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The Walden School

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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

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

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.

1 Corty F.


Rating: 5

I joined the board of Walden and have been actively involved in helping, but I'm learning what an amazing organization it is. I've been working with non-profits professionally for 30 years, and I can say with certainty that Walden delivers a great program, is fiscally healthy and also is very prudent in its budget and expenses. The leadership shown by staff, board and faculty is at the very highest level.