Utah Conservatory camps and courses helps maintain a musical summer
June 15, 2012
When children take the summer off from studying, they forget things.
This is true when it comes to music studies as well, said Aaron Mitchell of the Utah Conservatory.
"We notice when kids stop all their practicing and learning in the summer, we spend a good amount of time, usually the first month or so, relearning and reviewing when they come back to the Conservatory in the fall," Mitchell said during an interview at The Park Record offices. "Music isn’t like riding a bike. You have to keep working to maintain."
In order to help students keep up their musical chops, the Utah Conservatory has offered summer courses and camps for the past 15 years.
"The Conservatory has always tried to spark an interest in learning music and in the process, make the learning fun," he said. "In doing so, we try to tailor-make the camp groups to fit their needs."
The oldest summer courses are the advanced performance for acting singers, which is held Thursdays from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., and the group voice for kids sessions that runs July 2 through 12, with a break on July 4.
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"We basically started these when the Conservatory was first established, and have seen a lot of success with them," Mitchell said. "The adult class focuses on solo and group singing techniques and performance of Broadway tunes, and the kids course is available for ages five through 10 and teaches the basics by singing children’s Broadway songs, folk songs and doing vocal exercises."
Other ongoing courses include the group voice for adults that will be held Mondays beginning June 25, and two band courses, Mitchell said.
The first band course is the adult jam band (Monday Night Rockers), which covers the music of the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Eric Clapton, he said.
"Beginning and advanced music students are welcome to sign up," Mitchell explained.
The second band course is the kids jam band that will be held Tuesdays starting June 26, where children will learn guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals, drums and songwriting.
"The band courses are very popular and they culminate with a show on August 24, hopefully at Newpark, and these two bands will play along with the Park City Rockers, a group that rehearses at the Conservatory."
The longest running Utah Conservatory summer camp is the kids’ choir camp that will run from June 25 through June 29.
"We’ve been doing this one for about 10 years and the kids will learn an entire choral program that will include patriotic songs and folk songs," Mitchell explained.
The Conservatory will introduce four new summer camps this year Little Princes & Princesses Acting Camp, an adult acting workshop, group voice for tweens and an audition prep class for actors.
"The Little Prince & Princesses camp is for young kids aged four through eight who have those big imaginations," Mitchell said. "We let them dress up and meet for two-and-a-half hours a day. It’s a fun class and we actually do a show at St. Joseph’s Villa at the end of the run. It’s a way for young kids to enjoy music and there isn’t a lot of stress in the class."
The adult acting workshop is designed for the working actor and musician, he said.
"We designed it for people who want to get into professional shows, or at the very least work in their schools or community theatre," Mitchell explained. "It touches on how to memorize and deliver monologues and things like that. This camp will also end in a showcase performance."
The Conservatory conceived of the group voice for tweens camp to accommodate students in the 10- to 13-age range.
"We have great adult, teen and kids classes, but we’ve felt there is a void for the tweens age group, so we thought we’d try it out," Mitchell said. "We’re just seeing if there is a need or a niche for it."
The last new class is the audition prep and recorded submissions for actors’ camp, which is led by the Conservatory’s managing director Debra Cook.
"Debra will bring in people from the industry who cast shows," Mitchell said. "These are the people who interview the actors and singers.
"Students will also learn how to refine their audition pieces and learn how to approach a professional company to get an audition," he said.
The camp will also help participants make promotional recordings and videos of themselves.
"We had a lot of kids and adults tell us they don’t know how to promote themselves," Mitchell said. "So, we’re going to make these products so they can give them to people who want to see or hear a sample of their work."
The summer is an important time to continue music training and these courses and camps will help those who want to maintain their talents, Mitchell said.
"That old adage about ‘if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it’ is true," he said.
The Utah Conservatory, 1612 Ute Blvd., will host summer classes and camps beginning Monday, June 25. To sign up or receive a full schedule, visit http://www.utahconservatory.com or call (435) 649-6292.