For many, summer camp is a staple in adolescence, and it is one that helps to mark the important move toward independence and adulthood. Berkshire Hills Music Academy’s Summer Program embodies this transitory mindset and works to bridge the gap between life phases, and more simply, school years. Each summer, BHMA opens its doors for four weeks, and invites individuals aged 16-25 with developmental disabilities to experience what our dynamic program has to offer. For some, attending Summer Program is their first interaction with BHMA; for others, it is central to their summer routine, as it is a place they return to year after year. Whether a newcomer or a veteran, the growth-oriented Summer Program aims to build upon the skills of its participants in a fun and engaging way.
Summer Program is modeled after BHMA’s busy academic year schedule, but with a differing emphasis. For Two-Year Transition participants, from September through May, the three core areas of programming are life skills, vocation, and music; whereas during Summer Program, the focus shifts to musical, social, and recreational activities. Each day of the program consists of a wide variety of offerings—from fitness, health, music lessons and classes, to social skills building, karaoke, and trips out in the community. Both sessions conclude with a concert to highlight the achievements that have been made throughout the two weeks. BHMA’s unique approach to summer programming produces a well-rounded experience for attendees to obtain a sense of what BHMA is, and who they are as young adults. Assistant Director of Music and Music Vocation, Andy Anderson, coordinates the summer sessions. While reflecting on his facilitation of the program, Andy says, "Summer Program is an opportunity for those with so many backgrounds, abilities, and stories to come together and make new memories while developing a sense of community here at BHMA. It is my job, and that of my staff, to ensure that we create an atmosphere that is conducive to the energy and creativity brought by each one of our students." The Rock ‘n’ Roll session will be held from July 9 to July 22, and the Broadway session from July 23 to August 5. All new applicants will be interviewed in person or via phone, and must submit two references. Space is limited, so act fast!