Today was the first day of school for fifty-one young musicians in the Morse Summer Music Academy. Now in its second year, the Morse Academy at the Yale School of Music offers intensive music instruction for students in grades 5 through 11 in the New Haven Public Schools.
The 2011 Morse Academy runs from July 25 to August 19. For those four weeks, students meet five days a week, at least four hours a day – more music than most have ever done before.
Students who successfully complete the Academy will have musical opportunities throughout the academic year. These opportunities may include master classes, private lessons, and attendance at Yale School of Music performances.
Participants in the Morse Academy are selected not only for their musical accomplishment but for their enthusiasm and ability to commit to an intensive program. They must also have at least a B average in school. The program is open to students in grades 5 through 11 who play woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, or piano.
This year, 51 students are taking part in the program. Last summer, there were 42 students from 10 schools.
Because family commitment and enthusiasm are crucial in children's development as musicians, parent/guardian involvement is required. Workshops during the program will bring together parents and guardians of gifted musicians and educate them in preparing their children for future musical experiences.
On August 2, the students will take a field trip to the Yale School of Music's summer festival in Norfolk, Connecticut.
Visitors are also welcome to attend student performances and workshops on Tuesday, July 26; Thursday, August 4; Thursday, August 11, and Tuesday, August 16. The 2011 Morse Academy will conclude with a graduation concert and presentation on Thursday, August 18. All these events will take place at 3:30 pm in Sprague Memorial Hall (470 College Street).
The Morse Summer Music Academy is funded through an endowed gift to Yale from Mr. and Mrs. Lester Morse and is offered free of charge to New Haven Public School music students. It is one part of the comprehensive offerings for New Haven public school music students provided by the Yale School of Music. Approximately 300 New Haven public school students participate in programs with the Yale School of Music throughout the year, supported by an endowment established by the Yale College Class of 1957.