What Walden Means to Me…

  • Never have I seen such an amazingly thorough, enlightening, and fun learning situation as I experienced at Walden.

    – Jennifer Higdon, composer

Francesca’s Walden Story, YMP Student

Francesca first came to Walden at age 9. She had attended summer camps before, but usually felt lost and found it a struggle to fit in. She immediately noticed that Walden was different. This camp emphasized not only creativity and music, but also acceptance and respect, which were just as important. Instead of feeling like she didn’t fit in, Francesca felt encouraged to open up and risk showing more of her personality and talents. She discovered that Walden faculty, even though they were professionals in their fields, collaborated with her as a musical colleague.

As she returned to Walden summer after summer, Francesca found herself taking a leadership role at Walden, encouraging young and new students to find their voice as she had. This past summer, an experience at a Composers Forum caused her to reflect on her own journey at Walden. A young boy was surrounded by incredibly talented musicians asking him questions about his composition. She felt as if she was watching him grow as an artist right before her eyes, and realized that her growth had started with experiences like these when she was new to Walden. Francesca attended Walden for the 7th time in 2017.

Walden has broadened Francesca’s understanding and knowledge of composition, music, and artistic creativity. Music is a much more significant part of her life now. She takes composition lessons throughout the school year, she understands the importance of new music and new music ensembles, and, as a composer, she has gained invaluable experience collaborating with professional performers.

Walden means much more to Francesca than a place where her musical abilities grow. Walden helps her in her journey to better herself. She attributes her growth as an autonomous, confident leader, both among her Walden and non-Walden peers, to her time at The Walden School. She now has a network of supportive and creative friends all over the world. And, she understands how a strong community can foster creative thinking and personal growth.

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