“Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful.”— Socrates
The quote above is part of the philosophy of Hamptons Music Sessions, a premier summer one-week day camp exclusively for music students between ages 5 and 18 that is being held at St. Luke’s Church in East Hampton. In its first year of operation, Hamptons Music Sessions (HMS) offers courses in piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet, saxophone, flute, guitar, voice, and composition/song-writing, all under the inspirational eye of founder and owner Theresa Kim.
Fiercely dedicated to arts education, Kim holds a master’s degree in Music Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She has a true passion for education advocacy. Her combination of degrees is rare among the musicians’ circle. She has maintained a private teaching studio for the past ten years is also an avid chamber musician. A graduate of Julliard as well, Kim has made top tier musical instruction a big priority. “We hire top conservatory grads from all over the world—that brings a really high quality music program to the South Fork. Basically there hasn’t been a music only program that covers these age groups here.”
In addition to world-class instruction, students will also be encouraged to attend and participate in special performances and collaborative opportunities that inspire growth. “We not only offer high caliber music lessons but we also do chamber music and performance etiquette seminars as well as yoga classes. The children will also participate in outreach concerts because I want them to gain a sense of giving back to the community,” Kim explains.
“To get a breather from all of the music and to teach kids to be aware of their bodies, alignment, and space. Plus it’s fun!”
Originally from Korea but brought up in New York City, Kim remains driven by her diverse background, passion and talent for music. After being trained at Juliard as a concert pianist she has toured all over the globe—to North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Hungary, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, and the Czech Republic, and to prominent venues in and around the New York area including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Steinway Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, and the Yamaha Salon, amongst others. In addition to performing, she discovered that teaching was a passion as well. Her relationship with the Hamptons began “when I was a student at Pianofest, and at that time, I fell in love with this community which possesses a true appreciation for the arts,” she says, and now bringing instruction to the East End takes that bond to another level.
Kim stresses that one of the things that sets HMS apart is its dedication to diversity and the scholarship program the camp has initiated to support that. “The most unique component of HMS is that we are very focused on outreach and I’m proud to say that we have nominated two children from Tunisia and also two children from New York Cityinner-city public schools,” she says. “We hosted our own benefit concert in NYC and raised enough money so that these children can attend HMS on a full scholarship.”
“The purpose of doing the outreach,” she continues, “is to help the underprivledged kids and also to throw all of the children into the same room and for them to realize that musicis a universal language no matter what your social or economic background is. All of our teachers have traveled to remote conflict areas such as Afghanistan, where we have not only performed, but taken on outreach and humanitarian projects. Now we are bringing these talented children here and fulfilling their lifelong dreams of coming to America. We are helping kids to learn and experience life through music.”
An experience that has now arrived in the Hamptons.
Hamptons Music Sessions is located at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (18 James Lane, East Hampton). Students are offered pickup/dropoff car service at the beginning and end of each day at about 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Lunch, snacks, and study materials are all-inclusive in the tuition, which is $1,500, with scholarships available to those who apply earliest.