Can you believe school is just around the corner? Summer flew by, as it tends to do – it only really lasts a couple of months, and the time quickly dwindles when you account for travel, summer camps, and other obligations.

The brevity of Summer, however, also makes it the perfect time to switch from weekly practice plans to a more project based approach. Finding one or two big goals that you want to accomplish – be it a new song you’d like to learn or write, a new monologue, or a new dance you want to perfect – is an amazing way to spend your summer and gives you something to show for the months when school is not in session.

The key to project based learning is to make it fun, exciting, and focus on an area that students don’t necessarily have time to explore during the hustle of the school year. I personally took this approach this Summer and learned “Don’t Tell Me” by Madonna. It’s always been one of my favorite music videos and I really wanted to add it to my catalog…this Summer was an excellent time to explore, set, and achieve that goal!

Summer is a fantastic time to re-evaluate where your student is and where they would like to be; to think about questions like – what do I really enjoy? Is there something else I want to be learning, maybe another instrument or facet of performance? What would I like to learn more about?

It is so important to build in time to define and revisit what our students find exciting and intriguing about music and what their passions are. Supporting students’ interests and developing a springboard for their exploration is crucial to their development both as an artist and as a person. I encourage everyone to pose these questions to their students this summer, set a project based goal or two, and have them communicate their desires and goals with their teachers – DAMPA is here to support dreams! Lets make them come true together!