All your questions, answered.

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 beginners.

Q – What is the age range of participants at the Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR)?
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. At previous Retreats, participants have ranged in age from 18 to 80. Applicants who are 18 or 19, but have not yet begun college or university study may be instead eligible for the Young Musicians Program, and NOT the Creative Musicians Retreat. Please inquire with our office if this applies to you.

Q – What type of musicians benefit from CMR?
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 past years, visit http://waldenschool.org/creative-musicians-retreat/schedule/.

Q – What is your participant to teacher ratio?
Approximately 5-6 students per teacher. 

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. What courses will you offer this year?
In 2019, we offered two different courses: a course in Walden’s Computer Musicianship curriculum (i.e. Musique Concrète), as well as a more advanced electronic music class. 2021 offerings have not yet been determined and will be based to some degree on participant interest and aptitude.

Q – I would like to take composition at CMR. May I do that?
Yes. Our faculty members and the Composer-in-Residence will give composition lessons and master classes. The members of our faculty have diverse compositional backgrounds and interests, giving students plenty to draw from over the course of the week. Most students who are interested are able to take at least two 30-minute private lessons during the retreat.

Q – I’m a music teacher interested in learning more about Walden’s Musicianship Course and pedagogical approaches. 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. Our pedagogy is applicable to a variety of learning environments, including classroom teaching, ensemble rehearsals, and private lessons. Some teachers have been sponsored by their school/university in the past to attend Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat.

Q – I’m a choral singer. Is the Creative Musicians Retreat for me?
Yes! Everyone at CMR sings in the choir, which meets every day. The focus of choir is on community, healthy singing, exposure to a variety of repertoire and choral styles, and aural musicianship. Those interested in more singing and choral performance can choose to sing in the Chamber Choir in the afternoon. The Chamber Choir prepares 3-5 world premiere pieces by composers at the Retreat for performance on 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 will prepare chamber music (with repertoire primarily drawn from contemporary composition) for a concert and may also perform new music by composers at the Retreat on Composers Forums.

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 2021, our Composer-in-Residence will be Marcos Balter. The Ensemble-in-Residence is the Mivos Quartet. Percussionist Matthew Gold and pianist David Friend will also be in residence. 

Q – Can I write a piece to be performed on a Composers Forum?
Yes. The Retreat will include three Composers Forums of works by composers at the retreat. All participants will have the opportunity to have a composition/work-in-progress presented on a Composers Forum. Composers write for members of the ensemble-in-residence, and artists-in-residence, and may also include electronics, performers on our faculty, and fellow CMR participants. Some composers (usually 3-5) are selected to write pieces for the Chamber Choir each year.

Q – Are Composers Forums recorded?
Yes. Each composer will receive a professionally-engineered audio recording of their piece.

Q – Will the ensemble play an older work of mine on the Composers Forums?
Perhaps. We prefer that all composing participants present a new work during the Retreat. If you would like to submit a work previously composed/performed, please contact Caroline Mallonee, Director of the Creative Musicians Retreat, to discuss.

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: undergraduate students, graduate students, serious hobbyists, and professional composers.

Q – Will I have my own room?
Yes. All participants have their own rooms. Bathrooms are shared with other residents of the dormitory.

Q – How much free time is there?
As little or as much as you would like! There is almost always something “going on” at the retreat, but you may take advantage of large amounts of optional time each afternoon, as you like. Free time is built into each afternoon and some evenings. Please refer to the schedule for more information: http://waldenschool.org/creative-musicians-retreat/schedule/.

Q – Which meals are provided?
Walden provides breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Dinner will be provided on the first day, Saturday, June 12. Breakfast will be provided on the last day, Sunday, June 20.

Q – Can I bring my family?
Yes! We aim to be a family-friendly program, and there are a variety of ways that we can welcome participant family members to Walden. In the past, children, spouses/significant others, and other family members have accompanied participants to Walden, paying a reduced fee. Please be in touch with us in order to explore this possibility.

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 in the electronic music studio, and those computers are not available for checking email, surfing the web, etc.

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, and Walden staff and faculty are not available to instruct people how to use notation software.

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, New Hampshire. The campus is about an hour from the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, 45 minutes from the Amtrak station in Brattleboro, Vermont, and two hours from Boston’s Logan Airport. Travel to and from the Dublin School campus are at the participant’s expense.

Q – What is the campus like?
The campus is a rural, high school boarding school campus, with dormitories, classroom buildings, a dining hall, a gym, and athletic fields. There is a beautiful, newly-renovated recital hall with air conditioning. The campus is hilly, and while things are short distances to walk, there are stairs (in the buildings and outdoors) and slopes to navigate.

Q – What is the price of the Creative Musicians Retreat?
The total price for the 2021 Creative Musicians Retreat is $2,600. This includes tuition, room and board, all instruction, activities, recordings, t-shirt, and camp photo. To pay by credit card or PayPal, there is an additional 5% fee. All admitted students are eligible to request an interest-free payment installment plan. Applications completed in the first round are eligible for a 5% early tuition payment discount if all fees are paid by March 1, 2021 (see dates and fees document for details). A $30 non-refundable application fee must accompany the application ($31.50 if paying the application fee by credit card or PayPal).

Q – Is financial aid available?
Yes. There is need-based financial aid available. A completed financial aid application and 2020 tax documentation are required to be eligible. The Walden School is committed to making our programs affordable for as many financial aid applicants as possible to participate, and please understand that we have a limited financial aid budget which we try to apply as broadly and fairly as possible.

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

– Creative Musicians Retreat Participant

Begin your 2021 application today!