2018 Summer Program

DATES: July 9 -August 10; AGE REQUIREMENT: Grades 6-12 (ages 12 and above)


The 5-week 2018 Foundation summer program will focus on "the principle of discovery", and the unity between Classical music and science, in an intensive five-week course of study and experiment. No specific background in mathematics, geometry or music is required for this--only an inquiring mind.

Every student in the program is required to join the daily two-hour morning chorus, learning choral masterworks spanning four centuries with a focus on understanding polyphonic textures. The students will have the goal of performing in a concert at the end of the summer program. (Additional section work may be provided in the evenings for those students interested in improving singing skills, upon request.)

The afternoon program of science and music will encourage and equip the students to determine for themselves whether and how there exists apre-established harmony between the thought processes underlying what are popularly treated as separate: "science" and "art". The topical outline of the five weeks is as follows:

                 Building of the platonic solids and small scale stellations 

                Building of the platonic solids and small scale stellations 


WEEK ONE The first week will introduce students to the works and method of thinking of Plato, as portrayed in his “Meno” dialogue, including the “thought experiment” of doubling the area of a square. Students will be challenged to reproduce the discovery made by Plato’s original character, and to use that discovery for additional experiments, including the physical construction of the five unique geometric figures termed “the Platonic solids.”

                        Students construct Pentagramma Mirificum

                       Students construct Pentagramma Mirificum


will introduce students to the world of “astrogation”—the exploration of Astronomical navigation, and the solar system, first rendered scientifically intelligible by Johannes Kepler. The use of the astrolabe for navigation, including the voyages of discovery of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and earlier, including but not limited to the Columbian expeditions, will not only be discussed but reproduced through the students’ classroom construction of the instrument.

The students will also be challenged to construct the methods of astronomical discovery that utilized polyhedra, stellations of polyhedra, and even, depending upon interest and time, as such ancient navigational devices as the Pentagramma Mirificum.

astrolabe 3.jpg

WEEK THREE will continue these investigations of constructive astronomy, and introduce the electromagnetic spectrum as a topic of discussion, through such examples as the Crab Nebula.  Reconstructing ancient astronomical instruments that tell us where we are, and how to measure the distance to another place without actually going there, will be attempted. These include instruments such as the quadrant, which measure the height of any celestial body above you; the sundial, to measure time and latitude; and the theodolite, which is to measure distance from object.





WEEK FOUR will introduce students to the musical and scientific discoveries made by Johannes Kepler, who demonstrated that the planets of our Solar System were arranged according to principles of Reason and Beauty. (The choral work done over

the prior three weeks is here utilized and established to be a necessary prerequisite for this scientific investigation.) The students will be challenged to reconstruct the model of the solar system as imagined by Kepler, and will be encouraged to discov-
er the principles behind Kepler’s "musical intervals" which defined his idea of the orbits of the planets.



WEEK FIVE will continue elements of the work of the first four weeks, in workshop format, in order to take up matters left unresolved in earlier sessions. Students will also be introduced to Albert Einstein, both as scientist and violinist. The instructors will utilize a now-established interactive pedagogy, including the principle of idea communication through choral singing, to acquaint students with the relationship between the design of crucial scientific experiments and the use of device of irony in music, to design thought experiments using musical ideas.

If you have any questions,  call us at 203-441-7488 or by email at seklebe@ffrcc.org‎.