From June 19 to 23, 17 campers, age 10 to 16, swarmed the Piano Faber Institute to make music together under the guidance of one director, ten teachers and four guest artists. We did not need the results of our survey to know that everyone had a blast.
Plenty of pictures and videos also attest to the campers’ high spirits and their diligent work. For our faculty, coaching these enthusiastic learners and helping them navigate both the joys and occasional frustrations of ensemble playing was a real treat.
Here is an overview of the camp daily schedule:
On Day 1 and Day 2, the goal was getting to know each other and evaluating the preparedness of each student. On Day 2, the group activity focused on yoga and rhythm with cup percussion.
Day 3 was full of excitement! Michelle, our theater game instructor, had created an “escape room”. All campers had 35 minutes to solve multiple puzzles together to find the key to escape the room! All the clues were taken from the camp repertoire and various information pertaining to the campers (age, grade, etc.) Some clues were based on a tiny section of a score or a short sound clip. Imagine the excitement of the 17 campers coming out of the room!
Then guest artist, Sara Cumming, coached three of our larger ensembles and a piano-cello duet.
Right after lunch, we had a delightful presentation by the New Muse Duo who demonstrated what a prepared piano could sound like and the various techniques employed. This was quite a discovery for all campers and they got to look inside the piano, check the notations on the score and listen to the wonderful music making of the New Muse Duo in the three pieces they performed.
On Day 4: The group activity was focused on the idea of partnering through Laban techniques and working again with cup percussion.
Pianist and composer, Randall Faber, came to coach his trio “Three Characters” for violin, viola and piano. Then allcampers gathered to listen to the composer explain how he conceived the piece and give some insights on what sound and expression he was looking for in each of the three movements.
On Day 5, after a short group session, we started a run through of most pieces in the recital hall. After a 30 minute group activity based on cup percussion, the “Camp Celebration” started at 11:45 AM. Parents and teachers joined in to applaud the campers in their performance of 21 pieces. We ended this fun week with a pizza party for all.
The Ann Arbor Area Piano Teachers Guild (AAAPTG) would like to express their gratitude to the Faber Piano Institute for donating their wonderful space three years in a row. As always, their staff was amazingly helpful and kind.
We also would like to acknowledge the financial support of the AAAPTG Foundation and the Michigan Music Teachers Association. Thanks to these two organizations, we were able to expand our string faculty and invite more guest artists.