High School Electives

Interlochen Arts Camp offers elective classes that provide opportunities for enrichment and exploration in a variety of art forms. The number of elective options available to each student is dependent on their program major schedule. Not all electives are available to every student, based on their major requirements. Please note, classes do have set capacities and do fill up quickly. Electives are not available for some program majors.

College Application Bootcamp (3-week Course)
This elective will take an in depth look at the college application process. Students will develop an organizational system for tracking requirements and deadlines, begin the Common Application, craft a college essay, and understand the process for requesting transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Creative Writing (3-week course)
This course will offer high school students an opportunity to explore and hone their creative writing skills. Throughout the session, students can expect a combination of imaginative writing exercises, short reading activities, informal discussion and free writing time. Genres covered will range from poetry to fiction to dramatic writing. Laptop computers are not used for this elective.

Film Survey (3-week course)
This course will offer students an opportunity to explore the history of the art of film - from its birth to its modern existence as a staple of entertainment. Throughout the session, students can expect a combination of film screenings, critical discussions of innovative films and groundbreaking filmmakers, and an introduction to tools of the trade.

General Dance (3-week course)
Classes explore dance as an art form and are open to experienced and inexperienced students. This class contains elements of ballet, modern and jazz, and initiating a lifelong source of joy and exercise. A complete listing of required dance attire and supplies will be included in the student handbook and posted online. All dance students are expected to be well groomed; long hair must be worn up and off the neck. Pointe work is not a component of this course.
Introduction to Acting (3- or 6-week course)
The course is designed for non-majors who have an interest in exploring the fundamentals of preparation for theatrical performance. Students will engage in voice and movement exercises, improvisation, theatre games and limited work with scripted material.
Introduction to Drawing (3-week course)
This course will provide an overview of drawing as an art form. Introduction to Drawing is designed for the non-visual arts major who is interested in learning foundational drawing skills.

Weights & Conditioning(3-week course)
This class is designed to help keep student artists that are interested in getting in shape or staying in shape through the summer and their time here at Interlochen.  Students will use the Dennison Center as a guided program to increase strength and physical conditioning.  We will round this out with guided yoga practice on Saturdays to emphasize the importance of body balance.

Yoga & Pilates (3-week course)
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that helps build flexibility and long, lean muscles, strength and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing to relieve stress and allow adequate oxygen flow to muscles, developing a strong core, and improving coordination and balance. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. Students should bring form fitting, comfortable clothes that can stay in place when moving and stretching.

Music Electives

(All classes are 6 weeks unless otherwise noted)

Advanced Composition
This class is open to non-composition majors with some experience notating musical ideas who are ready to learn and apply new skills and techniques in a project-oriented structure. This course will emphasize writing for instruments and voices, for in-class readings and performances. Students may repeat this course as topics will change each summer, and are welcome to bring completed projects for feedback. Required supplies include personal headphones, pencils, block eraser, ruler, and staff paper; class work is done at electronic keyboards with pencils and staff paper.
Prerequisite: Knowledge of music theory and notation. Three or more years of private study of major instrument.

Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change (movement) habits in everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving more energy for all activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a reeducation of the mind and body.
Prerequisite: None

Beginning Composition

Designed for students who have little or no experience in music composition, Beginning Composition will introduce basic compositional procedures, including building motives and melodies, textures, form, harmonic languages, scales/modes, accompaniment styles, text setting, and notation skills. Interest, skill level, and practicality will determine instrumentation of individual projects. Students are expected to provide personal headphones, pencils, block eraser, ruler, and staff paper; class work is done at electronic keyboards with pencils and staff paper.
Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of music theory and notation; three or more years of private study of major instrument.

Beginning Jazz Piano 
This class is an introduction to the jazz style of piano playing.  Students will learn jazz chords, voicing, and improvisation.  
Prerequisite: Piano majors only

Beginning Organ
A beginning class in the fundamentals of organ-playing.
Prerequisite: Three years or more of piano study and ability to play Bach Two-part Inventions and a Clementi Sonatina. Piano majors only

Students have the opportunity to join either the World Youth Honor Choir or Interlochen Singers, based on a brief audition. These ensembles perform exciting repertoire from a wide range of musical eras and styles. Auditions will last approximately five minutes and will include a brief vocal scale exhibiting range and quality. Faculty might also ask for sight-reading and melodic memory tests. 
Prerequisite: None

Computer Music
This course is an introduction to synthesizers and computer music. Students will use Digital Performer and Native Instruments software running on Macintosh computers to explore the fundamentals of composition and synthesis with emphasis on creative projects and sound design.
Prerequisite: Basic music reading skills. Keyboard skills are helpful, but not necessary. Students should bring their own headphones or earbuds.

Film Scoring (3-week course, session 2 only)
In this course, students will discover the broad scope of possible interactions between music and visual media. Students will learn temping, editing, composing, music rights, and the business of composition for media. Hands-on application of concepts and tutorials guide the student to understand the powerful combination of music with film. Students learn how to strengthen emotional connections to media in this creative collaborative effort. Working with industry standard tools, students will compose original music for use in a film. The process of writing music to accompany visual media will be demystified through the hands-on application of the concepts presented.

Jazz Big Band (3-week course, session 1 only)
Participants in the Jazz Big Band focus on stylistic interpretation, improvisation, group interaction and sight-reading skills. Students who play trumpet, trombone, saxophones, guitar, piano, bass, or drum set and are participating in other ensembles are encouraged to audition. Participation may satisfy the chamber music requirement. The Jazz Big Band performs twice during the first three-week session.
Prerequisite: Audition required at the beginning of camp

Jazz Improvisation & Performance Workshop
Students who are proficient on an instrument or voice and know major and minor scales will explore the creative art of jazz improvisation and learn some of the skills involved in jazz performance: swing and Latin jazz rhythms, the roles of instruments in accompaniment, melodic interpretation, blues inflections and melodic language, and jazz theory and harmony. Students will have a chance to play in class.

Music Literature
The course presents a review of representative styles, forms, genres and composers in historical context ranging from Medieval through contemporary periods. Emphasis is placed upon structured and comparative listening and elementary analytical techniques. Music supplies may cost up to $35.
Prerequisite: None

Music Theory
Instructors will take a comprehensive approach to music theory, including the study of music’s building blocks (melody, rhythm, harmony, form, timbre) as well as the development of analytical, listening, reading and creative skills. Students will be placed into one of three levels of study based on experience and level of preparation. Music supplies may cost up to $50. Students are divided into three levels based upon the results of a comprehension exam at the beginning of Camp.
Prerequisite: None

Students will study the principles of instrumentation and orchestration through in-class demonstrations, listening, analysis of important literature, and preparation of scores for various ensembles for in-class readings. Music supplies may cost up to $50.
Prerequisite: Music Theory or equivalent experience

Piano Pedagogy
This course provides high school pianists with training in teaching their own beginning piano students. Topics covered will include beginning piano methods; technique, rhythm and reading for the young student; how to find and choose repertoire; how to develop a teaching studio; and group teaching, among others.  Students will also be given the opportunity to observe private and group teaching techniques with Interlochen's experienced faculty.
Prerequisite: Piano majors only

Piano Seminar
The study and analysis of keyboard music with a focus on prominent composer techniques, forms, and their idiomatic styles.
Prerequisite: Piano majors only

Piano Tuning and Repair
Explore the mechanisms and craft of piano technology! The art of piano tuning and repair can become a lifelong study - enriching in musicianship, craftsmanship, and business.  This elective covers topics including the science of acoustics; construction and history of tuning systems; mechanisms of modern and historical instruments; and techniques of tuning, maintenance, and repair.  The course is conducted in both classroom and lab environments; tools are provided. 

Private Lessons (3- or 6-week course)
Students who are proficient on an instrument and desire to continue private study during the camp session may do so as an elective option if their schedule permits. Lessons are 50 minutes each and individual instruction is available in classical piano and all band and orchestral instruments only. Additional cost is $115 per week.
Prerequisite: Three years previous study on instrument.