An important part of an artist’s development is creative exploration of other areas beyond their chosen discipline. This focus can help a student build new skills that indirectly compliment their artistic knowledge base, while also providing an opportunity to learn more about themselves and their interests. A student’s instructional program at Blue Lake is completed by the choice of a minor.
Camp Bernstein (Junior Camp)
In addition to daily recreation and free time, Bernstein campers also participate in a minor class. The minor class introduces campers to a new discipline through creative projects, games, lessons, and group activities. All Bernstein campers are required to take a minor, and there is no additional fee for the course.
The Art minor provides students the opportunity to explore their own creativity through visual art. Activities might include projects such as drawing, painting, ceramics, fibers, mixed-media, working with natural materials, and collaborative works, allowing campers to exercise their individual creativity while making cool stuff at camp!
Vocal skills help to improve the musicianship of instrumentalists at any level. The Choir minor provides students an introduction to vocal music in a small ensemble setting. Instruction in vocal production, diction, sight-singing, and general musicianship will be emphasized as the group explores introductory two and three-part choral works.
The Theater minor offers a series of mini-workshops in acting and other basic elements of theater as an art form. Each class will help students develop skills in vocal production, movement, improvisation, and ensemble work. This course is designed for students new to theater and emphasizes playfulness, exploration, creativity, collaborating with others, and fun!
The Intro to Jazz minor introduces student musicians to Jazz, a uniquely American art form. Students will learn about musical concepts and styles unique to jazz, as well as the fundamentals of jazz improvisation. The legacy of Jazz history will be explored as students learn to identify its many styles including blues, ragtime, swing, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, free jazz, fusion, and other trends. Open to all instruments, students also have the opportunity to experiment musically as they explore elements of jazz improvisation and other musical techniques at the heart of all Jazz genres.
In the World Music minor, students discover a variety of ethnic, cultural, and indigenous music from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Students will listen, analyze, discuss, experiment with and sample different cultural styles and influences from around the world as well as our own back yard. Students will gain an understanding of where this music comes from, what it looks like, its history and roots, and how much fun it is to play!
This nature studies minor allows students to experience the natural resources of the beautiful Manistee National Forest. Students learn about the variety of plants and animals that make Blue Lake their home, as well as what they can do to help preserve our natural wonders. Blue Lake’s forest and lakeside trails provide students with a perfect outdoor classroom for extensive exploration, including the ongoing quest for a Sasquatch sighting.
Central Camp Minors
While the majority of Central Camp students choose a minor, campers who do not enroll in a minor class are supervised in structured activities during that period which include camp crafts, group projects, hikes, or individual practice. All campers, regardless of schedule, have additional time for rest, relaxation, store, and recreation later in the afternoon. The fee for Central Camp minors is $98 for ten class sessions.
Students have fun while learning, writing, and exchanging chord-style songs associated with the tradition of American camping. These tunes are best enjoyed while hanging out on a starry summer night with friends around a warm campfire. All levels of ability are welcome. Students should have basic familiarity with tuning their own guitar and reading chord diagrams. Blue Lake does not provide instruments; campers must bring their own guitar.
The Creative Writing minor introduces students to techniques for sharpening their short fiction and poetry writing skills. Students will work on short, fun writing assignments in a writing workshop format, receiving feedback on their creations from the instructor as well as their classmates. At the end of the session, campers publish their writing pieces in a class magazine that they may take home. This minor is not available for Creative Writing majors.
The nature studies minor allows students to experience the natural resources of the beautiful Manistee National Forest. Students learn about the variety of plants and animals that make Blue Lake their home, as well as what they can do to help preserve our natural wonders. Blue Lake’s forest and lakeside trails provide students with a perfect outdoor classroom for extensive exploration.
The leadership minor introduces campers to basic concepts of leadership through participation in group activities, discussions, and reflections. In the context of servant leadership, students will increase self-awareness and their understanding of others’ perspectives in order to become more effective leaders themselves. Campers are challenged to think about leading from a young artist’s perspective with the hope that they can use what they’ve learned at Blue Lake to further inspire, influence, and impact their home arts groups and community.
All campers, regardless of their schedule or minor choice, have camp-wide recreation hour after the instructional day. This minor provides an additional hour of recreation. Campers participating in the Sports & Rec minor have the opportunity to participate in a variety of team-oriented activities such as basketball, flag football, soccer, volleyball, and ultimate Frisbee. Additional group activities include non-traditional games aimed at fostering sportsmanship and friendly competition, all while having great fun and a few laughs. Daily activities will vary throughout the session.
Taught by professional broadcasters at Blue Lake Public Radio, this course will introduce students to radio programming, music selection, broadcast equipment, producing and editing programs, and remote recording. Using equipment in one of the broadcast studios, participants will record their own voices doing introductions, announcements, and station identification.
Students receive group and individual instruction on a new instrument in one of four areas: Woodwind (flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone), Brass (trumpet, F horn, trombone), String (violin and cello), or Percussion (mallets, snare, and accessories). Students have an opportunity to work with all instruments within the selected area. Support for these classes is provided by Meyer Music Company, school music specialists located in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon. Open only to campers majoring in Music programs (Band, Orchestra, Jazz, Piano, Harp, Choir, and Musical Theater)
The Harp minor gives campers with no previous experience the chance to try the harp for the first time. Class instruction includes beginning harp technique and study of introductory harp repertoire. In order to be successful in the harp minor, students are expected to already read the treble and bass clefs. Each camper is provided with a Lyon and Healy Troubadour lever harp for their use during class time. Students present an informal mini-demonstration for fellow campers at the conclusion of the session. This minor is not available for harp majors.
The introductory Piano minor offers group classes for the student who has had no previous experience with the keyboard, led by Blue Lake’s distinguished piano faculty. Ten classes are divided into group instruction and individual practice time. This minor is not available for piano majors.
The Intermediate-Advanced Piano minor provides students who are currently studying piano at home a combination of two master classes, four private lessons, supervised practice time, and an opportunity to perform for other piano minor students on the final Saturday of the session. Students should have at least two years of private study prior to camp, and must bring a piece of classical music ready to play for their teacher at the first meeting. Students should also plan to bring other current repertoire to camp. This minor is not available for piano majors.
The Theater minor provides students a series of two-day workshops that help to build the basic foundation of a theatrical skill-set. Instruction in voice, movement, stage combat, musical theater, dance, and improv offers an engaging mix of activities during class. The art of delivering Shakespearean text will also be incorporated into the voice and movement workshops. This course is designed for students with minimal to moderate experience and is not available for Theater majors.
Taught by Blue Lake’s distinguished conducting faculty, the Conducting minor prepares students for the potential of future artistic leadership within their own musical journeys. Through group instruction and practice with scores and recordings, students learn to conduct basic beat patterns, preparations and cutoffs, cues, fermati, tempo changes, and dynamics. Other activities include up-close observation of the Blue Lake Summer Arts Festival ensemble rehearsals and their professional conductors. The ability to read treble and bass clefs is highly recommended. A conducting baton is provided to all students and is theirs to keep at the end of the session. Open only to campers majoring in Music programs (Band, Orchestra, Jazz, Piano, Harp, Choir, and Musical Theater).
Students enrolled in the Introduction to Score Study minor gain key skills necessary to read a full score, such as interpreting score mechanics, musical terminology, score order, instrument names in foreign languages, and transposition of various instruments. Through listening and analysis, students also learn how to synthesize sight and sound, dissect components of the music, follow a motif by looking for melodic and rhythmic patterns, as well as review a range of interpretations of famous pieces and excerpts. Students also discover different types of musical forms used within orchestra, band, choir, jazz band, opera, and musical theater genres. Open only to campers majoring in Music programs (Band, Orchestra, Jazz, Piano, Harp, Choir, and Musical Theater).
The Music Theory minor introduces beginning, intermediate, and advanced students to the fundamentals of music theory. A solid foundation in music theory is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding and playing music accurately. The Music Theory minor helps student musicians learn more about the mechanics within the written language of music. An initial placement survey assists instructors in assessing students’ individual abilities, and all students will be challenged at a level appropriate for their understanding and development. Advanced students may be given unique assignments to complete independently. Piano and Harp majors receive theory as a part of their instructional day and are therefore not eligible for this minor.
The Art minor offers students of all ability levels a wide variety of class choices. Students focus on unique creativity at their own pace. One piece of their artwork will be shown at the Final Sunday Art Show. Art minors are not available for art majors. Select your area of concentration on your application.
- Drawing & Painting: Instruction in the art studios will include the exploration of pencil, charcoal, pastel, tempera, watercolor, acrylic, and collage.
- Ceramics-Hand Building: Instruction in the ceramics studio explores clay pinch, slab, and coil construction.
- Fiber Arts: Instruction in the fiber studio offers a variety of techniques to create 2D and 3D art using fibers intermixed with other materials
- Printmaking: Instruction in the print studio explores prints using techniques of linoleum cut, mono-prints, reduction printing, and etching. Bookmaking may also be included.
The Camp Crafts minor provides students the opportunity to create traditional camp crafts that have been part of a traditional camping experience for generations. Activities might include projects such as braiding, beading, painting, tie-dying, working with natural materials, and other projects, allowing campers to use their individual creativity while making cool stuff at camp!
In the Cross Cultural Strings minor, students discover a variety of ethnic, cultural, and indigenous music from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Students will listen, analyze, discuss, experiment with and sample different cultural styles and influences from around the world as well as our own back yard. Students will also have the opportunity to view and listen to unique ethnic instruments in our Museum, demonstrated by our Blue Lake Faculty. Students will gain an understanding of where this music comes from, what it looks like, its history and roots, and how much fun it is to play! Open to all string musicians: violin, viola, cello, and bass.
Through full ensemble rehearsals, the Choir minor introduces students to a variety of vocal and choral styles including traditional (sacred and secular), contemporary, popular, swing, and Broadway. Instruction in vocal production, diction and interpretation, sight-singing, and musicianship will be emphasized. This course is for students with minimum to moderate vocal experience – all abilities welcome! This course culminates with a brief mini-demonstration for other campers. This minor is not available for Choir majors.
The Vocal Jazz minor provides students an opportunity to further develop their musical skills by exploring concepts unique to vocal jazz. Students will study vocal jazz repertoire, jazz styles, vocal improvisation, and other rhythmic and articulation concepts. This course culminates in a brief mini-demonstration for fellow campers.
The Jazz Improv minor introduces student instrumentalists to Jazz, a uniquely American art form. This class also allows students to explore elements of improvisation, a musical technique at the heart of all Jazz genres. Students will learn about the melodic, rhythmic, and articulation concepts unique to jazz, as well as the fundamentals of basic improvisation. The legacy of Jazz music will also be explored as students learn to identify its many styles including blues, ragtime, swing, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, free jazz, fusion, and other trends. Students focus on recorded musical examples to study musicians, performance practices, and musical elements that define jazz, and also have the opportunity to experiment musically. Enrollment is available for all instruments, including instruments which would be considered non-traditional for jazz (ex: double-reeds, euphoniums, violas, etc).
The Jazz Band minor provides students an opportunity to experience traditional big band music. This ensemble emphasizes the development of rhythmic and articulation concepts unique to jazz, as well as the fundamentals of improvisation. Enrollment is limited to instrumentation requirements for a standard big-band (alto, tenor, and bari saxes, trumpets, trombones, piano, bass, and drums), and students should have at least two years of musical experience. Jazz percussionists are required to bring their own snare drum and stand, sticks, and brushes. This course culminates with a short performance for other campers. This minor is not available for Jazz majors.
The Dance minor is structured in two levels: The Introductory level (no dance experience required) offers students an entry point to basic dance techniques and styles, while the Intermediate level (two years of dance recommended) provides previously trained dancers a more challenging experience. In these energizing classes, students experience the world of dance through sampling ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and other dance genres. Dance minors demonstrate at an informal mini performance for fellow campers at the conclusion of the session. This minor is not available for Dance majors.
The Yoga minor introduces students to the benefits of creating balance in the body along with awareness of how the mind and body work together. Young artists have fun learning yoga poses, postures, and relaxation techniques while developing both strength and flexibility. The yoga minor is taught by our outstanding dance faculty and held in the dance studios.
The Health and Fitness minor introduces young artists to basic concepts of self-maintenance that support a healthful lifestyle and enhance their focus in their chosen arts discipline. Students learn the fundamentals of conducting through techniques such as Pilates and core conditioning exercises which promote personal strength, concentration, and body awareness. Discussions address topics such as healthful diet and what to avoid, effective time management and common pitfalls, exercise, mindfulness and balance, and how it all ties together to help young artists excel.