Symphonic studies at Florida State


Photo courtesy of Laura Bomeny

Students of the FSU Piano Camp pose during their final performance.

The Florida State University Summer Music Camps provide a home away from home for student musicians every year. This year, the programs showed students new perspectives on music that not only gave them room for technical growth, but for imaginative growth as well.

“This was an amazing opportunity. The professors are fantastic and they will really change you as a musician,” keyboard sophomore Catherine Zeng said. “I enjoyed broadening my mind and seeing music in new lights.”

Each day of camp was very structured. Students followed a daily schedule that allowed plenty of time for learning and practice.

“We would leave our dorms at 7:45 to have theory, practice for two hours, and have piano literature class,” Zeng said. “After lunch, we’d have a master class, more practice, and then dinner.”

There were plenty of opportunities to let loose and have fun on top of all the hard work.

“After dinner, there would be a choice of individual practice time or an evening activity, like seeing a movie or going to a concert,” keyboard sophomore Laura Bomeny said. “Over the weekend, we got to go to the Tallahassee mall and a park there we played Frisbee and did other activities.”

At the end of the two week period, the campers put on a recital to demonstrate everything they had learned.

“On our last day at camp, we got to put on a recital; I played my duet piece and my solo piece,” Bomeny said. “Before this performance, I got to work with the private teacher, perform it in front of the class, play it for a nursing home, and I got a master class, so I felt really prepared.”

Despite all the practice, the end of course performance proved to be a challenge for the students due to the skill level expected of them.

“This performance was the most difficult thing I ever had to pull off. Basically I learned a new Prokofiev Sonata in three weeks and on a whim I decided to play it for the recital,” Zeng said. “The night before the recital, my piece was still not memorized. I sat in my dorm and read my music until 1:00 a.m. the day of the recital and memorized my piece.”

Overall, students who attended the FSU Summer Music Camps found their stay to be worthwhile; so much was demanded of them by experts who taught them to see their music with a different point of view.

“This camp was truly amazing. We had opportunities to take private lessons from extremely talented teachers. During the master classes, whether you were playing or were watching someone else, you learned so much,” Bomeny said. “I would definitely recommend this camp because it’s such a great musical experience, and it’s so much fun.”