Curriculum and Activities

Private Lessons
You will have at least one private lesson a week on your major instrument. Your teacher may want to meet with you more often to review your progress. This close personal support helps you prepare for performances and adopt productive practice habits. Many teachers host a studio/performance class so that students have the chance to perform solo works.

Chamber Music
Each student is assigned to a chamber group with a coach and a musical work appropriate to the group’s ability. After studying and performing the composition, you will be assigned to other ensembles with new coaches and new pieces.

The orchestra plays classical symphonic repertoire. The nightly rehearsals culminate in the performance of a movement or two or an overture every Sunday afternoon.

Here are recent examples from the past few years:

Brahms, First and Second Symphonies
Shostakovich, Fifth and Tenth Symphonies
Sibelius, Second Symphony
Tschaikovsky, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies
Mozart, Jupiter Symphony
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring
Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique
Mahler, First Symphony
Respighi, Pines of Rome
Hindemith, Symphonic Metamorphosis
Liszt, Les Préludes
Debussy, La Mer
Bartok, Dance Suite
Bernstein, West Side Story
Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel

Large Ensemble
We form large ensembles to explore the literature for string orchestra, woodwind, brass, percussion, and combined ensembles.

Three times a week, all Kinhaven students gather as a chorus. This chorus includes singers with a wide range of technical ability. The first half of the summer is devoted to learning madrigals, chorales and rounds. In the second half, a large work, usually a Bach cantata, is prepared for the final concert. It is through this communal singing that we come closest to the founders’ vision of music-making.

Chamber Choir
If you are a serious singer who enjoys more singing, you can join the Chamber Choir and study madrigals, chamber cantatas and other works for small choir.

Composition study is available to any student who is interested.  Beginners can attend small group classes with our composer-in-residence (no previous experience composing music or theory is necessary), while more advanced students can take private lessons and meet every week as a group.  And even for those who do study formally at Kinhaven, weekly seminars are held on issues of composition and new music, covering such topics as instrumentation and orchestration, preparation of score and parts, techniques in analysis, notation, score study, repertoire, etc.

Each summer, we present a Student Composers’ Concert dedicated to the performance of our students’ chamber works. Pieces for this concert can be composed before coming to Kinhaven, or during a student’s time at Kinhaven.

Kinhaven is fortunate to have Nicolas Scherzinger, Chair of the Composition and Theory Departments at the Setnor School of Music, Syracuse University. He holds a DMA in composition from the Eastman School of Music.

All students who study composition will also fully-participate in our standard curriculum on their orchestral instrument.

Every piece you study and practice culminates in performance. Families, friends and the public are invited to all of our concerts, free of charge.

Student Concerts: Fridays at 4:00 PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM.
Faculty Concerts: Saturdays at 7:30 PM.

Daily Schedule
7:30       Breakfast
8:30       Practice Period, Private Lessons
9:30       String Orchestra, Large Ensembles, Chorus
10:30     Chamber Music
11:30      Practice, Lessons, Chamber Choir
1:00       Lunch
2:00       Recreational Activities / Practice Time
6:00       Dinner
7:30       Symphony Orchestra
9:30       Snacks
10:30     Bed Time

Our sixty-seven acre campus enjoys a beautiful swimming pond, volleyball court, soccer field, basketball court, and ping pong tables that are available to all. Hikes and walks into town are easily organized, while our Activities Staff plans outings, games, folk dancing, scavenger hunts, a regatta-style boat race, and strawberry picking.

The art house has a fully-equipped pottery studio with a brand-new kiln and potters’ wheels. Beginners and experienced ceramists alike enjoy stopping by to try their hands at throwing a pot. Sculpture, drawing, painting, carving, silk-screening, and even tie-dying are all available.

Quiet time is precious too. The afternoon can be spent reading, practicing, playing chess or cards, composing, or indulging in a favorite Kinhaven pastime, hill-sitting.