Page 2: Summer Institute for Blind College-bound Musicians

Summer Braille Music Institute, a residential seminar for studying braille music and music theory at the high school and college level.

twelve pictures showing activities of the Summer Institute, including one-on-one and group instruction in braille music, a computer class, performing a Bach chorale from braille in the Overbrook School's west cloister garden, students traveling the school campus, performances at concerts, a picnic and other fun outside the classroom.

Note to college-bound Music students--please get in touch with us.

Whether you have discovered us just now or have come back to see whether the program you may have heard about would be right for you, we regret to tell you that we will not be holding our residential Summer Institute this year. Our last program was in 2012, and we do not expect to hold an educational program of this kind, with a national scope, in the near future. Having said that, it is equally important to tell you that we remain committed to help individuals have the tools and strategies for success in high school and college music courses. The National Resource Center, which ran the Institute, keeps in close touch with the Institute teachers and graduates, as well as others who have a vast amount of experience getting through college and building successful careers. We are ready to talk with you, help you find camps or programs, or connect you with a teacher who can work with you on filling specific gaps, either in-person or online. We are also ready to work with your school, if its staff has questions or concerns. there are other possibilities we can work out together, if you make contact.

Phone 203-366-3300, extension 229.

The rest of this page, and the other pages in this section, are pretty much the presentation that has been on this site for years, when the summer program was in its heyday. Admittedly a monument to days past, the pictures show and the words describe what we found to be the essentials for preparing academically for the rigors of college music study. We work with organizations throughout the country to assure students have opportunities to develop themselves and hope that continued discussions and assessments of current needs and capabilities will lead to more programs of service to this generation.


From 1996 to 2012, ninety high school and college students, from thirty-two states and four countries, came to our Summer Braille Music Institute to study braille music, music theory, and technology, and hone the skills they needed to be successful in music courses at the college level. After this immersion into an academic and musical experience on a school campus, they came away with new abilities, knowledge of resources, and confidence gained from completing coursework and practicing campus living. They also foundd themselves members of a network of mentors and friends, to whom they can turn for help and encouragement as they continued their education. Institute graduates are now immersed in school or careers, several in various aspects of the music field.

The Summer Braille Music Institute was designed for students going into eleventh grade and older, who had started their study of music theory in school and were ready to develop skill in reading braille music and to use music software to submit assignments in print.

The program was held for six years at universities near our headquarters in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one summer at Agness Scott College in Georgia, and nine golden years at the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia. Originally, the program was three weeks and included ensembles and performing opportunities, along with classes in braille music and theory and exposure to the then burgeoning music technology. As time went on, we realized that the best way we could serve was to help the serious students have the tools for successful integration with peers in classes where sight reading and notating were required. That led to a one-week intensive dedicated completely to that endeavor. As we plan for the future, we remain dedicated to serving in any way we can. The teachers we can call upon have extensive and varied experience, many as musicians using braille and technology themselves. We also work collaboratively with other agencies. We welcome hearing from people of all ages, as well as parents and teachers of younger students, and older adults striving to maintain their ability to read and keep up their music. While the Institute focused on academics rather than having the activities of a music camp, we know how important it is for young people, especially those who are isolated, to have fun together, with music being the connecting strand. Maybe even more so today, there need to be places where independence, confidence and social opportunities can be nurtured. We will be working with others to increase the options. Feel free to write directly to us, or share your ideas with others on the listserve provided by MENVI or those of other organizations. The next section is a course description which was used in our annual brochures. The student thinking seriously about studying music theory in high school or at the college level would do well to use the list of entrance requirements as a benchmark or set of prerequisites to have under one's belt before applying to a program with the objectives the Institute had, or before seeking individual tutoring. For some structure for sorting your thoughts or to give us the information we would need to get back to you, you can use our special form about summer programs, or our general survey form.

End of text on this page, navigation links follow.

Table of Contents for Summer Institute Sections

Section 1: Course description from recent years, and basic requirements
Section 2: Contact form--let us know of your immediate needs, or your interest in future programs
Section 3: Celebrating the First Six Years: A Tour in Words and Pictures of the Original Program in Bridgeport.

Select a section from the table of contents or use the navigation links below.

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Read first section, which has the course description and basic requirements from previous years
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