What age groups attend SWB?
SWB welcomes ages 11 up to 100+! Ages 11 through 18 can register for our youth program. We do accept young prodigies into the adult program, but they must be accompanied by at least one parent to all classes, meals, and the dorm.
What levels do you accept into the program?
We do not accept beginners. You must have at least 2 years of playing experience. If you are relatively new to the instrument, please keep in mind that our faculty will not be able to help you with basic skills during your classes because they must focus on the topic on hand and work with the entire group.
Can violists and cellists attend classes taught by violinists/fiddlers—or the other way around—violinists/fiddlers attend classes taught by cellists?
Yes, YEs, YES! Classes in American and world genres and classes in the Mind/Body category can be attended by all bowed string players. You will deepen your listening skills, learn melodies in various styles as well as the ornamentation each requires, and new techniques that cross-apply to all
Can I receive a strong technical foundation at SWB?
You will learn to listen in ways you never imagined and how to master new techniques with your left- and right-hands. Every step we take to improve our musicianship adds to your skill-base and will serve you in any style that interests you.
Can the parents stay in the dorms?
YES! In fact, we can't put a minor up overnight without at least one parent who accompanies that child if staying overnight for the youth or the adult program (ages 11 through 18).
How is SWB structured?
SWB is like a huge buffet. Participants in the adult program can choose any session they want without pre-registration. Just show up in the room assigned to that class on time and even—hopefully—a few minutes early. For the youth program, ages 11-18 will gather in the same room throughout the program and will need to bring lunch for Saturday (or local parents can drop off their lunch box), which will be eaten in that same room in the interest of safety.
What is the youngest age you admit?
The youth program welcomes ages 11-18. If you have a child who is mature beyond their years and started playing at an extremely early age, they will be permitted into the adult program along as they're accompanied by at least one parent at all times.
Should I bring my acoustic or my electric violin?
Please bring your acoustic. We can't accommodate electrics and amps alongside acoustic instruments in our classrooms because you'll drown everyone out! But we do offer some classes to help you along your way into the world of technology for bowed strings.
What if I opt to stay off campus?
You're more than welcome to book a hotel in the area but you'll need a car or the ability to use Lyft or Uber because there aren't any hotels within walking distance.
Will sheet music for classes be available in advance?
Most of our faculty will teach by ear. If you want to record a class, please ask permission from that faculty member. Some will provide handouts a few weeks before SWB starts and you will receive a link to download and print out those handouts. And we will have a few open reading sessions for those of you who feel more comfortable behind a music stand. In general, most of the world learns their repertoire by ear, not eye, and this helps the ears develop into fine-tuned storage centers.