Over the summer, the SMUS campuses have been far from quiet. There have been students living in residence, either working on their English language skills or taking part in some of the many programs on offer: the summer academies have been a great success — only two spots in the musical theatre program — and there are still some spaces in the last of the summer day programs.
Starting on Monday, August 15, will be Musical in a Week II, a popular course from musician Paul O’Brien. After a successful Spring Break run, he is returning to help a small group of students discover their own creativity. The program has students aged 8-11 collaborate on a story and song-writing, then learning their parts and presenting a final performance at the end of the week.
“It’s really a chance for students to explore their own artistic talents,” says Paul. “It’s a combination of performance and finding their own voices.”
Paul regularly visits schools to lead students in song-writing, but he feels this camp is unique because of the way students can use it to express surprisingly complex ideas. It’s also flexible enough so that students can choose how much they want to participate, either taking on a lead role or contributing more to the writing aspect.
“It’s an fun program, but they also accomplish something,” says Paul. “It gives them a great sense of achievement to put together a show that no one on the planet has ever heard.”
Also running August 15-19 is a camp from art teacher Corinna Zimmerman, where students learn to create their own designs and silkscreen them onto fabric. The young artists will spend a few days learning about composition before perfecting their technique, which they can then use to create their own original t-shirt. Students can also bring in other items to add their design to, and they can collaborate and swap designs with their fellow students. Anyone registered in the quilting course, also run by Corinna, from August 22-26, can use their silkscreen printing to create unique pieces of fabric to use in their quilt.