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#566930 - 07/12/05 02:06 AM Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3415
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Sandy on the Adult Beginners forum shared this link for adult piano camp:

Sonata Adult Piano Camp web page

Has anyone ever attended or does anyone know anything about it?

This was the camp that Noah Adams writes about in his "Piano Lessons" book. I'm really curious. I would love to attend a camp like this. Need a bigger piggy bank though..
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#566931 - 07/12/05 03:21 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1163
Hi,

I've never been to a Piano Camp - but would like to go to one, one day.

Summerkeys in Lubec, Maine was recommended to me by someone who had gone there and loved it. I can't speak from personal experience, but looked into it and it is less expensive then the one you mentioned. I'd need a bigger piggy bank to borrow your phrase for either of these camps.

Would your teacher know anything about these camps or any others that may be out there? Good luck, let us know what you decide to do.

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#566932 - 07/12/05 08:40 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
Octavia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 283
Loc: California
Shiro,

One of my teacher's other adult students has gone to this for five straight years, most recently last month. He says it has improved his playing enormously. For me it would also be a huge financial stretch, but it sounds wonderful. The next time I see this other student at a recital, I'll get a detailed report and pass it on here.

Octavia
_________________________
"These are the good old days" --Carly Simon

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#566933 - 07/12/05 11:06 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3415
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Octavia, thanks, I'd be interested to hear his comments.

BTW, I found another adult piano camp, Summer Keys:

Summer Keys web page

This one looks to be quite a bit cheaper, but I can't tell what the main differences are. This one also has a winter version, Winter Keys, held in NYC.

Musdan, I live in Japan, and my teacher doesn't speak English, so unfortunately I doubt she'd know very much about or anything about these camps in the US. After looking at the web pages for each of these, I think I will eventually attend one or the other, but it will be a while before I can save up the money for it!
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#566934 - 07/13/05 01:33 AM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
Hi, ShiroKuro:

Yes, I've been to Sonata, four times (September 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) and am going again this September. It is a wonderful experience, great teachers and a chance to immerse yourself in something you love. About 4.5 hours of practice per day, a theory class every morning, masterclasses or a performance each evening.

It's also a pretty social experience, if that is something you like. I've heard that Summerkeys is not as social; the built in socializing time in theory class and gathering/meal times is not there. (Someone please correct me if that's not right.)

I have met some wonderful friends at Sonata, and meet with them outside of Sonata. A couple of them are on PianoWorld!

Cheers, Michele
_________________________


http://pdxknitterati.com

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#566935 - 07/13/05 02:07 AM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3415
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Michelle, thanks for the comments. I think the social aspect of Sonata sounds very appealing, except for the shared sleeping quarters!

I'm still curious why Summer Keys is so much cheaper, but I've heard good things about it as well.

Re Sonata, I think it's telling that there are so many people who say "I go to Sonata every year" --if people keep going back, that means they think it's worthwhile and they're getting a lot out of it.

Anyway, I have to figure out a way to start saving for a piano camp because it just sounds too fantastic!
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#566936 - 07/13/05 12:08 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
The shared sleeping quarters weren't a big deal to me; sleeping in the same room with one or two other women doesn't bother me. My roommates have all been considerate people who try to respect each other's sleeping/waking schedules.

I checked out the SummerKeys website, and the difference is that it doesn't include food or lodging, which can be a big expense. The person I met who went said it was a good experience, but different.

So save your pennies (yen?) and come on over!

Cheers, Michele
_________________________


http://pdxknitterati.com

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#566937 - 07/13/05 02:08 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
frida1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 199
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Are these camps for people of any level? What if you haven't done much memorizing, and are only mediocre at theory?

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#566938 - 07/13/05 02:23 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1163
I hope you will be able to attend one of these camps, I admire your "get up and go". Just curious, are there music camps in Japan?

Maybe there are music camps on the West Coast --

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#566939 - 07/13/05 07:11 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3415
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Frida1, as far as I know, the camps are open to people of all levels, and it seems like a lot of beginner/intermediates do indeed attend. Michelle, is that right? You shouldn't let your level determine whether you attend or not.

Musdan, unfortunately, "camp" (as in a week or so devouted to a specific activity) is not very common in Japan, esp camps for adults. So I have never found anything even like a series of seminars etc., let alone the kind of piano camp experience that Sonata and SummerKeys offer. \:\(
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#566940 - 07/13/05 07:23 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
I know Sonata is open to all levels, and all levels do come. I hadn't studied much theory when I began going to Sonata, and I had only been playing for two years.
_________________________


http://pdxknitterati.com

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#566941 - 07/14/05 08:10 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
Linda in PA Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 767
Loc: PA - USA
Hi, Michele:

I'm an Autumn Sonata camper, so I hop in your bunk after you leave it! \:D Actually, I have lots of orthopeadic issues, so I generally end up on the sofa in the living room. I may take a room at an inn this year so that I have a real mattress and box spring on which to rest these weary bones.

ShiroKuro & Others: As Michele noted, SummerKeys does not include room and board. (BTW, Sonata has a wonderful chef!). Bernard has been to SummerKeys on several occasions and had good experiences. Perhaps you can send him a PM if he doesn't chime in here.

Also, there is a 3-week summer program at the university in Victoria, Canada. BruceD and other PW members regularly participate in that program. Here's a link to Victoria Piano Summer School . All of these programs are open to all skill levels - no auditions required.

. . . Linda

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#566942 - 07/15/05 12:49 AM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
Hi, Linda!

Nice to see other Sonatans here on the forum.

The Victoria Piano Summer School looks wonderful, but it would be hard to go for three weeks at this point in my life. Also, I'm happier in an adult group; the kids always play better than I do! I go to Suzuki Institute every summer with my son, and the kids are amazing.

Cheers, Michele
_________________________


http://pdxknitterati.com

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#566943 - 07/15/05 01:00 AM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2339
Loc: Massachusetts
AdagioM, did you think your week at camp really helped you make a significant leap? I have thought for years about attending such a place but have to weigh the time, expense and value of it...

Can you, please, give us more of a review?
_________________________
BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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#566944 - 07/15/05 06:27 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3415
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Second Bee-Lady's question.

What were your original goals in attending? Did you accomplish those goals? Have your goals for attending changed as you attend more Sonatas?

If the above questions are for you specifically (Linda or Michelle or anyone who's attended) what about other people? Do you think people go there with goals like improving performance? playing without tension? Sight-reading? technical goals? Etc.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#566945 - 07/15/05 07:19 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
That is so weird. I composed a reply and thought I had posted it, and it's not here. Let me start over!

The first year I went to camp, I didn't know I was going until three weeks before. It was a surprise birthday gift from my husband. We had both read the Noah Adams book (Piano Lessons) the year before, and it gave him the idea.

I had only been playing for about two years, and I don't know if it made any great leap in my playing. The most amazing part of it for me was that I spent ten days doing something I loved, without having to be responsible for anyone else. I had 4.5 hours per day to practice and work on what I wanted to work on. Someone else did the cooking. Perfect. The first time I went, I was a stay-at-home mom, and had never left my kids for more than a weekend. Ten day was very freeing!

The next best thing was the teachers. I had only had one piano teacher, and I liked her a lot, but the exposure to different teachers was helpful to me. Polly van der Linde (owner and director) is the most gifted teacher I've ever met.

Another huge positive was meeting so many other adults with a passion for piano, and genuinely nice people. I have made some wonderful friends at Sonata, and we get together during the year on the west coast. A lot of people repeat at the same time of year, so you get about half regulars and half new people.

I've also loved the exposure to new repertoire that is accessible to me. If I go to a concert, I hear a lot of things that are gorgeous but so far beyond my reach. At Sonata, there is a range of talent and experience, and some of the repertoire is possible for me to learn.

I discovered the joy of duets at Sonata; there are "monster pieces" which are duets or trios played simultaneously on 4 or 5 pianos. The pieces are chosen at the beginning of the session, all levels, and they are played at the final concert after the regular recital.

As I've attended more Sonatas, my goals have changed. A lot of it has to do with learning to deal with performance anxiety: the first year I didn't know I'd be nervous but shook like a tree in the breeze; the second year I tried to play through the anxiety with a longer piece (big mistake); third year I picked something easy that I could play well (good experience); fourth year had a well prepared more difficult piece.

I missed Sonata last year due to some obligations at home, but I'm going this year in Setember. It will be like a reunion, and I'm looking forward to it.

Questions?

Cheers, Michele
_________________________


http://pdxknitterati.com

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#566946 - 07/16/05 01:40 AM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3415
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Michelle, very informative! Thanks!

Do the teachers keep records of the students who attend? For example, if you went in Spring 2003, and then again Autumn 2004, records that would let them say "oh, last time you were at level W, you were playing X, Y was your main teacher and we were working on Z."

Is there something like a main teacher? (as in, teacher X works with you most of the time, and then you have a few lessons with teacher Y) Sorry if this seems like algebra!

The reason I ask about that is because it seems that one important element necessary for a teacher is background info about the student, what they've covered or haven't, what they strengths and weaknesses are etc. I'm wondering how that is dealt with, or if it is magically not an issue.

Do you personally tend to go prepared with a piece that is close to completion, or a newer, less further along piece? Do you work on more than one piece with the teachers? Do you go with specific technical problems, or work more on musicality?

Can you tell me a little more about Polly van der Linde? What I mean is, what is it that makes you say she is the most gifted teacher you've ever met? (That's an awkward question to phrase, I don't mean it to sound like I'm questioning your comment, but just that I want to know what about her makes you feel that way, if that makes sense)

Ok, sorry for all the questions!! But I was thinking about the expensive involved for me to attend Sonata, including traveling from Japan, and also the non-monetary cost of taking a huge chunk of vacation time without being able to visit my family in the US. It's probably about the same as what I paid for my beloved upright!! (even if you consider that I bought it used, it's still a lot of money!) So I will have to be 110% confident that it's worth it before I go. Well, that, and I just like to get as much info as I can! \:\)

It's been about 5 years (?) since I read the Noah Adams book, all this discussion is making me think I should read it again.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#566947 - 07/16/05 04:31 PM Re: Adult Piano Camp- Sonata- ever attended?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
Hi, Shiro:

No records that I know of; it's less structured than that. But one of the marks of a good teacher for me is the ability to meet the student where they are, and take them somewhere further. I've noticed this in my son's teachers at Suzuki Institute, too. They may not have trained you to where they think you should be, but they can see you as a whole and help you anyway.

There's not a main teacher assigned to you; you usually get a variety of teachers over the week.

I like to go with at least one piece for polishing, making more musical, and some pieces in rougher stages. One week is not enough time for me to prepare a piece for the final concert, so something needs to be nearly ready! But I went one year without much new material, and I regretted it because most of what I had was already nearly fully shaped as far as I could go with it.

As far as Polly goes, she definitely meets me where I am, always finds something good in what I'm doing, and always has ways to make it more musical. And she can usually get people to instantly get some thing that improves their piece. I walk out of a lesson with her feeling like anything is possible. I've also really liked the pieces she's recommended for me.

Have fun in your hunt! I'm going to lectures, masterclasses, and recitals at Piano Festival Northwest this weekend; it has been good so far.

Cheers, Michele
_________________________


http://pdxknitterati.com

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