Summerkeys is a music program for adult students, located in Lubec, Maine. I just finished my first summer on the faculty as piano teacher, coach and accompanist. What an experience! Students come from all over the country (and a few from Europe as well) to study and practice intensively for a week or more.

Summerkeys was founded and is directed by Bruce Potterton, who began it twenty years ago as a program for piano students. Since then its scope has expanded quite a bit. Programs are offered for string and wind instruments, voice, composition, and even celtic harp and mandolin. There are programs in photography, visual arts and creative writing as well. Program details are at Summerkeys.com.

The level of Summerkeys students ranges from beginner to advanced. No audition is necessary, and students of all levels are welcomed and valued.

Bruce has put together an incredible faculty of top notch musicians who are dedicated to teaching. They do a wonderful job of identifying each student’s needs and presenting ideas and techniques that students can work on in their studies during the year. For more information visit summerkeys.com.

All Summerkeys students bring a love of music and a high level of motivation. It is quite inspiring and gratifying to work with them. Each week it was great fun to meet and work with students of an incredible variety of backgrounds and experiences.

New students should come prepared for an intense week of lessons, practice and music making. Some returning students now spend more than a week in Lubec so that they can enjoy the local sights and other activities like hiking, whale watching, relaxing by the bay. Also, I’ve discovered that students form quick bonds with each other. Quite a few return year after year to be with the friends they have made at Summerkeys. A piece of advice to students: set reasonable goals as to what you would like to accomplish during the week.

The closing Friday night performance class (we do not call it a recital) is always very inspiring for me. By the way, the audience (your peers) is always incredibly supportive. Everyone is in the same boat! Some students are performing for the first time ever. Playing a solo in the performance class is not required, but I found that it is a good opportunity to try out what one has learned during the week.

The faculty concert on each Wednesday evening is another highlight of the week. I had a great time performing with fellow faculty members cellist Kathleen Collison and violist Margret Hjaltested.

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