What People Are Saying

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

    – Creative Musicians Retreat Participant

About the Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR)
at The Walden School

Walden fosters an explosively creative dialogue between composers and performers, challenging all of us to become inventors together.” –Claire Chase, co-founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

 Comments from Participants:

“Thrilling. Incredibly stimulating.”

“I leave feeling refreshed and stretched intellectually and artistically, and it is such a wonderful experience — a true retreat.”

The teaching is excellent, both the formal classes and the one-on-one composition lessons. I have been exposed to interesting new ideas and have gotten practical tips that have made me a much better composer.”

“A nice community develops over the week. Although I’m one of the older students and not a professional musician, I always feel included and supported.”

“What had the greatest impact on me was the course on computer music, which greatly expanded my thinking on what music is.”

“It was thrilling to have the piece I wrote for the Retreat brought to life by the excellent performers.” 

“The Walden Creative Musicians Retreat gave me a week of laughter, peace, and pure musical joy the likes of which I have not experienced since childhood.”

“Walden was one of the most valuable musical and communal experiences I’ve had. Being in the midst of such warm, supportive, and talented individuals while working on my craft helped me push myself and led to breakthroughs in my growth as both a person and artist…I walked away with inspiration to become a better composer, for which I am grateful.”

The excellent faculty members are extremely sensitive and geared to be helpful and inspiring. Because they are composers themselves, they are well aware of the difficulties and joys of composing new music.”

“My experience at Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat was extremely satisfying. The Walden program is unique in that it is totally geared to the needs, aspirations and interests of composers. We have a tendency to ‘hole up’ and isolate, and at Walden we’re given the opportunity to get out with other like-minded people.”

“Walden knows how to make learning musicianship and composition a lot of fun.”

“All of the classes were excellent and extremely well designed. I particularly enjoyed singing in the chamber choir. It was absolutely thrilling to have the group perform the piece I wrote for Walden and to prepare and perform the works of the other composers.

“The Creative Musicians Retreat was an extremely valuable and enjoyable experience! I especially appreciated the opportunity to write a piece for the ensemble-in-residence.”

“I was more productive during that week than I have been all year, and I absolutely cannot wait for next summer.”

I felt rejuvenated by CMR because I met a cross-section of creative musicians from all walks of life.”

“I was inspired by the amazing quality and diversity of music created by all the participants and presented at multiple concerts and master classes throughout the week. By conversing with my new, like-minded colleagues, I better understood my work and myself.”

“While there are many programs for amateur performers, I could not find any for composers until I discovered CMR. It exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed it so much that I am going back this summer.”

“The Walden School’s programs have always had a focus on master pedagogy, and CMR was no exception. The faculty and staff went to great lengths to discover and meet my individual needs and those of each participant.”

“The Walden faculty and staff are expert and accessible. They are masterful in fostering a collaborative and spirited community. I had some eureka moments interacting with other participants.”

“Since attending CMR, I have performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, released my debut solo CD, and premiered several new chamber pieces. Most of this wouldn’t have happened without the added confidence and experience I had harvested at CMR.”

“The musicianship curriculum, really the entire approach, emphasizes learning by doing. While I pride myself on theoretical knowledge, the musicianship classes enabled me to see things in new ways and better connect my thinking, playing and writing.”

I enjoyed the flexibility to keep a light schedule or fill up my time with electives, master classes, concerts, jam sessions, and private lessons.”

“If you want to be inspired by new ideas, explore your own music in new ways, and join in a vibrant community, I recommend attending the next CMR.”

What People are Saying pdf-icon-transparent-background2-300x300