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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 David190

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.