Curriculum

  • 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

Three students giving presentation

Philosophy

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 students’ musical skills, but also develops a sense of creative individuality in extra-musical pursuits.

Curriculum

Walden has an international reputation for providing thorough and creative theoretical training for young musicians. Classes are deliberately small and geared to the individual student. Instructors employ improvisation and composition as the primary tools in teaching all levels of musicianship. Specialty classes in music history and literature bring variety to the curriculum while daily private composition lessons offer one-on-one mentoring. All students, faculty, and staff participate in The Walden School Chorus, which meets daily and gives a concert at the end of the session.

Course offerings vary slightly each summer in accordance with the needs of the student body and the expertise of various faculty members. All students receive instruction in Walden’s core curriculum of musicianship, composition, and chorus.

Recent course offerings: Computer Musicianship, Jazz Musicianship, Instrumentation, Counterpoint, Minimalism, Notation, Writing for Voice, 19th, 20th, and 21st Century Music, Indian Music, World Music, Experimental Acoustics, Symmetry, Music and Numbers, Stomp, and Film Scoring.

The curriculum is supplemented by weekly student Composers Forums and The Walden School Concert Series.