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Blind Music Academy

In February – Enchanted Hills Will Offer Music Camp for Adults

Photo: Students perform on guitar and bass at this summer’s Music Academy concert at the LightHouse Building

By popular demand we’ve added a music camp for adults. Join us in February at Enchanted Hills Retreat for our first session of Music Camp for Adults.

Who: Blind and visually impaired musicians 21 years of age and up
Where: Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind
When: Thursday, February 16 through Sunday, February 19, 2017
Cost: $300.00 plus $40.00 for transportation

This session is for musicians ages 21 years and up who are blind or have low vision. Participants should already know how to play or sing and have, at minimum, intermediate musical skills (basic chords, scales, tuning, basic instrument maintenance and general musical knowledge) in their instrument(s). Instruments can include, but are not limited to guitar, ukulele, percussion, voice, and other acoustic instruments.

The session will be by headed by Enchanted Hills Camp Enrichment Area Leader Masceo Williams and will focus less on music literacy and more on performance and “jamming” skills. Jamming, that is, improvising while playing, helps bring together a community of musicians to learn from, share, and appreciate each other’s skills. For those that are new to performing or would like to build their comfort level in performing, this camp is for you. The session will also include a songwriting workshop.

Masceo Williams is an accomplished blind musician with over 20 years of live performance experience and has taught and mentored students during Enchanted Hills summer camp sessions and Music Academy. You can learn more about him and hear his music at http://www.masceo.net.

In addition to the Music Camp students will enjoy the beauty of Enchanted Hills in winter, including gatherings around the fireplace; warm, comfortable accommodations and delicious home cooked meals prepared by our talented kitchen staff. Weather permitting, participants will have the opportunity to perform in our Redwood Grove Amphitheater.

For questions and registration, please contact Taccarra Burrell at TBurrell@LightHouse-sf.org or call 415-694-7310.

Music Camp: August 6 – 12

This year’s Music Camp will be led by our very own Masceo Williams and Lawrence Brown as co-directors. Students will learn the hallmarks of blind musicianship including individual performance practice, song writing, collaboration in an ensemble, and stage etiquette and performance in a house band. We’ll work with braille music and gain proficiency in accessible recording. Students will be coached on a range of instruments including vocals, guitar, drums/percussion, and piano, and gain valuable insight from guest speakers. We’ll finish off the weekend with a performance in our Redwood Grove Theater.

$300 Music Camp Fee

Summer Concerts: Blind Music Academy Announces Three Concert Dates in August

PHOTO: Music academy students jam on keyboards and guitar.

Blind Music Academy Offering Free Concerts in August

In its third year, LightHouse’s summer Music Academy grows and expands. With an emphasis on composition, performance and learning to read and write music in braille for musicians who are blind or have low vision and are ages 16 to 24, our talent pool and ambition continues to grow. This year we’re excited to host students from the United States, Mexico and Canada. And with the opening in May of the LightHouse’s state-of-the-art San Francisco facility, Blind Music Academy will now be held both in the city and the country.

This year we have fourteen dedicated blind musicians, all under the age of 25, who are spending a week honing their skills as musicians and composers. The students are from all over North America, and though some of these individuals are already quite formidable talents, they are spending this week focused on not only becoming better performers but achieving fluency in braille music and other accessible forms of musical notation.

Each year Blind Music Academy culminates with a performance by our blind students, and this time around the group has announced that they will perform not once but three times, with additional concerts in both downtown Napa and San Francisco. Our students include a virtuosic classical pianist from Vera Cruz, Mexico and a locally-known jazz radio DJ and percussionist from El Paso, Texas, and the shows are guaranteed to be musically diverse and exciting.

Experience the power of Music Academy by joining us at one of these three, free concerts:

Blind Music Academy Summer Tour Dates

  • Friday, August 5 – Covenant Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m.
    1226 Salvador Ave, Napa, CA 94558
  • Saturday, August 6 – Enchanted Hills Camp, 4:00 p.m., with dinner following.
    3410 Mt Veeder Rd, Napa, CA 94558
  • Tuesday, August 9 – LightHouse for the Blind, 5:30 p.m., with reception following.
    1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco 94103

The concerts are free. For those attending the concert at Enchanted Hills Camp, we are requesting a donation if you wish to join us for dinner after the show. Please RSVP for all concerts to Tony Fletcher at tfletcher@lighthouse-sf.org.

Our students walk into the Music Academy session brimming with talent. Take a look for yourself. Watch these videos for two of our students, concert pianist Fernando Apan and percussionist Lawrence Brown:

Fernando Apan interprets Mozart

Fernando Apan: Fantasía Para Piano y Clarinet

Interview with Lawrence Brown

About Blind Music Academy
Enchanted Hills Camp has paired up with Bill McCann, founder and president of Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology. Bill McCann pioneered this specialized music academy model both in Canada and in the United States. Music Academy is for musicians who are blind or have low vision between the ages of 16 to 24 years old who are serious about music or might be thinking of entering the profession. This academy introduces students to using non-visual techniques to compose music, read the works of others, learn performance skills and gain the capacity to compete for and win employment in the music field.

This year’s Music Academy session is full. If you have questions about next year’s session, please contact Taccarra Burrell at tburrell@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7318.

Music Academy Expands: Now in the Woods and in the City

Photo: Music Academy student edits music with accessible software

This year campers will enjoy our acclaimed music academy at Enchanted Hills, but to make things even more interesting we’ll also be taking campers out of the woods and into the city for some urban musical experiences.

Do you sing or play an instrument? Train with some of our nation’s best instructors at Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp. The LightHouse is partnering with Dancing Dots, the world’s leading provider of accessible music technology for the blind, to bring our summertime Music Academy back to the redwoods. The Academy is open to young, motivated musicians who are blind or have low vision and are 16 to 24 years old.

  • Where: Enchanted Hills Camp, Napa and LightHouse Headquarters, San Francisco
  • When: Monday, August 1 through Wednesday, August 10, 2016
  • Cost for the week, all-inclusive: $300
  • (If the registration fee is a barrier, let us know; some scholarships will be available.)

Bill McCann, President and Founder of Dancing Dots, blind himself, will lead a team of four blind instructors and technicians to teach the latest and greatest techniques for blind and low vision students.

This year in addition to time at Enchanted Hills, students will stay at our new headquarters in San Francisco. In the city there are many venues where young people can experience a variety of musical styles, including jazz, classical and rock music, and we’ll be visiting one or more of these. Our young musicians will also have the opportunity to perform in a variety of settings including a venue in St. Helena, our Redwood Grove Theater at Enchanted Hills Camp and at our new headquarters office.

To sign up for this session, contact Taccarra Burrell at tburrell@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7318 for an application or with any questions.