Making music in all its forms using composition, improvisation, performance, and group singing.

Our philosophy is rooted in a music education program developed more than 65 years ago. The Walden School Musicianship Course forms the cornerstone of our academic program. An organic approach to the study of music, the Musicianship Course encourages students to use the materials they study to create improvisatory works and original compositions. This method not only enhances your musical skills, but also develops a sense of creative individuality in extra-musical pursuits.

Participants can choose one or more focus areas:

COMPOSER

For early to mid-career composers as well as amateur/hobbyist composers.

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Have a piece rehearsed and performed on a composers forum by members of the Ensemble-in-Residence
  • Attend/present in master classes with the Composer-in-Residence
  • Take composition lessons with members of the faculty and the Composer-in-Residence
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening

 

CHORAL

For those interested in choral conducting, choral singing, or choral composition.

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Sing in afternoon chamber chorus (a workshop choir for new choral compositions by participants)
  • Arrange/compose a piece for the chamber chorus
  • Learn from our conductor how to rehearse with Walden methods
  • Have meetings/lessons with conductor
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening

 

PERFORMANCE

For instrumentalists interested in playing contemporary music and/or improvising.

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Have lesson/coaching with members of the ensemble-in-residence
  • Read and perform compositions and compositions-in-progress by other participants
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening

 

PEDAGOGY

For music teachers (elementary through college) interested in incorporating musicianship into their teaching

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Attend pedagogy classes in the afternoon
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening
Composition

For anyone interested in writing music and studying  contemporary topics, musicianship, and electronic music.

At the Creative Musicians Retreat, composition interacts with the input of professional performers, peers, and teachers. Many participants compose a piece for the Ensemble-in-Residence or Chamber Choir and workshop the piece during the Retreat. Compositions are presented at the Composers Forums. Participants take composition lessons and attend master classes with members of the faculty and the Composer-in-Residence.

Performance

For anyone interested in playing contemporary music, improvising, and studying with our renowned artists-in-residence.

At the Creative Musicians Retreat, performers take lessons, workshop pieces by composer-participants, play chamber music, improvise, sing in chorus, and take classes in contemporary topics, electronic music and musicianship. There are performance opportunities throughout the week, including a chamber music concert and three composers forums.

Choral Singing

For those interested in choral conducting, choral singing, or choral composition

Singing has been integral to the life of the Walden School since its founding. Each student, staff member, and faculty member participates in small choral groups and the all-school chorus.

Participants at the Creative Musicians Retreat have the opportunity for choral singing and training with solfège using Curwen handsigns in daily rehearsals. Each choral rehearsal includes activities to develop natural body alignment, freedom of breath, confidence of intonation, diction, character, intention and ease of vocal production. The choral program focuses on learning repertoire and choral technique, but does not prepare for a public performance.

There is an afternoon Chamber Chorus for those who want to focus further on choral singing. This is a workshop for choral composers at the Creative Musicians Retreat for the performance of new choral works on a Composers Forum.

Pedagogy

Musicianship is the cornerstone of the Walden School’s academic program.

Walden’s organic approach leads students to discover new materials and concepts for themselves. Following discovery, they are given thorough aural, keyboard and written drill work in each area of study. Finally, they are encouraged to apply the materials to an improvisation or a composition.

The Musicianship Course begins with a foundation in basic acoustics and proceeds through intervals, triads, and modes. Functional harmony, advanced/extended harmonic language, jazz musicianship, and analysis are next, among other topics.

In addition, the course offers activity-based methods for developing high-level fluency with theoretical concepts and effective methods for teaching ear training and rhythms. Participants in the Pedagogy Track at the Creative Musicians Retreat will delve more deeply into the Walden School Musicianship Course, gaining fresh ideas to infuse their own teaching with new approaches. The Pedagogy Track is appropriate for those teaching music at all levels in a variety of settings.

Composers Forum

During Composers Forums, students present their improvisational or compositional works in a concert setting.

Works are performed by students, faculty, or visiting artists. Forums are overseen by the Composer-in-Residence, the moderator who leads a discussion of each piece with participants, faculty, and the audience. Composers receive constructive feedback as a springboard toward further work, a unique opportunity for musical and personal growth. Forums are designed for the beginner as well as the advanced student, and are greatly beneficial to both. The emphasis on creative work at Walden is on process over product.

Computer Musicianship

Electronic Music at the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat focuses on two disciplines: Computer Musicianship and Live Electronic Music.

Computer Musicianship is an introductory electronic music course designed with two goals in mind. The first is to teach a composer the equipment, software and techniques associated with computer music. The second is to open a composer’s ear to the sounds of the natural world in which we live, perhaps the most fertile and underused source for new music.

Computer Musicianship covers how to manipulate and sequence sound on software platforms and how to use recording technology. This course also introduces students to live electronic music and over seventy years of music associated with the electronic genre. Computer Music has been part of the Walden School curriculum since 1998. Walden students have been and will continue to be on the cutting edge of technology and sonic creativity.

 

Live Electronic Music

Live Electronic Music is an intensive one-week course in computer music programming. Taught in Max/MSP or SuperCollider, this course explores the basics of programming and algorithmic manipulation of audio. Students learn interface design and the incorporation of midi and OSC-based hardware controllers. This course is designed for musicians with a background in electronic music, but little experience with computer music programming. Alex Christie is the Director of Electronic Music at the Creative Musicians Retreat.

Contemporary Topics

Study the music and styles of the 20th and 21st century.

The Walden faculty offer discussion-based seminars on 20th and 21st century music. Previous courses at the Creative Musicians Retreat include: Moral Contexts in Recent Music, Spectralism, Orchestration, Process Music, Symmetry in Music, Transformations: The Changing Styles of 20th Century Composers, and Metamorphosis: How the Work of M.C. Escher Helps Us Understand Contemporary Music.

Our philosophy is rooted in a music education program developed more than 40 years ago. The Walden School Musicianship Course forms the cornerstone of our academic program. An organic approach to the study of music, the Musicianship Course encourages students to use the materials they study to create improvisatory works and original compositions. This method not only enhances your musical skills, but also develops a sense of creative individuality in extra-musical pursuits.

Participants can choose one or more focus areas:

COMPOSER

For early to mid-career composers as well as amateur/hobbyist composers.

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Have a piece rehearsed and performed on a composers forum by members of the Ensemble-in-Residence
  • Attend/present in master classes with the Composer-in-Residence
  • Take composition lessons with members of the faculty and the Composer-in-Residence
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening

 

CHORAL

For those interested in choral conducting, choral singing, or choral composition.

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Sing in afternoon chamber chorus (a workshop choir for new choral compositions by participants)
  • Arrange/compose a piece for the chamber chorus
  • Learn from our conductor how to rehearse with Walden methods
  • Have meetings/lessons with conductor
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening

 

PERFORMANCE

For instrumentalists interested in playing contemporary music and/or improvising.

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Have lesson/coaching with members of the ensemble-in-residence
  • Read and perform compositions and compositions-in-progress by other participants
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening

 

PEDAGOGY

For music teachers (elementary through college) interested in incorporating musicianship into their teaching

  • Take classes in contemporary topics, musicianship and/or electronic music
  • Sing in chorus
  • Attend pedagogy classes in the afternoon
  • Attend concerts, workshops and composers forums in the evening

Composition

For anyone interested in writing music and studying  contemporary topics, musicianship, and electronic music.

At the Creative Musicians Retreat, composition interacts with the input of professional performers, peers, and teachers. Many participants compose a piece for the Ensemble-in-Residence or Chamber Choir and workshop the piece during the Retreat. Compositions are presented at the Composers Forums. Participants take composition lessons and attend master classes with members of the faculty and the Composer-in-Residence.


Performance

For anyone interested in playing contemporary music, improvising, and studying with our renowned artists-in-residence.

At the Creative Musicians Retreat, performers take lessons, workshop pieces by composer-participants, play chamber music, improvise, sing in chorus, and take classes in contemporary topics, electronic music and musicianship. There are performance opportunities throughout the week, including a chamber music concert and three composers forums.


Choral Singing

For those interested in choral conducting, choral singing, or choral composition

Singing has been integral to the life of the Walden School since its founding. Each student, staff member, and faculty member participates in small choral groups and the all-school chorus.

Participants at the Creative Musicians Retreat have the opportunity for choral singing and training with solfège using Curwen handsigns in daily rehearsals. Each choral rehearsal includes activities to develop natural body alignment, freedom of breath, confidence of intonation, diction, character, intention and ease of vocal production. The choral program focuses on learning repertoire and choral technique, but does not prepare for a public performance.

There is an afternoon Chamber Chorus for those who want to focus further on choral singing. This is a workshop for choral composers at the Creative Musicians Retreat for the performance of new choral works on a Composers Forum.


Pedagogy

Musicianship is the cornerstone of the Walden School’s academic program.

Walden’s organic approach leads students to discover new materials and concepts for themselves. Following discovery, they are given thorough aural, keyboard and written drill work in each area of study. Finally, they are encouraged to apply the materials to an improvisation or a composition.

The Musicianship Course begins with a foundation in basic acoustics and proceeds through intervals, triads, and modes. Functional harmony, advanced/extended harmonic language, jazz musicianship, and analysis are next, among other topics.

In addition, the course offers activity-based methods for developing high-level fluency with theoretical concepts and effective methods for teaching ear training and rhythms. Participants in the Pedagogy Track at the Creative Musicians Retreat will delve more deeply into the Walden School Musicianship Course, gaining fresh ideas to infuse their own teaching with new approaches. The Pedagogy Track is appropriate for those teaching music at all levels in a variety of settings.


Composers Forum

During Composers Forums, students present their improvisational or compositional works in a concert setting.

Works are performed by students, faculty, or visiting artists. Forums are overseen by the Composer-in-Residence, the moderator who leads a discussion of each piece with participants, faculty, and the audience. Composers receive constructive feedback as a springboard toward further work, a unique opportunity for musical and personal growth. Forums are designed for the beginner as well as the advanced student, and are greatly beneficial to both. The emphasis on creative work at Walden is on process over product.


Computer Musicianship

Electronic Music at the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat focuses on two disciplines: Computer Musicianship and Live Electronic Music.

Computer Musicianship is an introductory electronic music course designed with two goals in mind. The first is to teach a composer the equipment, software and techniques associated with computer music. The second is to open a composer’s ear to the sounds of the natural world in which we live, perhaps the most fertile and underused source for new music.

Computer Musicianship covers how to manipulate and sequence sound on software platforms and how to use recording technology. This course also introduces students to live electronic music and over seventy years of music associated with the electronic genre. Computer Music has been part of the Walden School curriculum since 1998. Walden students have been and will continue to be on the cutting edge of technology and sonic creativity.

 

Live Electronic Music

Live Electronic Music is an intensive one-week course in computer music programming. Taught in Max/MSP or SuperCollider, this course explores the basics of programming and algorithmic manipulation of audio. Students learn interface design and the incorporation of midi and OSC-based hardware controllers. This course is designed for musicians with a background in electronic music, but little experience with computer music programming. Alex Christie is the Director of Electronic Music at the Creative Musicians Retreat.


Contemporary Topics

Study the music and styles of the 20th and 21st century.

The Walden faculty offer discussion-based seminars on 20th and 21st century music. Previous courses at the Creative Musicians Retreat include: Moral Contexts in Recent Music, Spectralism, Orchestration, Process Music, Symmetry in Music, Transformations: The Changing Styles of 20th Century Composers, and Metamorphosis: How the Work of M.C. Escher Helps Us Understand Contemporary Music.

Our staff & resident artists comprise leaders in the fields of composition, electronic music & music education.

Each summer, an acclaimed contemporary music ensemble joins us at the Creative Musicians Retreat. During the week, the ensemble rehearses and workshops pieces composed by CMR participants. These works are then performed on a Composers Forum. Members of the Ensemble-in-Residence also provide coaching and lessons to those enrolled at the retreat.


A week of laughter, peace, and pure musical joy.

– Creative Musicians Retreat Participant

Want to apply for Summer 2019?