THE WALDEN SCHOOL

Rating: 5 stars   18 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Education

Location: P.O. Box 432 Dublin NH 03444 USA

Mission: Mission: The Walden School is an educational program that employs a unique, music-based method to foster creative thinking, problem solving, and risk-taking in young people. Through the exploration of music as a language, the Walden School inspires students to develop a personal, creative voice within the context of an intellectual and artistic community. The Walden School seeks to encourage broad thinking and active listening, teach delivery and acceptance of constructive criticism, plant the seeds of wisdom, and nurture a life-long commitment to creative expression, all resulting in the development of individuals who are capable of effecting positive change in the world around them.
Target demographics: Creative young people ages 9 to 18, music teachers of all kinds, performers, composers and improvisers
Direct beneficiaries per year: 100
Geographic areas served: All
Programs: Founded in 1972, The Walden School has an international reputation for providing thorough and creative theoretical training for young musicians. Amid the spectacular natural beauty of southern New Hampshire and away from day-to-day distractions, students gather from all over the world to participate in an intellectual and artistic community of enthusiastic, dedicated peers, faculty, and staff. Through a comprehensive curriculum that includes Musicianship, Improvisation, Composition, Computer Music, Chorus, and a host of other engaging courses, Walden students are offered the tools and guidance they need to express them through music. The Walden School is deliberately small, and a student to faculty ratio of 4 to 1 ensures that classes are geared to the individual student. A dynamic Concert Series, collaborative Artist and Ensemble residencies, and weekly student Composers Forums greatly enrich the program. Walden School faculty members are excellent musicians and teachers who are distinguished in the fields of composition, performance, arranging, folk music, ethnomusicology, pedagogy, scholarship, arts administration, and arts advocacy. Over the last twenty-seven years, Walden students have been named prize-winning composers in national competitions including MTNA, BMI, ASCAP, and Delius competitions. A great number of Walden School students have gone on to distinguished careers as professional musicians, and many are among America's most promising young composers. The Walden School Teacher Training Institute offers professional development opportunities to help music educators sharpen their musicianship skills, enrich their teaching with imaginative activities, and more effectively guide the creative voices of their students.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I attended the Walden School for 2 years while in my teens, returned later as a faculty member, then for a few years on the Board of Directors, and finally, recently as an adult, I returned once more to attend the first year's session of the Creative Musicians Retreat. I can say without any doubt that Walden has and remains a positive force in my growth, outlook and world. At Walden, students routinely have life-changing creative experiences, make enduring friendships and participate in unforgettable summers. I consider many of the faculty some of the most accomplished and gifted teachers and musicians I've ever come into contact with. The dedication and intensity of learning at Walden is something one rarely if ever encounters. Over the years the world eventually discovered the school, and it is now a renowned institution. I hope that Walden will continue to change lives the way it changed mine.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure that the organization is fully endowed and can face the future without any financial fears.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have watched the Walden School change the lives of countless young adults and teachers alike. It's an amazing experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase its capacity to do more!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I wish I had spent more time at the Walden School. I attended the Walden School for one year as a 17 year-old, and instantly wished I had discovered the program earlier. Walden offers an innovative, challenging curriculum, while also providing a unique, comfortable atmosphere for kids to be themselves. I made some of my very best friends in one summer - we're still quite close to this day. Although my work with Walden has since been limited, I have never forgotten my summer spent in New Hampshire, nor the inspiration to pursue creativity every day that I discovered there.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have worked at The Walden School for three years, and every summer has filled me with inspiration. While many other music camps involve competing for orchestra seats or winning awards, Walden is about opening your eyes to what music is and can be about. Students applaud each other's first compositions, sing rounds on the top of mountains, dress up in costumes to demonstrate musicianship drills in an entertaining way, share original songs, and learn how to listen to the sounds in their environment. They collaborate in chorus, play and sing each other's music, and turn everything into musical instruments. There is no other place like it!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is a truly great organization offering wonderful opportunities and programs to creative musicians both young and old.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I became a volunteer for The Walden School after my sister’s many year of participation. Though I am far from a musician myself, I was inspired by the atmosphere and educational methods. I watched my sister grow from a thirteen year old plunking out her own creations on our piano to a grown adult graduating with a degree in Music Composition from New England Conservatory of Music. Each summer my sister would return home filled with excitement, enthusiasm and a backpack of staff paper.

Volunteering has allowed me to see the organization in action. I have seen the care and detail put into each summer and the top-notch staff make it happen. Each event is full of wonderful musicians, inspiring attitudes and a impressive alumni network. The Walden School fosters creativity, corporation, and, most importantly, a community students will use the rest of their lives.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a donor of this organization for over five years. The Walden School is an amazing and unique organization - allowing students to live and breath 'creativity'. It is inspiring to watch the young students thrive as the program allows cultivation of creativity while simultaneously urging participants to explore their own creativity.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

If I were to list the most formative, impactful activities of my youth, my years at the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) in the mid- and late 1960s would be right up at the top. When its foundress, Grace Newsom Cushman, died in 1971, I feared that her unique approach to music pedagogy, emphasizing creativity based on a solid theoretical foundation, along with that summer Shangri-La would soon be lost to the world. Fortunately, three of her protégés – Pamela Quist, David Hogan, and Lynn Hebden – decided to continue the tradition as the Walden School, so that not a summer lapsed. Despite the change in management, name, and location, the philosophy and spirit are the same, and many of the JCC traditions live on. JCC and Walden have produced countless award-winning young composers and have deeply enriched the lives of every student who passes through. The enthusiastic attendance at the periodic alumni reunions testifies to the great impact that this summer experience had, and continues to have, on the lives of young people. Places like Walden are the antidote to much that ails our society. I am thrilled to be closely connected to it and to support it with both time and money.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The Walden officials are doing a super job!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been a donor and parent of a child and later a faculty member at the Walden School since 1999. The Walden School 's unique program takes children from all backgrounds and brings their understanding and music composition skills to fruition. This program is one of the best non-profits out there!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've been involved with the Walden School for the past six years, first as a participant in its Teacher Training Institute, learning Walden's unique approach to musicianship and music pedagogy. Since then, I have completed all three levels of the Teacher Training course; worked on the staff for the Teacher Training Institute, the Creative Musicians Retreat, and the flagship Young Musicians Program; taught at the Young Musicians Program for four summers; and donated to the student scholarship fund. Walden provides an amazing opportunity for students to not only expand and deepen their understanding of music fundamentals, but also to create their own music in a variety of styles and have it performed by professional musicians and their peers. One of my favorite parts of Walden is that students and faculty live in a very close-knit community, allowing a great exchange of ideas and a chance for students to learn how to work and live together as young adults. I think Walden works hard to maintain a sense of community throughout the year, hosting multiple events for alumni to get together, socialize, and hear each others' music.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish Walden had enough donors so that all students could receive full-tuition scholarships!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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