Mary WilliamsPiano Studio

Grace Goes to Camp

piano student
This essay was written by rising sixth grader, Grace K.

Over the last week, I was at a camp called Summer Sonatina. This is a piano sleep away camp in Bennington, Vermont. You wake up at 7:30am and practice for three hours a day, every day, except for on weekends, on which you are allowed to sleep in an hour and practice only two hours. It may sound like a lot, but it feels like nothing, especially since you have lessons on most days. There’s a piano in every room, except for bathrooms and the game room. There are even pianos in the dorm rooms! But that means you’re not allowed in your room during your off shift, which is kind of irritating sometimes.

In your spare time, you go to either the game room, a room with air hockey, foosball, and ping-pong, along with a cabinet full of games such as Jenga and Clue, or to their backyard, an enormous grassy area good for soccer, dodge ball, or just hanging out. You also have the opportunity to take place in other activities such as arts and crafts, swimming, master classes, composition, ukulele, and historical hikes, such as the one to Robert Frost’s grave, which I took part in. On Wednesdays there is a movie night, on Thursdays you go into town (wonderful bookstore and chocolate shop), on Friday we had a dance party, though that might have been a one-time thing, and on Saturdays you get to make an ice-cream sundae. If you get homesick, you also get 10 minutes of e-mail time a day. I lost a few pounds while there, too. There are two performance opportunities a week, two master classes, which are live streamed onto their website so your parents can watch it, and also a piano performance you attend.

This experience improved my playing a lot. I really enjoyed it and became very close with my roommates. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, musical and otherwise, and have fun! It really is like they say: a grand and upright experience.