Flexible and Fun
Below is a description of a typical summer day at Eclectic Music. We keep things kid-friendly, appropriately paced, and musically rich.
Let's put it this way: Some kids cry when they arrive, but a lot of them cry when they have to leave.
8:40 - 9:00
Campers arrive, put their lunches on the shelf, and then play music, enjoy the toys, or socialize.
9:00 - 9:25
All of the campers and camp leaders join for a song circle featuring everything from children's favorites like "Down By the Bay" to kid-friendly pop hits such as "I Feel Good" by James Brown to original music created by our own teachers. Some songs are enjoyed year after year, and we're constantly rotating in new material to keep things fresh. The song circle is a great opportunity for campers to try out new musical skills.
9:25 - 10:00
Preschoolers: Children will enjoy a teacher-led activity relating to the day's theme. Sometimes children are learning about music, and sometimes they are learning about the world through music. In this way, we are able to engage children's natural curiosity and connect their musical experiences to their daily lives.
Young musicians (older campers): This block of time will be spent learning to play a musical piece. The camp leaders will split the group as needed: Those who are participating for the entire week will be preparing a song for performance, while those who plan to spend only a day or two with us will spend the time playing a musical game, learning a particular skill or a simple song on a musical instrument, or even participating with the ensemble based on their ability.
In Eclectic Music's song-based approach, the song is the context for learning about music theory, instrumental techniques, listening and thinking like a musician, performance skills, collaboration, improvisation, playing by ear, reading music, and even leadership. That means that preparing the song for performance is an active, engaging experience with many aspects, rather than simply "teaching to the test."
10:00 - 10:15
Campers go to the kitchenette or the patio to have a healthy snack consisting of some combination of fruit, veggies, crackers, cheese, yogurt, or nut butter (if no one present has an allergy).
10:15 - 11:30 or 12:00
Preschoolers: The campers move through theme-related activities such as a craft, a movement activity, or a game. They will also get the chance to play musical instruments, including at least one "grown-up" instrument. The activities are short and child-centered, lasting as little as five minutes (for a quick lesson about a musical symbol) to 25 minutes (for a craft such as making their own rain stick). There is usually an activity that involves creative or imaginative play. For instance, campers might listen to "Aquarium" from Camille Saint-Saen's Carnival of the Animals while "swimming" with play silks.
Young musicians: Based on how the musical piece is going, some campers may receive one-on-one or targeted small-group instruction on a particular skill or a certain part of the song. Then we'll switch things up with a musical game for the group, a movement activity (such as learning a dance), a drum circle, a song in a contrasting style that we can learn on the spot, or a musical composition (i.e., songwriting) activity.
11:30 - 11:50 or 12:00 - 12:20
Campers eat lunch with their group in one of two seatings. Sharing food is not allowed.
Some camp programs show videos to keep kids quiet during lunch. Not us - we want to encourage students to socialize with each other. Being a fly on the wall for these conversations can be highly amusing.
11:50 - 12:50 or 12:20 - 12:50
Preschool: Based on the energy of the group, campers may enjoy a music-related story, participate in a movement activity, play instruments, have some free play with toys and instruments, or experience a guest performer.
Young musicians: Campers will come together for a musical activity that everyone can participate in. Then, it will be time to return to preparing songs for performance.
12:50 - 1:00
The day closes with another gathering of all the campers. In addition to singing songs together, our youngest campers will enjoy impromptu performances by the young musicians as they share the work they did that day. Seeing the older children perform is very inspiring to the preschoolers.
1:00 - 1:20
Free play and dismissal. You will generally have a chance to touch base with the camp leaders to see how your child's day went. You will also be able to sign up for additional days - and you'll probably have a small person encouraging you to do so!