I have watched the Walden School change the lives of countless young adults and teachers alike. It's an amazing experience.
This is a truly great organization offering wonderful opportunities and programs to creative musicians both young and old.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Walden School manages to create a quality of community every summer that is quite simply unparalleled. As a donor and member of that community for over ten years, I cannot recommend support of this organization enough. In a world that feels increasingly disconnected, It is wonderous to know that islands of authentic, supportive community such as the Walden School still exist. Additionally, I can personally attest to the quality of the musical education offered. As a student at both the Walden School Young Musicians Program and the Walden School Teacher Training Institute, I gained truly valuable knowledge in numerous areas of instruction covering a broad array of core musical skills that have proved invaluable. As an appreciator and creator of music, I thank the excellent teachers of the Walden School for imparting an essential framework of fundamental musical concepts that I feel blessed to possess today.