During these colder months, I avert my focus to the summer.  I imagine beautiful beach weather, swimming in the local pool, and spending time with my family.  I also start my planning for the Musical Theatre Workshop I host each summer at Harrisburg Academy.

At Musical Theatre Workshop, I love having the opportunity to work with my students (and new friends) to focus on a new project for the week of camp.  During the camp we play improvisation games, develop stage skills, build confidence when singing, and learn choreography that goes along with many age-appropriate songs from the theatre.

So other than loving theatre and getting to perform more, which many students love, here’s what campers are taking away from a week of Musical Theatre Workshop:

Connections with other students across division:  The youngest campers, rising 2nd grade students, make amazing connections with the older students and continue to hold on to those connections throughout the school year.  The younger students learn so much from the older students, and it is a joy to see finger waves in the hallway to the members of the MS musical who came to camp.  These connections are very encouraging to the younger students and motivate them to continue participating in musical theatre in the future.

Exercising their creativity and their body:  We are not just learning stage movement basics and singing.  We are moving and grooving to music, filtering energy through our bodies to play characters, waddling like penguins, and even going outside for recess and free play.  The students learn about making creative choices and are surprised to find that there are no right or wrong answers in the theatre, just different choices they could make that they might like better.  Every theatrical choice they make in an improvisation game is flexing their creative thinking and helping the students feel comfortable and confident with making improvisational choices in the future.

Working as a team:  The students learn up to eight songs and choreography from musical theatre and film repertoire as well as lines to introduce the songs.  The students work together in small groups to accomplish the tasks and goals brought to them.  From partner movements to saying lines with other students in a group, this collaboration is huge to the success of the program!  Students have to work creatively and collaboratively to support one another in a positive way with the help of the direction team.

Putting on a top-notch performance:  At the end of the week the students perform the pieces they have been working on in a showcase performance for their parents and our Summer Expeditions day camp.  It is so exciting to see their progress from the first day of camp to the final performance.  The students get so excited to feel the performer’s high and are smiling ear-to-ear at the end of their performance.  We always do a camp meeting at the end of the performance, and the students share how they feel after the performance is over.  Usually it is excitement for being able to perform and how they feel about their performance.  They also are very sad that the camp is over and wish it lasted another week.

When I look back on the years of Musical Theatre camps, I think about the amazing connections and progress the campers have made, and how they continue to be active and excited about performing in musicals and plays in their school programs.  If the alternative is to spend the summer listening to your child singing along to the soundtrack of “The Greatest Showman” and imagining being in a show, sign your child up for camp and have them be a part of the performance!

Visit our summer camp page to learn more about Musical Theatre Workshop and other summer opportunities!

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.