Wharton Music Center Offers Summer Program to Help Young Children Thrive
Friday, May 2, 2014 • 6:19am
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Wharton Music Center (WMC) offers its Intro to Instruments Camp for the second consecutive summer from July 14-25 at its New Providence campus at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence.
One of Wharton Music Center’s FOCUS Camps, the Intro to Instruments program for children ages 7 to 9, is founded on the concept that when a child learns to play a musical instrument, key brain functions are developed that bring joy and enhance academic performance and social skills. The Intro to Instruments Camp fosters cognitive development, self-esteem, and team-work all while having fun in a warm, nurturing environment. Students are invited to meet camp staff and enroll in the Intro to Instruments Camp at the Summer Camp Open House on Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence.
The Intro to Instruments Camp is a full-day camp introducing children to the piano, violin, cello, guitar, and recorder with the goal that students learn to play simple songs on each family of instruments. The program includes singing, group movement activities, introduction to improvisation, crafts related to music, and traditional summer camp games. Similar to a language immersion program, campers begin rehearsing as a group almost immediately and parents are invited to watch their ensemble practice at the end of each camp day.
“Beyond the recent reports cropping up in the media that tell us that music makes us smarter, music is fundamentally what makes us human,” says Intro to Instruments Camp Director Kristine Peters. “The study of music provides the space for children to develop divergent thinking. The study of an instrument provides not only the framework to learn the value of hard work and discipline, but it also allows for human expression. Music lets us interact and connect with other human beings in a way not usually available in our gadget-oriented culture.”
Peters, a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, has served on the faculty of Wharton Music Center since 2011 teaching piano and music theory. Currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, her coursework in “Children’s Musical Development” and “Instrument Instruction for Children” provided inspiration and insight into curriculum for the Intro to Instruments Camp. “Children in the age range of 7 to 9 years still hold a natural curiosity for music and are typically in the appropriate stage of development physically and cognitively to get the most benefit out of this type of learning experience,” says Peters.
In addition to the Intro to Instruments Camp, Wharton Music Center continues to offer its ever popular Who’s Got Talent? Camps for ages five to thirteen years with visual and performing arts activities designed around a weekly theme. Who’s Got Talent? Camps, offered each week for nine weeks beginning June 30, culminate in a performance showcasing campers’ visual, dramatic, musical, and dance accomplishments at the end of each week. Summer Camp theme weeks this year range from Willy Wonka to Monsters, Inc.
New Jersey Youth Symphony, the ensemble and orchestral division of WMC, offers its Orchestral Camp, which meets at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence, for grades five through nine from June 29 through July 12. Orchestral Camp gives students the opportunity to perform in small ensembles, camp orchestra, and camp chorus as well as learning music theory, ear training, and improvisation.
The robust offerings of summer activities at WMC include private lessons in most instruments and voice, Music Around the World, Summer Guitar Institute, So You Think You Can Dance?/Actor’s Theatre Workshop, and Triple Threat Musical Theatre Project among other workshops and day camps. For complete summer camp listings, visit www.whartonmusiccenter.org. Visitors are invited to attend the Berkeley Heights campus Summer Camp Open House at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights on May 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to meet with camp staff and explore which summer camp best suits their children. Tours of WMC’s 22 studios including its dance studio and black box theater are available throughout the day.
All students who register during the Summer Camp Open House will receive $25 off summer camp tuition. The Summer Camp Open House is free and open to the public.
Wharton Music Center, located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, provides music, theatre, and dance instruction, educational programs, and performances for children, teens, and adults. In addition to instruction in all instruments and voice, WMC offers classes in musical theatre, dance, drama, vocal music, music theory, audio recording, early childhood music, and music for children with special needs. Offering a range of musical genres including classical, rock, jazz, and blues, WMC is one of New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts center serving students in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, and other surrounding counties.
WMC offers orchestral and ensemble music education for grades 3 through 12 through New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) located at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. NJYS, one of the foremost youth orchestras in the state, has eleven orchestras and ensembles for which auditions are held annually. NJYS’s premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, has performed in internationally renowned concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.
The mission of Wharton Music Center, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is to advance excellence and education in the performing arts. For more information, visit www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or www.NJYS.org.