Wagner.  Emilie holds certifications in several early childhood music curricula.  Songs and activities that are family favorites from all the programs are used to make joyful classes that build valuable music and movement skills for infants and toddlers.

Elementary-aged students sing and play fun songs in Juliet Gervasi’s two-week “Sing and Strum” summer day camp, which emphasizes basic music literacy and group performance.  Familiar songs like the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” and “The Hokey Pokey” give children a fun and positive first recital experience at the conclusion of the camp.

Middle and high school students can join an introductory guitar day camp, or jam with their peers in rock ensembles.  Rock band instructor Tyson Morrow says, “It’s incredibly rewarding to play music in a group because you get to work as team and have a musical conversation.”  Jazz players can audition for the 1st annual Courtenay Wynter Sr. Memorial Jazz Camp, offered free of charge to rising 8th through 12th graders.

The UNCSA Community Music School is an outreach program of UNCSA, and many of the teachers are alumni of the School of Music.  The school provides students of all ages the opportunity to study with highly-skilled teachers who are equally at home introducing a beginner to an instrument, mentoring an aspiring professional, or helping an adult student connect to an instrument long relegated to the attic or garage.  For more information about available summer programs, visit their website or contact Artistic Director Cameron MacManus at   UNCSA also offers community classes in dance, drama, and film appreciation.

*Sponsored by UNCSA Community Music School