"What are the unexpected benefits of participating in a virtual summer institute?''
The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the Heifetz International Summer Institute's 2020 faculty members and students to find out …
Atar Arad, Heifetz Institute Viola Faculty:
"1. The actual success of a virtual institute (due to its leadership’s huge amount of optimism and countless hours of preparation) ... 2. The pleasure of teaching for two weeks wearing shorts"
David Geber, Heifetz Institute Chamber Music Coach:
"Virtual coaching of nineteen string quartets was initially challenging, but over two weeks, student learning accelerated dramatically ... the quartets' aural skills developed rapidly from absolute necessity, resulting in examples of razor-sharp virtual ensemble playing ... many new and improved skill sets will impact both recorded and live performances in the future"
Daniel Pettrow, Director of Performance and Communication Training at The Heifetz International Music Institute:
"One of the major benefits of participating in a virtual summer institute is the ability to inhabit a digital space that tends to allow for more uninhibited participation ... I've observed that a majority of students are discovering a greater freedom of expression within this online environment"
Anabella Lenzu, Performance and Communication Training Faculty:
"This is my 3rd time teaching at The Heifetz Institute and I am celebrating 30th year as a dance educator ... I was highly surprised by the focus, commitment, and enthusiasm of all the students I taught virtually this year ... being at home made all of us share our vulnerability, our private spaces, and our art in a deeper way!"
Juliet Denman, 15, from Telluride, Colorado:
"The style of music that I’m so passionate about is old fashioned, and doesn’t require the internet or even electricity ... but the fact that I’m able to communicate in depth with my musical idols across the world makes it the best use of the internet that I have ever experienced! ... It's obvious how much everyone cares about our safety and it's amazing how warm the connections are, despite being through the internet"
Yeh Chun Lin, 20, from Tainan City, Taiwan:
“The benefit that I thought is really interesting ... My family and I always plan to have a small trip every weekend ... Because of the virtual summer institute so I could bring my laptop and instrument with me everywhere for my classes ... I’m really happy to have a different summer this year. Thank you Heifetz 2020!''
Bobby Park, 14, from New York:
"I got to learn that I could communicate and build friendship even though the camp was virtual ... I think it is essential and crucial to know that it is not me or anybody, but we are a team trying to make Heifetz Virtual Institute a happy place and a learning opportunity for all people ... The most important thing that I learned is that there must be a trusting bond and patience in order to make any accomplishments with fellow camp students, teachers, and faculty"
Vincent Garcia-Hettinger, 15, from San Antonio, Texas:
"The virtual platform gives us more flexibility in our schedule, more opportunities to record, and more exposure to music software such as Garage Band ... The Heifetz Institute has done a lot of great preparation to make this virtual Institute a really great experience for all of us"
Keshav Srinivasan, 16, from Austin, TX:
"I believe the flexibility and freedom of a virtual summer institute is really unique, as I am able to make great music and learn so much from the comfort of my home, which is a refreshing experience"
Adam Savage, 16, from Port Saint Lucie, FL:
"Being able to spend quality time with family while being able to participate in music learning and performance ... Recording (As well as all that goes with it) has also been very beneficial, because recording In a studio is a very important aspect of a musician’s life"
Angela Rubin, 21, from Rochester, NY:
"I am very impressed with how immersed I feel in the program, even while sitting in my home! ... I am learning from and still experiencing the core in person components of the summer festival ... It has been very enjoyable to be a part of a quartet, even while collaborating virtually!"
Clara Saitkoulov, 21, from Paris, France:
"I never could have imagined such an amazing experience at the virtual 2020 Heifetz International Music Institute ... In addition to the incredible private lessons we get twice a week, the communication training is something I am getting a lot from ... Stage presence class, drama class, movement class, talking in public class: these are actually topics that we actually don’t discuss in Music Conservatories ... Moreover, the Institute is doing an incredible job making us feel we belong to a strong community even through technology"
Loxea Hipsky, 16, from Guilford, Indiana:
"Because of the way that we are putting together chamber music pieces, I have learned so much this summer about how to splice together and edit recordings ... I think that this is a valuable skill to have and I would not have had the opportunity to develop it during an in person camp"
Sofiya Kyrylyuk-Catron, 21, from Kiev, Ukraine:
"Attending a virtual music institute has really helped expand my technological knowledge in the world of recording ... Nowadays, it’s so important to put yourself out there on social media, and recordings are a vital part of this ... Being able to record and edit yourself helps the musician be more in control over the final outcome"
Ross McIntosh, 21, from Laramie, WY:
"My ear has improved immensely in a way that only lots of recording, listening back, and being very picky about what I hear could make it - I'm learning to listen to myself in new ways"
Alexandra D’Amico, 23, from Boston, MA:
"I’ve gotten so much more comfortable using recording equipment and software ... In lessons and studio classes, we are also experimenting with tools that will help us perform more effectively through a screen ... Many of these performance techniques will also help us be more convincing performers when the concert halls open again"
Alec Tonno, 23, from Chatham, NJ:
"Putting together chamber music using GarageBand and layering the parts has unexpectedly increased my awareness of how the parts interact and who is supposed to be lining up with whom, as I cannot see the person and can only hear their recording"
Pierce Wang, 17, from Fremont, California:
"One of the benefits that I did not expect was the ease of participation in the Heifetz Symposiums ... While normally I would be quite nervous about talking in the physical space, I am much more comfortable online (partly because I go to an online school) ... In addition the chamber experience has been very intense but also very (and perhaps unexpectedly) rewarding"
Joseph Mostwin, 17, from Baltimore, MD:
"Taking part in the Heifetz Virtual Institute this summer has been a wonderful experience so far ... Lessons with amazing teachers feel just as intimate and impactful, and the various performing opportunities that the Institute provides for us are not only helpful, but enjoyable as well"
Jacob Shin, 18, from Fort Lee, NJ:
"While technology can curtail some effects of the social isolation that’s resulted from this pandemic and allow us to access resources from the comfort of our homes, one is still required to maintain a certain level of discipline and communication in order to make their time worthwhile at Heifetz"
Sophia Molina, 17, from Miami:
"Participating in a virtual summer institute has completely changed my perspective on music ... When attending rehearsals and recording virtual concerts for chamber music, one must focus on the bigger picture rather than getting caught up on all the little details ... We have had to adjust the way we phrase the music in order to still tell a complete story and engage the audience, but without the ability to adapt to one another and execute every single phrase marking that is written in the music, due to the nature of technology, that takes away the extra sparkle that is found only one live performances ... Attending this camp has made me realize that virtual performances can still be magical and have that extra sparkle, as long as you learn to adapt and work with the tools that you are given"
Carlos Rafael Martinez Arroyo, 21, from Córdoba, Spain:
"To have the feeling that you belong in that environment is such an exciting thing, since the sense of Community and the level and care of everything is excellent"
William Johnson, 15, from Issaquah, WA:
"Some of the unexpected benefits I met with were mainly to do with online collaboration ... When doing this, I really had to listen to others, as well as learn the score better and it has really helped me understand what I am playing on a deeper level!"
Haena Lee, 20, from Cochrane, Alberta, Canada:
"One of the unexpected benefits that I got during the virtual institute is that I gained knowledge to work with some of the technologies such recordings of videos or audios, that is not only useful for right now but in the future as well ... By learning the tools of technology it will help me to prepare and present myself better through the media"
Rafael Rock, 18, from Los Angeles, California:
"The Virtual Institute has given me a unique opportunity to connect and collaborate with my peers around the world and gain experience in recording music through an exclusively online platform"
Tal McGee, 24, from Spring, TX:
"Heifetz supplies many helpful resources for learning during this time. This online festival has provided an intense musical environment from the safety of my home during this difficult time"
Bianca Ciubancan, 14, from Chicago, Illinois:
"I am very happy to be a part of the Heifetz virtual summer institute ... There are many benefits I encounter, such as becoming savvier with tech-related subjects ... And of course, there are unlimited benefits of the musical aspects of the camp ... I get to work with and learn from wonderful teachers who expand my musical abilities ... I learn from my peers through chamber music, which is quite different ... Yet, it still enhances the learning experience ... The communication classes have really helped me to deal with nerves and to just be aware of my body and feelings ... All in all, Heifetz is not only developing my musical skills but is also turning me into a better person"
Olena Kaspersky, 19, from Los Angeles:
"I never knew how much I could improve not only as an ensemble player but also as a soloist with the technological skills I have learned at Heifetz"
Sophia Torres, 18, from Miami Beach:
"I really didn't expect the sense of community that I’ve felt so far this summer ... It was hard to imagine feeling connected to others over a screen, but the community that the Heifetz Institute offers is completely undeniable"
Eunha Kim, 19, from Campbell, California:
"Though joining a virtual festival initially seemed detached compared to a physical camp, the global communion of students and faculty from 9 different time zones makes this festival unique ... It makes it easier getting up at 6:30 AM for a studio class knowing that the immense talent and musical wisdom from all over the world will inspire you during this difficult, lonely time"
Steven Baloue, 20, from Chicago, IL:
"Learning how to record different types of video and audio projects and sharing them and collaborating with people on other sides of the country or the world has been much more interesting than I originally thought"
Chieh yu Chung, 15, from Taoyuan, Taiwan:
"At first I was afraid that my English was not good enough and I couldn’t communicate with others smoothly ... After several practices, although I still didn’t speak very well, I gradually became more confident because the teachers and classmates in Heifetz are all really really nice ... Not only don’t they blame me, but also patiently teach me! So I love Heifetz Music Institute very much!"