2019 Music-Science-Drama Summer Program

DATE: July 22nd-August 23rd

TIME: 8:45AM-4:45PM

LOCATION: Saint John's In the Village, 215 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

 AGE REQUIREMENT: (ages 12 and above)


  • 9:00am-11:00am Chorus focusing on polyphony

  • 11:00am-11:45am lunch break

  • 11:45am-12:15am Journal writing

  • 12:20am-2:10pm Classical science, geometric and astronomical construction

  • 2:15pm-2:30pm Break

  • 2:35pm – 4:45pm Opera camp

AGE REQUIREMENT:  Grades 6-12 (ages 12 and above)

The 5-week 2019 Foundation summer program will focus on three specific elements—music, science and drama.  

No specific background in any of these fields are required for participation in this program.  However, an inquisitive mind is a necessity.  



Understanding polyphonic textures in chorus:  campers are asked to participate in learning choral masterworks spanning four centuries, which involves the weaving of multiple voices (more than 2 voices, often 3-4 voices) in and out of each other.  


The Science portion will encourage and equip the campers to determine for themselves whether and how there exists a pre-established harmony between "science" and "art". The topical outline of the five weeks is as follows:


WEEK ONE: Introduce campers 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. Campers 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.”

WEEK TWO: will introduce campers 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 campers’ classroom construction of the instrument.


The campers 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.

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 campers 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 campers will be challenged to reconstruct the model of the solar system as imagined by Kepler, and will be encouraged to discover 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. Campers 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 campers 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.

week will focus on a new approach to musical method, not "musical theory". The instructors will utilize an interactive pedagogy, including singing, through which the campers will become acquainted with the device of irony in music, and musical ironies for themselves, as ideas.


Western Classical Opera was reconstructed on the principles governing the Greek Tragedies—bringing together all elements of the arts—story telling, acting, movements and vocal music.  This portion of the summer program takes from the morning choral practices and extending it to a staged presentation of a musical drama. This year, the presentation is Felix Mendelssohn’s “A Midsmmer Night’s Dream”.

Campers will participate in realizing all aspects of the presentation, including set design, costume design, props design.

At the end of the 5 weeks, campers will perform the complete production: Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

COMMITMENT: $500. $50 application fee upon submission of application (which will be applied towards camp fee). Installment payment or financial aid is available (Please contact Ms. Yen 203.441.7488)