SARANAC LAKE — There are still 15 slots open for aspiring musicians at a weeklong Mountain Melodies music camp in mid-July, and there are scholarships available to fully pay for three campers’ attendance.
Camp organizer Carolyn Greenberg said campers will get to work with five certified music educators, get access to TrestleStreet’s “petting zoo” of instruments and equipment, and work on songs to perform together.
Campers will all work on choral arrangements, but Greenberg said sessions will be flexible. They’ll have their pick of crash courses on music creation to focus on. Greenberg called these “tasters.”
These will include sessions with voice lessons, lyric writing, music theory, cover songs and digital music. Greenberg said digital music, like production or electronic music, is not taught as often, but by the end of the week, campers will have been able to produce a ringtone, a soundscape or a short song.
It’s a half-day, one-week camp, so Greenberg said campers won’t come out of it as virtuosos or incredibly knowledgeable about music theory. She said the goal is to inspire a lifelong passion for creating music, creating a community of youngsters making music with friends and giving them foundational skills to build on.
Campers will come out with “campfire guitar skills,” which is still very valuable, she said.
“If you learn three or four chords on guitar, you can play literally thousands of songs,” Greenberg said.
The camp is for students in grades 4 through 12. It will run every day from July 18 to 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The camp will be hosted at TrestleStreet, a music and art community space on Woodruff Street in Saranac Lake. Inside TrestleStreet’s rooms, there are instruments all over — horns, banjos, guitars, ukuleles, pianos, drums and numerous percussive instruments.
Half of the 30 slots available for the camp have been filled, but there are still 15 left.
Registration for the camp costs $125. Greenberg said two community members have reached out to offer scholarships to pay the way for anyone who can’t afford it. There are three of these scholarships available.
At the end of the camp they’ll have a song to perform at the Third Thursday Art Walk on July 21, a showcase to perform for their parents, and ideally, Greenberg said, the passion to make music a lifelong endeavor.
Greenberg and her husband are from New Jersey. They bought a home in Saranac Lake before pandemic lockdowns began in 2020 and have split their time between the states since then.
She said she found so much art and music in Saranac Lake that she wants to make sure the next generation gets the skills and the drive to pick up those talents.
Greenberg has been playing piano and singing since she was 8 years old, around the same age as the youngest camp members will be. She said she’s lucky to have always had an outlet for it, whether that was through church productions, high school chorus or the rock bands she’s been in.
She always had a place to use her musical talents and believes that’s what kept her growing, studying and wanting to teach music.
“I found real world applications for my music,” Greenberg said. “That’s part of the goal of the camp, too, to ignite their passion for music but to also see real ways they can use music.”
The camp teachers are all certified in music education and come from around the Northeast.
Greenberg said Rebecca Saltzman, a choral music teacher at Simsbury High School in Connecticut, is “one of the best teachers I’ve ever seen.” Greenberg said Saltzman taught her daughter Abigail. Abby’s now a teacher at George Washington Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, because of Saltzman, Carolyn said, and will teach at the camp too.
Abigail is also bringing in two friends, musicians and fellow graduates from the University of Delaware — Nathan Bischoff and Alyssa Bernstein.
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