Want to learn an instrument? Head to Crescendo Summer Camp

By Shelley Widhalm

The Surveyor

Elementary and middle school students can head to camp to sample playing the piano or the guitar or being part of an orchestra without the commitment of a full school year.

For the second summer, Crescendo Summer Camp in Longmont will offer music and art lessons in a camp setting for students ages 6-14, though high school students are welcome to attend.

Courtesy photo – Students participating in the 2018 Crescendo Summer Camp engage in lots or music and movement as they learn how to play the guitar.

“It’s definitely a low-cost way to get students to see if this is an instrument they might enjoy learning more in the future,” said Devon Newburn, director of Crescendo Fine Arts Academy, which hosts the camp.

Crescendo Fine Arts Academy, housed on the campus of Longmont Church of Christ, 1351 Collyer St., offers private lessons, classes and camps for a variety of instruments and art media for both students and adults.

The summer camp will feature three sessions for piano, one for guitar, and one for orchestra mid-June to early August. The sessions will be taught by two faculty members and three camp assistants in the church’s education wing.

Last year’s camp had a session for piano and one for string instruments, but because of demand, the camp expanded to include more instruments. “We had a lot of growth in our school, 60 kids last year to almost 200 this year, so there’s a lot more demand,” Newburn said. “This is a really fun way to bridge the end of the school year to the next, so kids don’t have a long summer where they’re not doing music.”

Each session has 12 slots, which are quickly filling. Last year eight to 10 students attended the two sessions.

“The smaller camp size gives you a higher quality experience,” Newburn said. “They can learn different techniques on an individual level.”

Each session will review the selected instrument and cover techniques of playing, reading music, and music theory. The students will work on a song in an ensemble rehearsal they will then present in a concert in the church’s auditorium.

“We feel strongly the more you understand about music as a whole, the better equipped you are to perform and share the music,” Newburn said, explaining the idea is not to memorize music by rote but to gain skills to be able to continually learn new pieces. “If you learn the different techniques, it opens up a whole lot of different opportunities for you to play music.

The sessions will include an art project, likely a landscape painting using acrylics.

“We like to include an art project because we’re a fine arts academy and a music studio. We do group classes in both,” Newburn said.

Crescendo Fine Arts Academy began in 2018, expanding out of the Crescendo Project launched two years earlier as an after-school music and art program of Hopelight Education Services. Hopelight Education Services, which also includes a tutoring center and English as a second language classes, is a nonprofit started by church members as part of the Hopelight family of services that includes a medical clinic and several health programs.

“It’s an independent organization that has the purpose to provide high-quality instruction,” Newburn said. “It’s a good way to bring people together and help out these kids that may not have the chance to have an experience like this otherwise.”

The summer camp offerings include:

  • Piano: 1-5 p.m. June 10-14, July 8-12 and July 29-Aug. 2.
  • Guitar: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. June 25-27.
  • Orchestra: 1-5 pm. July 15-19

The sessions cost $30, plus there are limited scholarship funds available and individual lessons for an additional fee. To register, visit www.crescendocreative.org/register or stop by the church’s welcome center. Registration deadline is June 7 for the first session and one week before the start date for the rest of the sessions.

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