10 Things to Do Before You Leave for the MFA Summer Symposium
Thursday, June 12, 2014

10 Things to Do Before You Leave for the MFA Summer Symposium

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Are you Ready

The Music for All Summer Symposium is almost here and now is the time to make sure you have everything in order and ready to go so that you can have an amazing camp experience! I of course can't get ready for anything without a list (I probably have 10 of my own Summer Symposium lists!) so I thought I'd share a list of 10 things to do to make sure you are ready! So here we go:

10. Make sure you have filled out all of the necessary forms

Have you paid your registration balance? Have you completely filled out the medical information forms and waivers? Early departure forms? Make sure you have completed all of these before you arrive at camp so that you can sail through registration and get right to the fun parts of camp! (Need to fill out some of these forms? You can find them here.)

9. Review all of the Summer Symposium Pre-Camp Communications

These pre-camp communications contain vital information regarding expectations and other important information that students need to know in order to make the week a success. If you need to find out about early departures, if your track requires a placement audition, what to wear for the final performance, how to send mail/packages to camp, camp rules, etc - it's all in the pre-camp communications! (Not sure if you received the pre-camp communications? No worries, you can find all of that here.)

8. Secure transportation

If you are driving, make sure you know your way and leave yourself the proper amount of time so that you are not late for the start of camp (especially if your track requires onsite auditions!) If you are flying to camp, make sure you have all of our itinerary set and have made shuttle reservations.

Not sure that you want to drive or fly to camp? Music for All has teamed up with some awesome music educators and has developed bus routes from areas around the country. Follow this link to find our what routes are available and for more information on how to "get on the bus": http://musicforall.org/what-we-do/summer-camp/bus-routes

7. Review Packing Lists

You want to be completely prepared for camp so you won't have to worry about anything besides having a great time, making new friends and learning all you can from the amazing educators that you will be working with! So, make sure that you review the lists of items you need to bring to camp. Your final camp communications packet contained a general list of items that ALL campers need to bring, as well as track specific lists. If you missed it, don't worry, you can find that complete list here. Just make sure you scroll all the way down that page and check the track specific lists as well! (Some tracks have specific attire required for the final performance, so make sure you make note of that!)

6. Purchase Anything You Still Need

Do you need to stock up on sunscreen or need a couple more pairs of shorts to make it through the week? Make sure you know (before the night you are packing!) what items you might need to run to the store to purchase. Nothing is worse than putting off your packing until midnight the night before you are leaving, and then realizing you need to run to the store for something on your packing list. Trust me, I've done this too many times to count, and I curse myself everytime! Learn from my mistakes, review your packing list and make your own list of "things to purchase" the weekend before you need to pack! Save yourself (and your parents!) the last minute "oh no, I forgot we didn't have any _____" stress.

5. Pack

It sounds very simple, but like I said before, don’t wait until the last minute to do your packing. It is important to not forget a single thing and to prepare for the worst. This means packing extra socks, rain gear, backup reeds, and anything you think you may need during the week. You never know what the weather will bring, and sometimes that air conditioning in the rehearsal rooms is chilly! Make sure you have plenty of layers and anything you need to make yourself comfortable that might not be on the "must bring" list that we have provided! The first day of Summer Symposium is a long one, so you don't want to be up until 2am the night before still packing!

4. Make Family Day Plans

There are great activities for families to be involved in at the MFA Summer Symposium, so make sure your family knows about them and makes plans to join in on the fun before you leave! There's an opening parent welcome session at 1pm on Monday, June 23rd. There's a Parent Sessions and Breakfast on Saturday, June 28th followed by all of the awesome final performances and a fun family picnic! You can read more about these family friendly activities here and make reservations to join us!

3. Follow Music for All on Social Media

If you do nothing else on this awesome list, you should at least do this one! I'm not just saying that because I happen to spend a lot of time working on great social media updates and love to see people enjoying them... okay well maybe I am! But truly, whether you are going to be at camp, your son or daughter is at camp, your best friend is at camp, or you are sitting at home wishing you were at camp, you'll want to follow our #mfacamp coverage online and be a part of the action! We will be posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course blogging our way through the week. If you are posting about camp, tag your posts with #mfacamp and join the conversation! Click on the links below and like/follow away!

2. Practice Your Audition Materials

Some tracks will have auditions directly following registration, so if you will be auditioning, make sure you have taken the time to practice and learn what you need before you get to camp! Not sure if your track requires auditions? You can find this information in your final pre-camp communications packet (Are you sensing a pattern here?). If you aren't sure, you can find audition information here.

1. Get Ready for the Best Week EVER

Prepare yourself for having a fantastic and unbelievably exciting week because you are going to have one! Know that your family back home (and everyone at camp!) are supporting you. Even if you are a little nervous about being away from home for the whole week, just know that you will have a great time and learn so many new things. Remember to have fun, bring your positive attititude and open mind, make some friends, and you'll go back home with lots of stories to share! In fact, I'm pretty sure that when 3pm on Saturday rolls around, you aren't even going to want to leave! 

I hope that this list has helped you think about some of the things you need to take care of as you prepare to head to camp. If you start your planning now, you have plenty of time to get everything ready and be stress-free when you start your travels to Muncie, Indiana. Have a great beginning of summer and we will see you very soon!

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Erin Fortune

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Manager focusing on digital marketing at Music for All and has been working with Music for All since 2010, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate of the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.