by Laurie T. Schell CEO, Arts Education Advocate www.ElevateArtsEd.org
Summers are getting shorter. School calendar creep and two-working-parent families mean that our kids have less time to be, well, kids. While some believe that shorter summers will mean less of a learning slide between academic years, others say it is the freedom from nonstop schedules, homework, and testing that allows children to experience learning in new and exciting ways.
Academic gains aside, summer learning in the arts provides opportunities for youth to make new friends, learn new skills, gain self-confidence and experience that ineffable joy of engaging in the arts.
Opportunities abound in Nashville for arts-focused summer camps from our vibrant nonprofit arts and culture community. Whether you are a parent in search of a program or a community member looking for a worthy cause to support, here are a few highlights with a little something for everyone.
Intersection’s Contempo Kids
Contempo Kids, created by Intersection Music and designed for students from ages 9–14 at all skill levels, is focused on music creating by encouraging and guiding students to compose original works. While rooted in Western classical music, Contempo Kids explores other styles and musical expressions, notation, and other methods of creation tools and technology.
As Nashville’s preeminent place for dance and dance education, Nashville Ballet offers half-day camp for ages 3–5, Swan Lake full-day camp for ages 6–10, a junior intensive for ages 9–11, and a young men’s intensive for ages 6+. Children develop balance, rhythm, and coordination while learning essential social skills and classroom etiquette along with ballet technique, musicality, and artistry. This summer marks the first-ever Young Men’s Intensive. This week-long program is designed to develop male-specific technique, strength, and camaraderie in a supportive environment.
Choral Arts Link’s MET Summer Academy
Choral Arts Link works to preserve the tradition and discipline of choral singing by providing opportunities for children to grow artistically through choral training, develop leadership and professional skills, and engage in their own personal and academic success. The Summer MET Academy is offering a one-week intensive program for students at beginning, proficient, and advanced levels in grades 2–12, to be held at Tennessee State University.
Through the literary and performing arts, Southern Word offers creative solutions for youth to build literacy and presentation skills, reconnect to their education and to their lives, and act as leaders in the improvement of their communities. Summer Studio brings together teen songwriters, singers, producers, beat makers, emcees, rappers, poets, and musicians to produce music tracks. This teen artist community is a unique opportunity to work with adult mentors, collaborate, and produce music with other musicians and writers. Dates: June 25–29. Register at www.southernword.org/registration.
Nashville Children’s Theatre
NCT Summer Drama Camps 2018 offer a wide range of one-week classes for ages 4–18, including Core Camps (Storybook Adventures, Drama Makers, Acting, Fairytale Frenzy, Myths and Legends, etc.). Musical Theatre camps offer singing and dancing instruction, and specialty camps focus on improvisation, stage combat, playwriting, and theatre design. Most camps culminate in a sharing onstage for family and friends. Registration fills up quickly!
It’s going to be a great summer. So pick up those paintbrushes, clarinets, dancing shoes, beat boxes, soloist chops, scripts, and costumes and jump right in!