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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Education, Music, Performing Arts Schools

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.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Sky M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have taught at The Walden School Young Musicians Program every summer since 2010. Additionally, I attended Walden's Teacher Training Institute in 2009 and the Creative Musicians Retreat in 2011. The Walden School has helped me find my artistic voice, discover new musical materials, and meet outstanding colleagues, mentors, and friends. Walden has given me composing, teaching, and professional development opportunities that have engendered further success in my career. I have a deep and personal love for both the people of the Walden community and its mission, philosophy, and pedagogical methods. Walden provides its students (and faculty and staff) with a top-notch educational and residential experience and I donate because I want Walden to be able to offer more financial aid so that students of all socioeconomic levels can experience this life-changing organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Walden School is an amazing place -- a place where creative people thrive, where musicians connect, where composers are encouraged and supported, where new music is made at every turn, where personal growth is a given, where community is built and lifelong friendships are formed. For students in the Young Musicians Program and adult students at the Creative Musicians Retreat, the rewards reaped from a season of creative music making are great indeed.

Steven K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The five weeks I spent at the Walden School in 1974 stand out as one of the most important influences in my life. For the first time, I realized that there were people who were just as excited about creating and performing music as I was, and were willing to help each other to achieve our goals. I also appreciated the power of having friends whom I could rely on for sharing personal secrets and encouraging me to pursue my dreams. Besides being highly knowledgeable, the staff consisted of energetic teachers and mentors. One fellow was such a major factor in helping me to overcome my natural shyness that I continue to visit him even though he lives in Paris.

Danielle234

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I reflect on my greatest influences in life, The Walden School ranks at the top. There are few places that offer such an intensive education and, beyond this, transformative experience than Walden.

I was a student at Walden for 6 years, and in the nearly 20 years since my student years, continue to view Walden as one of the outstanding experiences of life. I have never encountered an institution that combines such rigorous education with a supportive, inclusive environment. Walden teaches not only music theory and composition at an advanced level, but inspires a love for the field that, in so many other settings has been lost or tarnished.



Client Served

Rating: 5

The Walden School is an American musical treasure. I attended this summer camp for young composers in the New Hampshire woods in the late 1980s. I showed up with no previous composition experience and wrote a piece in my first summer that won a California state composition competition and was a runner up in a national competition. Other summers produced more prize-winning competitions, but the best thing about Walden was the people and the experience. Friends I made there as an awkward teenager remain some of the best friends of my life. It's a wonderful family of diverse music lovers. I've been back to visit in recent years and it's gotten even better. I never became a serious musician, but I'd love to go back to another summer at Walden.

Client Served

Rating: 5

i attended this music camp for six years and it was a profoundly transformative experience. i'm grateful every day for the hard work adn dedication of the teaachers and that i got to learn at a young age what it feels like to live in a world where art, creativity, innovation and experimentation are encouraged and nurtured.