Having completed its 18th season, the Summer Music School is the organization’s oldest and largest program. The 2013 program will serve 40 string players ages 12-18 for seven weeks of focused study and inspiring music-making.
Led by Toby and Itzhak Perlman, the SMS faculty and staff work to create an environment where young musicians feel welcome and supported, where musical talent is nurtured in a rigorous yet noncompetitive fashion, and where concern for the development of the whole person is always foremost at hand.
This is accomplished, in part, by maintaining a student to faculty ratio of better than 2 to 1. Each faculty member, including Mr. Perlman, is on campus full time during the summer session; giving weekly private lessons to each student, leading regular group classes, attending every concert, eating meals with students, and participating both musical and non-musical group activities.
While on Shelter Island, students are kept very busy. In addition to their rigorous daily schedule, faculty members and guests frequently lead group discussions on topics such as performance practice, artistic expression, and performance anxiety.
The Program not only provides musical instruction at the highest level, but also works to help the participants mature and develop personally. For example, students take turns sharing the responsibilities of the dreaded “Kitchen Patrol”, and time is set aside each morning for dorm room chores. Finally, students are also allowed adequate time to just be kids as fun events are planned such as weekend dance parties, off-island field trips, and more.
Admission to the Summer Music School is based solely on musical talent, and the selection process is notably rigorous. Admission is based on video taped auditions which are reviewed by Program faculty. The Summer Music School has a need blind admissions process. Students who require a scholarship in order to attend receive financial assistance, and no student is ever turned away based on their inability to pay.
Itzhak Perlman reading Mendelssohn Octet with students during a chamber music Reading Round-Robin
Summer Music School students before a PMP String Orchestra performance at the Annual Summer Benefit
Legendary violinist Robert Mann, visiting for his birthday, coaches a student chamber music group