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Summer String Academy

Summer String Academy
Laura Cahn, Director

Jump-start your AYPO experience this summer with the AYPO Summer String Academy! From 9:00-4:00, July 31 - August 4, rising 3-6 grade musicians are invited to participate in a week dedicated to building a great foundation for orchestral playing. The AYPO Summer String Academy will prepare our newest musicians for the up-coming season in the Debut Orchestra with a specific focus on music literacy, sight-reading and ensemble skills. During the Academy, students will have the opportunity to play side-by-side with experienced student mentors from AYPO and work with Debut Orchestra Conductor Laura Cahn. The students will work to prepare a final performance on Friday, August 4 at 3:00PM. The AYPO Summer String Academy is open to both AYPO members and young musicians who do not yet participate in AYPO*. Students who do not audition for the Debut Orchestra in June but would like to join will be able to audition at the culmination of the AYPO Summer String Academy.

All interested students must complete the application. *Students who are NOT current members of AYPO or will NOT be auditioning for AYPO in June 2017 will need to submit a YouTube link of a solo piece as part of the application to be considered for the program.


Dates and Times: Monday, July 31 - Friday, August 4, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Location: Providence Presbyterian Church, 9019 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031

Tuition for the complete week is $475.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 16. Musicians will be notified starting June 1, and will receive registration payment instructions at that time.


Daily Schedule:

9:00 - 10:00: Full Orchestra Rehearsal
10:00 - 10:45: Sectionals
10:45 - 11:00: Snack
11:00 - 1:00: Electives (choose 2): Music Composition, Conducting, Beginning Viola or Bass
1:00 - 1:45: Lunch
1:45 - 2:30: Music Theory
2:30 – 3:00: Private Lessons and/or Independent Practice
3:00 – 4:00: Outdoor Activity

Orchestra Rehearsal – Each day will begin with orchestra rehearsal. Students will have the opportunity to sit side-by-side next to an AYPO student mentor.

Sectionals – Each instrument group will separate to practice orchestra music with an AYPO mentor. 

Snack – Snack will be provided for all participants. 

Electives (choose 2):

Conducting – Learn how to conduct an orchestra! Students will learn basic beat patterns and conducting fundamentals as they practice conducting a small ensemble.

Music Composition – Students will work with a mentor to compose, perform and record their own composition using iPads. Students will have the opportunity to “remix” their composition using Garageband.

Beginning Viola – Now is your chance to try out the viola – no experience needed! Each student will be provided a viola for use during the duration of SSA. Students will learn how to properly hold the instrument, read alto clef and perform a short piece of music. 

Beginning Bass – It doesn’t get any better than this! You can learn to play the bass without having to put it in your car. Each student will be provided a bass for use during the duration of SSA. Students will learn how to perform a short piece of music on the bass. 

Lunch – Please bring a bag lunch every day. We will make an effort to eat outside weather permitting.

Music Theory – Music theory will include fun note reading games to practice identifying notes and rhythms. The focus of the class will be on increasing the speed and accuracy of identification.

Independent Practice and Private Lessons – Students will have the option to practice independently during this time or work one-on-one with a mentor on orchestra music. During independent practice students may choose to work on music for their private lesson teacher or music provided by AYPO.

Outdoor Play – Time to HAVE FUN! Activities may include designing tie-dye t-shirts, getting soaked in a water balloon fight, enjoying an ice cream social and competing in a photo scavenger hunt! If the weather is unacceptable students will have free time indoors.