Summer Music Clinic elective classes offer diverse music education

High school jazz ensemble

Global drumming. Latin dance. Afro-Cuban jazz. These may not sound like your student’s typical summer camp classes, but at Summer Music Clinic, elective classes like these make up an important part of a diverse learning experience.

For more than 90 years, the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Summer Music Clinic has offered students completing grades 6-12 a unique opportunity to enhance their skills in band, choir, jazz, orchestra, or musical theater. Working with skilled musical educators, students spend several hours a day in small groups and larger ensembles, rehearsing their performance area of choice.

While students who attend Summer Music Clinic come with some level of musical interest and experience, the program welcomes kids of all levels, backgrounds, and abilities to come together to make music with one another.

“A diverse community of students and staff is part of what makes Summer Music Clinic such a rich learning experience,” says Christopher Pevey Harry, assistant dean of the Badger Precollege program. “Students come home having been exposed to instructors or fellow students who have different personal, cultural, and musical experiences from their own, but they share this common interest in making music. It’s a great opportunity to learn and form friendships with those from outside their hometown.”

Engaging electives

A wide-ranging selection of elective classes furthers opportunities for students to expand their musical horizons. Covering topics ranging from Brazilian percussion to string chamber music, these classes help round out each student’s experience.

“Elective classes are designed to open students’ minds to music, sounds, and people they don’t already know,” says Summer Music Clinic program advisor Carrie Backman. “They also give students the tools and resources to continue exploring these topics on their own. For some students, these classes can open the door to a new skill or lifelong passion.”

Elective classes for Summer Music Clinic 2020 include:

  • Brazilian Percussion – An exploration of the array of drums and drumming styles from Brazil, including the Samba from Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival parades.
  • Latin Dance – Focusing on partner dances, where two or more pairs dance together in a circle, this class explores the rich influences of Afro-Cuban folkloric and Cuban popular rhythm, culture, and, movement.
  • Women in Music – A celebration of musical women from wide array of genres, ranging from art music to rock and blues, with a focus on social construction of gendered roles in music.
  • History of Hip-Hop –Students learn about the key cultural events, people, and politics that shaped Hip-Hop over the years and where it is today.
  • World Music – Study music in different national and cultural contexts, such as the vocal techniques in the Arab world, ensembles like the Gamelan in Indonesia, brass bands in Africa, Karaoke and K-Pop in East Asia, and folk music as protest in Latin America.

A grand finale among friends

Along with intensive study, Summer Music Clinic allows plenty of time for socializing with creative indoor and outdoor activities. Evenings include concerts performed by guest artists, faculty members, and fellow students. Everyone’s hard work is shared and celebrated at the end of the week with concerts for family and friends.

Registration for Summer Music Clinic is open until April 20. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are granted, based on financial need. The Junior Session for students completing grades 6-8 takes place June 21-27, and the Senior Session for students completing grades 9-12 is June 28-July 3.