Program Overview

  • Everything I experienced at Walden was designed and implemented toward a single end – the development of the individual student's sense of her or his own worth as a creative human being.

    – James Mobberley, composer

2015 Dates

Saturday, June 27, 2015 – Sunday, August 2, 2015

Quick Facts:

  • 5 weeks; 3 week program is offered for students ages 9-11
  • Ages 9-18 (pre-college)
  • Enrollment limited 50 students, from around the world
  • 18 faculty & staff (all full-time and residential)
  • Limited financial aid is available
  • Curriculum focuses on musicianship, improvisation, composition, choral singing, and more
  • Concert series, composers forums, artist residencies
  • Weekly hikes, dances and daily recreation activities

The Experience

Late on a July afternoon a group of teenagers lounges under a stately beech tree on the campus green at the Dublin School. One strums a guitar while another hunts out notes on a penny whistle. A third drums a rhythm on a nearby rock and a few others, scribbling away in their notebooks, join in with intermittent vocal harmonies. Across the grass a few younger boys toss a Frisbee, leaping and diving as the disc arcs through the cloudless blue sky.

The Walden School Young Musicians Program provides an unparalleled creative summer experience for musically inclined students ages 9 to 18. Part school, part camp, and part festival, the program convenes each summer for five weeks in Dublin, NH. Through rigorous and innovative daily instruction, students hone their musical and creative skills within a supportive community of like-minded peers and mentors.

The recital hall booms with applause and cheers of approval as a girl takes a bow after the performance of the string quartet she’s crafted all summer. She beams at the crowd and thanks the performers who made her music come to life. Stepping off of the stage, she sits down in the “hot seat” to take comments from the audience. She is proud and radiant, with a newfound confidence in her creative abilities.

Learning at Walden is grounded in the school’s unique musicianship course, which utilizes improvisation and composition as the major tools for musical growth. Students take courses covering a wide range of musical subjects, including theory, composition, literature, computer music, and chorus. By the end of the summer, each student has completed at least one compositional work to be performed and critiqued by guest artists, faculty members, and fellow students.

As the family car pulls away from the Dublin School on the last day of camp, the boy in the backseat says to his parents, “Well, I guess it’s time to start counting the days until Walden again.” He’s not joking- at home he keeps a special calendar to mark off the days until next summer’s session begins. Although he is sad to be leaving, he knows when he returns next June he will be reunited with some of his very best friends. He also knows that there will be new people to meet as well, people who love music and who have a deep inner need to express themselves creatively, just like him.