FSMA Curriculum


At Fulton, we have developed a robust, diverse curriculum
that pushes students to think more holistically
about their music study.

Private Lessons

Each student receives two weekly lessons from their teacher. With faculty hailing from DePaul University School of Music, Music Institute of Chicago, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, and more, you know that your 4 weeks of study will take you far!


Performance Classes

Students have regular opportunities to gain valuable performance experience by playing in front of peers and faculty. They not only receive constructive feedback but learn how to give it themselves. 

Technique Classes

Group technique classes focus on concepts that apply to all students. Topics include etudes, left-hand placement, bow technique, and the historical trends in playing and teaching.



After every practice hour, all students gather with faculty to journal about how their hour went and receive feedback from faculty on how to improve their next hour. At the end of each day, the whole festival meets to talk about general themes that have come up during the journaling sessions: efficiency, self-discipline, self-esteem, motivation, etc. Students benefit from the accountability and camaraderie of a practice community, and faculty can see what areas to target in each student’s lessons.

Zoom Practicing

Practicing is an art unto itself. Faculty monitor all scheduled practice hours during the festival. They help keep students focused and accountable, and are on-hand to address any questions or frustrations that come up in the moment.

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Through audition, students are selected to perform in public Zoom masterclasses as well as internal masterclasses. Masterclasses are an integral part of any student’s education. Both those playing and those observing gain new perspectives on technique and musicality, and our Q&A sessions allow students to ask questions about life as a musician.


We believe it is important to be a strong communicator not only musically but in writing as well. Students write essays after each week's masterclasses. Faculty provide constructive criticism for each one, encouraging students to think more deeply about what they can relate to their own playing even while just observing.



At FSMA, we help foster a culture of collaboration by pairing students up for mentoring/coaching sessions. Older students gain valuable teaching experience, and younger students form closer connections with peers they look up to. After each mentoring session, students and faculty gather to share feedback. Both mentors and mentees gain valuable insights into their teaching and learning from the observing faculty as well as from each other.

Music Theory

The student body is divided into multiple music theory levels and receives targeted instruction to better understand the nuts and bolts of music. In 2021, some students took an in-depth look at a Beethoven sonata while other students solidified their understanding of intervals and chords. 


Instrument Classes

We believe that it takes more than playing to make a great artist. Instrument experts and luthiers give weekly classes about instrument history and maintenance.

Chamber Music

Students are matched into small chamber groups to gain valuable ensemble experience. Faculty rotate through each ensemble, guiding their rehearsal technique and providing helpful hints.

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String Orchestra

New to FSMA 2022 was a 2-week string orchestra intensive. The ensemble and leadership skills learned through large ensemble settings are key to a musician's education.

Community Performances

We believe in the importance of music in the lives of all. Through weekly auditions, students are selected to perform in outreach concerts for the community. Not only do students gain important performance experience but they also see the joy that their music brings to others.


2022 COVID Safety Information

The safety of our students and faculty has been our highest priority during the planning of our summer academy. We will take the following measures to ensure the well-being of all. 

  • Single-occupancy rooms for students staying on-campus

  • Commuting option for students who would prefer to live at home

  • Online-only option for students who would prefer to be fully online

  • COVID vaccinations and boosters required for all in-person students and faculty who are eligible*

  • High-quality masks required at all times, except when presenting

  • Social distancing whenever possible

  • Regular COVID testing 

We will be closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic as Summer 2022 approaches and may adjust our safety protocols accordingly.

*Medical and religious exemptions to the vaccine and booster mandate must be approved by both Fulton and Loyola University. Please submit a doctor's note with your application or to fsma@fultonmusicsociety.org. We will keep the contents of the doctor's note confidential and only share it with our Board and the necessary Loyola staff for purposes of review.



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