[ Music in Schools ]
Morse Summer Music Academy
The Morse Summer Music Academy is the most intensive program offered by the Yale Music in Schools Initiative for both New Haven students and Yale graduate Teaching Artists. For four weeks in July, a large number of New Haven Public School students (143 in 2015) come to Yale daily for 5 hours of intensive classes, rehearsals, and lessons. The hallmark of the Morse Summer Music Academy is performance, best represented by the more than thirty concerts presented over a four-week period.
The model of mentoring is most in exhibit at Morse as graduate students serve as mentors to all the students, while high school junior and seniors are placed in positions that allow them to mentor younger students. Instruction is also provided by NHPS music teachers, YSM faculty members, and special guests.
Because of this close daily interaction, Morse Academy provides students with opportunities for growth in musicianship, technique, and personal achievement. New Haven students from the Morse Academy return to their home schools as musical leaders who can have a positive influence on the music programs there.
All NHPS students in 4th-11th grades who sing or play piano, woodwind, brass, string, guitar, and percussion instruments are welcome to apply. Applicants for the Morse Summer Music Academy must exhibit musical accomplishment, enthusiasm, and work habits conducive to an intensive music instruction program. Interested students meeting these criteria may apply online on this page. After applying, new students interested in attending the Morse Academy must audition, and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for a parent/guardian meeting.
The 2015 Morse Academy took place July 6 – 31, 2015. Students attended classes Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 2:30pm. Parents joined to attend concerts and workshops on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The Academy took place in Sprague Hall at the Yale School of Music, and Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School in downtown New Haven.
During the Academy, students participated in:
- private lessons once a week
- sectional rehearsals
- large ensembles
- chamber music
- ear training
- music theory
- semi-weekly formal recitals
- semi-weekly “pop-up” chamber music concerts
- field trips to galleries and museums
- field trip to the Norfolk Summer Music Festival
All instruction is given by NHPS music teachers, Yale School of Music graduate students and alumni, and faculty from the Yale School of Music.
Because parental commitment and enthusiasm are such crucial components in children’s development as musicians, parent/guardian involvement in the Morse Academy is required. Monday and Wednesday parents’ workshops each week during the program address relevant issues for parents and guardians of gifted musicians and educate them in ways to prepare their children for future musical experiences.
Students who successfully complete the Academy have musical opportunities throughout the academic year. These opportunities include master classes, private lessons, and attendance at Yale School of Music and professional performances.
The Morse Summer Music Academy is made possible through a generous endowment established by Enid and Lester Morse, Yale College ’51, and is offered free of charge to New Haven Public School students. The first Academy took place in summer 2010 with participants from 10 schools.