Article for Teachers’ Magazine

Cassa Musical Arts is Calgary’s premier summer school for the arts. There’s often a great deal of competition in the summer camp market but Cassa has long been the leader in high quality arts education in the summer months. The value of the arts in the education system isn’t always appreciated these days, but Cassa is proud to be the standard bearer and an unspoken advocate for quality arts education. 

Studies indicate that musical training for young children helps to develop language and reasoning skills. Exposure to music helps children to be able to visualize, forming mental pictures that can assist with critical thinking and organization. This also allows them to envisage a range of solutions to complex problems that they might encounter. Some studies link participation in music and drama to greater academic achievement in math, science, reading, and writing.

Like many aspects of the arts, music allows for excellent self-expression, but children studying music also learn how to study, working hard to make something the best that it can be. This is because they need to play notes accurately and be aware of the importance of timing when playing a piece. They learn how to achieve the best results, something that they can use in so many walks of life, not just in music. They also learn to take risks and deal with anxiety, particularly when performing in public.

Music helps children to develop self-discipline but also fosters teamwork and effective communication, whether in the classroom or when practicing, rehearsing, or performing with others. Music students also acquire maturity as they interact with adult teachers while learning their craft. Children that perform in front of an audience must be able to present themselves and have high levels of confidence and self esteem. Those dedicated to their music will undoubtedly meet others that share their goals and passions and develop enduring friendships and social connections. 

Cassa Musical Arts has provided quality fine arts education for more than twenty years to more than 5,000 students. Many of the participants in our camps return year after year and love the opportunity to spend time with their peers, sharing a mutual love of music and performance. Cassa’s camps and workshops are highly suitable both for advanced students or those at the beginning of their journey into artistic education.   

Cassa Piano takes place over five days for students ages ten to adult and our three-day Cassa Adult Piano for pianists over the age of 18 take place each July. In a highly supportive and fun environment participants explore a wide range of piano playing styles and techniques as they prepare to perform ensemble and solo repertoire pieces. There are also classes in interpretation, memorization, musical style, technique, and ways to overcome performance anxiety. Cassa Piano includes additional classes in art, choir, and improvisation and our featured composer for 2019 is Chopin. Cassa Pedagogy is designed for those interested in teaching piano.

Cassa’s highly experienced teachers include Linda Kundert, Janice Dahlberg, Joseph Fridman, Dr. Laura Bell, Eric Nyland, Karen King, Lorna MacLachlan, and Jennifer Aumentado. Cassa has also hosted many notable clinicians over the years, including Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff, Willard Schultz, and Dr. Andrew Hisey. In 2019, our clinician is Edwin Gnandt. Many of the high quality workshops that we have offered over the years are featured on our website. 

In addition to our piano camps and workshops, Cassa Musical takes place in early July. This provides the opportunity for high school students to be involved in a professional musical theatre production, including performing, costumes and make up, set design, and technical duties. Cassa has a partnership with Chinook Leaning Services and high school credits are available for participation in the program.

Cassa also offers programs for young students at the beginning of their artistic education. In Cassa Kids, our professional teachers provide an introduction to art, drama, movement, and music for children aged four to eight. Cassa Playwrights is a dramatic and fun-filled week in which children from eight to twelve learn how to write, rehearse, and perform their own unique play in just five days.

Cassa Musical Arts provides an extremely high level of professional instruction in a diverse range of artistic disciplines. Each summer students develop their skills in a supportive and non-competitive atmosphere and enhance their creativity. Cassa is proud to be the leading summer school for the arts, providing the very best quality of artistic education. Participants forge lasting friendships and Cassa’s camps consistently instill within our students a lifelong appreciation of the arts, providing them with essential skills to enable them to fully achieve their potential, whatever form that may take.

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