At Fulton, we have developed a robust, diverse curriculum
that pushes students to think more holistically
about their music study.
Each student receives two weekly lessons from their teacher. With faculty hailing from Oberlin Conservatory, 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!
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.
Group technique classes focus on concepts that apply to all students. Topics include etudes, left-hand placement, bow technique, pedaling, 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.
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.
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.
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. FSMA faculty and guests also give classes on a range of topics related to their musical experiences.
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.
All string students will participate in string orchestra during the full 4 weeks. The ensemble and leadership skills learned through large ensemble settings are key to a musician's education.
New to FSMA 2023, our choral program will bring both string and piano students together for a musical experience outside their primary instruments. Through choir, students will deepen the connections between music theory concepts and music-making.
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.
Students who are rising college sophomores and above may choose to add on the Orchestral Institute program, which will take place two evenings per week. These supplemental classes will specifically focus on the orchestral audition and performance process and be taught by both FSMA and guest orchestral faculty. The Orchestral Institute is open to students who wish to pursue an orchestral career, or who look forward to participating in serious community orchestras throughout their lives.