Program Information

SUMMER ACADEMY: June 29th - July 21st, 2019
Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota

APPLICATION DEADLINE - Applications are being accepted on a rolling admission basis

Application Requirements:

  • Submit a recent video recording of 2 contrasting pieces that demonstrate musical and technical ability. String students must also submit a recording of two 3-octave major scales of applicant's choosing in half notes (quarter note = 60 BPM)

  • Completed Online Student Application

  • $50 Application Fee (non-refundable)

The Summer Academy places a strong focus on individualized learning and progress. With no orchestra component, each student is able to receive 2 hour-long private lessons & 2 chamber music coachings PER WEEK, as well as classes in Music Theory, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Improvisation, and others.

Every day, students have two designated hours of mandatory individual practice time and two hours of chamber music rehearsal, often with guidance from faculty and counselors. 

Fostering an immersive musical environment, students attend 3 faculty concerts with opportunities to observe their teachers' rehearsals, as they prepare for their own performances. Students learn how to listen and understand music through the Art of Listening presentation with our piano faculty Javor Bracic. 


Private Lessons

Private instruction lies at the heart of growth for every musician. As the key to the success for all of our students, two 60-min lessons are provided to every student each week. Students are given a minimum of 2 hours every day to prepare and practice the skills developed in their lessons in order to make immense leaps in their development during this short amount of time.


Chamber Music Coachings

Chamber Music provides students the opportunity to focus on honing their abilities as artists while learning the invaluable life lessons in communication and collaboration...all while exploring some of the greatest music ever written. Our faculty guide them on this journey by seeing them for 2 coachings per week. Then, the students are given time to explore in rehearsals.



Over the course of 3 weeks, students will have weekly solo and chamber group performance opportunities through weekly faculty studio classes, masterclasses, as well as 3 student concerts on and off campus.


Competitions & Awards

Students are able to compete in the Rushmore Music Festival's annual Chamber Music Competition. One student is chosen for Outstanding Achievement Award to receive scholarship to attend future season, as well an invitation to perform a work side-by-side with faculty on the Faculty Concert Series.


The Art of Listening

Piano Faculty Javor Bracic invites all students to participate in a performance and discussion of a piano masterpiece, guiding students through various listening techniques and interpretations.

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Music Theory

Music Theory serves as an important layer of foundation for all musicians. Summer Academy students receive five introductory Music Theory classes per week, honing in their ability to understand the meaning and structure behind a musical composition.


Dalcroze Eurhythmics

Through classes led by one of the leading instructors of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Dr. Michael Joviala, students will learn to embody and express their creativity while having fun learning valuable music communication skills.

The Dalcroze approach consists of three components: Eurhythmics, which teaches concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression through movement; Solfège, which develops an understanding of pitch, scale, and tonality through activities emphasizing aural comprehension and vocal improvisation; and Improvisation, which develops an understanding of form and meaning through spontaneous musical creation using movement, voice and instruments.

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Acting/Public Speaking

For the first time at the 2019 Summer Academy students will have one week of engaging, interactive classes with Black Hills Community Theatre’s Artistic Director, Zach Curtis.