The Walden School, founded in 1972, is an acclaimed summer music school and festival offering programs that emphasize creative application, specifically through the study of musicianship, improvisation, and composition. In residence on the beautiful campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, the school provides an inspiring retreat-like environment ideal for creative music making. The School’s programs include the Young Musicians Program for musicians ages 9 to 18, the Teacher Training Institute for music educators, and the Creative Musicians Retreat for adult musicians. The School’s Concert Series showcases free public performances by renowned artists and ensembles that work closely with program participants. The Walden School was awarded a Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award in 2012 and 2013, a 2011 New Music Educator Award from the American Music Center (now New Music USA) and was a finalist for a 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. The Walden School is the successor organization to the Junior Conservatory Camp.
Walden’s flagship Young Musicians Program (YMP) provides thorough and creative theoretical training for young musicians ages 9 to 18. The school is deliberately small, and a student to faculty ratio of 4 to 1 ensures that coursework is geared to the individual student, beginner through advanced, and that a creative and supportive musical community is formed and nurtured. During the five-week program, students attend classes in music history, analysis, computer musicianship, jazz and other topics to complement their thorough training in Walden’s core curriculum of musicianship and composition. During weekly composers forums, student improvisations and compositions are performed by faculty, students, and visiting artists and a guest moderator leads discussion about the pieces. The Walden School Concert Series features performances by world-class artists and ensembles that interact closely with students. All students and faculty participate in The Walden School Chorus which meets daily and performs a concert at the end of the session. Dances, swim trips, weekly mountain hikes, and ‘open mic’ nights balance this rigorous musical training and are integral to the Walden experience.