The most important kind of friendships

What kind of friendships are formed around music?


The other day I heard from a dear friend whom I met at a summer music program almost 30 years ago. As summer Suzuki Institutes get underway, and as I put the finishing touches on my own summer camp, Horizon Strings, my mind is on the relationships that form at these special times.

Lutheran Summer Music was my introduction to the wider world. Coming from Wyoming, I had no idea there were other people who liked to connect around spirituality and music. Going away from home as a high school student to stay for a month on a college campus, to be challenged by an orchestra that was better than anything I had ever experienced before, to take private lessons and be in a quartet, to have theory and ear training classes, AND to have worship services every evening that were as much about music as about spirit--all of that radically changed the course of my life.

But the best part was the people I met. Looking back, some of the most important people in my life came from that summer camp.

In the case of my friend, it is truly an amazing thing to look back on all the ways our lives have taken twists and turns over the years. We have both since married, divorced, married again, had children, moved, moved again, taught, performed, lived abroad, and started businesses. Through it all our shared love of music kept us connected. Occasionally we have reconnected and played together, her oboe blending with my violin, and even convincing me to tune my instrument a quarter tone down to "sound more baroque." What fun! And very fulfilling as the years go by.

So what kind of friendships might be formed at summer camp? Answer: Life Long!

Will you take some time to explore this?

May you and your children experience the serendipity of meeting new friends this summer at something musical. It is truly life-altering.


Here are a few reflections for you as you head into summer, around the topic of meeting friends at music camp:

  • Take some time to reconnect to an old friend you've known for a long time. Perhaps you met them during a summer camp! It could be a deeply healing thing for you to rediscover ways your life was impacted by that person.

  • Think about what kind of friendships might be formed for your children if you sent them to attend a summer music camp, Suzuki institute, or music academy, and how their life might be changed

  • Do some investigation into the possibilities for future summer music experiences. Especially if your children are young, investigating the possibilities now will help you plan. Deadlines come quickly, and there is always financial planning involved.

  • Here are a few ideas, some mentioned above, to start your search:

Horizon Strings - local to New Jersey, hosted by Edward’s Violin Studio

Lutheran Summer Music (premiere faith-based music academy, midwest locations)

Stomping Ground Performing Arts Week - upstate New York

Bach To Rock summer camps (featured at this year’s Horizon Strings!) - locations around the country

Suzuki Institute - locations around the country, with comprehensive age-appropriate training for all ages by experts in Suzuki methodology