Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Walden School’s programs have always had a focus on master pedagogy, and CMR was no exception.

    – Creative Musicians Retreat Participant


General Program


Composers Forums

Life at the Retreat





Q – For whom is the Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) designed?

The Retreat is designed for musicians who are interested in composition, improvisation, electronic music, performance, choral singing and/or music pedagogy. Those who consider themselves amateur musicians as well as those who are advanced and/or professional are welcome, along with everyone in between. The Retreat, however, is not designed for absolute beginner musicians.

Q – What is the age range of participants at the Retreat?

CMR is open to applicants who are of college age and older, ages 18+. We anticipate that participants will be a wide range of ages. In 2016, participants ranged in age from 19 to 76.

Q – What type of musicians would benefit from the Retreat?

Classical musicians, jazz musicians, improvising musicians, choral musicians, composing musicians, teaching musicians, popular musicians, avant-garde musicians and un-categorizable musicians will all benefit from and contribute to the Creative Musicians Retreat. All participants should be able to call themselves “creative musicians”!

Q – What is the schedule at CMR?

Participants enjoy a wide variety of activities and classes at the Creative Musicians Retreat. For a sample schedule from previous years, click here.

Q – What are the different “focus areas”?

There are four focus areas at the Creative Musicians Retreat: Choral, Composition, Pedagogy, and Performance.

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Q – What is your participant to teacher ratio?


Q – At what level are the courses you will be teaching?

At your level! Our courses will be targeted to our participants’ interests and abilities. Some classes are very advanced, and some are designed for those with less experience.

Q – I would like to study electronic music at the Retreat. At what level are the courses you will be teaching?

The level of the electronic music courses will be tailored to the level of the participants involved. In 2016, we offered a course in Musique Concrète and a course in SuperCollider.

Q – I would like to take composition at CMR. Can I do that?

Yes. Our faculty members and the Composer-in-Residence will give composition lessons. The members of our faculty have diverse compositional backgrounds and interests, giving students plenty to draw from over the course of the week.

Q – Will I be able to study with the Composer-in-Residence?

Yes. Participants may have one lesson with the Composer-in-Residence and can participate in master classes with the Composer-in-Residence and other program participants.

Q – Should I bring my instrument(s)?

Yes. There are lots of pianos on campus, but if you play any other instruments, please bring them along — be they recorders, didgeridoos, accordions, saxophones, violins, trumpets or double basses!

Q – I’m a music teacher interested in learning more about Walden’s Musicianship Course. Is the Creative Musicians Retreat for me?

Yes! There are pedagogy workshops at CMR for music teachers (elementary through college) interested in learning more about The Walden School’s interactive approach to teaching music.

Q – I’m a choral singer. Is the Creative Musicians Retreat for me?

Yes!  Everyone at CMR sings in the choir. Those interested in more singing can choose to sing in the Chamber Choir in the afternoon. The Chamber Choir prepares pieces by participants for the Composers Forums.

Q – I’m a performer. Is the Creative Musicians Retreat for me?

Yes!  We welcome instrumentalists and vocalists who are interested in working with members of our Ensemble-in-Residence.  Participants in the Performance Track will prepare contemporary repertoire, possibly perform music by composers at the Retreat and may perform on Composers Forums.

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Q – What is a Composers Forum?

A Composers Forum is a public concert of new music. After each piece is performed, the audience and composer discuss the piece and the composer’s compositional process. This conversation is guided by a moderator (the Composer-in-Residence).

Q – Who is the Composer-in-Residence? Who is the Ensemble-in-Residence?

In 2017, our Composer-in-Residence is Annie Gosfield. The Ensemble-in-Residence is the Mivos Quartet. Pianist Steven Beck will join Mivos for the week.

Q – Can I write a piece for the Ensemble-in-Residence to be performed on a Composers Forum?

Yes. The Retreat will include three Composers Forums of works by the participants. All participants will have the opportunity to have a composition/improvisation/work-in-progress presented on a Composers Forum.

Q – Are Composers Forums recorded?

Yes. All composers will receive a recording of his/her piece.

Q – Will the ensemble play an older work of mine on the Composers Forums?

No. We would like all composing participants to present a new work during the Retreat.

Q – I have been studying composition for a number of years. Is the Retreat a good place for me?

Yes. The retreat is designed for composers of all levels: beginner, undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals. All composers have the opportunity to write for and work with the ensemble-in-residence.
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Q – Will I have my own room?

Everyone will have his/her own room with a shared bathroom.

Q – How much free time is there?

Free time is built into each afternoon and some evenings. Please refer to the schedule for more information:

Q – Which meals are provided?

Walden provides breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner will be provided on the first day, Saturday, June 17. Breakfast will be provided on the last day, Sunday, June 25.

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Q – Will I have Internet access?

Yes, there is wireless Internet access throughout the buildings. Everyone will get a username and password for the network.

Q – Will I need to bring a laptop computer?

No. You may bring a computer if you wish. The electronic music lab will be available for those working in the electronic music program. Please note that there is no notation software on Walden’s computers.

Q – I use computer notation software on my computer. Will I be able to print at the Retreat?

Yes. There will be a printer available for participants. However, there is no notation software on Walden’s computers.

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Q – Can I bring a car and will parking be provided?

Yes. You may bring a car and park it for free on campus. All dorms and facilities in which you will be working are within walking distance of each other.

Q – Where is CMR held?

The Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat is held on the campus of The Dublin School, in Dublin, NH. The campus is about an hour from the airport in Manchester, NH, 45 minutes from the Amtrak station in Brattleboro, VT, and two hours from Boston’s Logan Airport.

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Q – What is the price of the Creative Musicians Retreat?

The total price for the 2017 Creative Musicians Retreat is $2,125. This includes tuition, room and board, all instruction and activities. To pay by credit card, there is an additional 5% fee. All admitted students are eligible to request an interest-free payment installment plan.

Q – Is there financial aid?

Yes. There is need-based financial aid available. A completed financial aid application and 2016 tax documentation is required to be eligible. The Walden School is committed to making our programs affordable and possible for deserving applicants.