Summer at Meadowmount
by Music School Parent, Shirene Karim
Located in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, the Meadowmount School of Music is an intense experience – not for the weak of heart. The students privately practice on their respective violins, violas, cellos or pianos a minimum of 5 hours a day, 6 days a week, and then have to contend with daily Chamber Music rehearsals, and weekly Master Classes and private lessons – for 7 straight weeks during the summer. This year, 217 children and young adults were accepted to Meadowmount. They came from everywhere music is taken seriously. Among them were musicians from China, Australia, Great Britain, Russia and Finland, and from all over the United States of America including New Mexico, Washington State, California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey and, of course, New Hampshire.
While one of the New Hampshire participants is originally from Concord and is now attending college in Massachusetts, the remaining three take violin lessons with Elliott Markow at the Manchester Community Music School. At Meadowmount, two of Elliott’s students, Laurel Gagnon and Stacie Lin (who are ages 17 and 14, respectively) worked with Sally Thomas, who runs the premier studio. The remaining student, Yasmin Myers (age 10) studied with Jan Mark Sloman.
It is a well-documented fact that “…there are Meadowmount alumni performing in virtually every major orchestra and teaching in virtually every major University and Conservatory in the United States. Alumni of Meadowmount have won every major string competition worldwide.” This list of prestigious alumni includes James Ehnes, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Pinchas Zukerman. Several Master Classes this summer were conducted by Tong Wei-Dong, Joseph Silverstein and James Ehnes. This year, Laurel Gagnon, who has been studying with Elliot Markow for the last 4-5 years, and who studied with Sally Thomas for the past 3 years at Meadowmount, represented her studio in the Master Class conducted by Tong Wei-Dong and played the viola in a Chamber Quartet that performed in the Joseph Silverstein Master Class. She was also one of the chosen few who got to perform on the Main Stage at Meadowmount – all signal honors indeed. Needless to say, she was magnificent.
In 2009, journalist and author, Daniel Coyle wrote a book in which Meadowmount was featured as one of “nine of
the world’s greatest talent hotbeds – tiny places that produce huge amounts of talent.” The title of the book is “The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.” His book details his discovery of the three main elements that help individuals “unlock their full potential and bring their talents to light.” According to Coyle’s research, they are: “deep practice”, “ignition or motivation” and “master coaching” and that the confluence of these elements form the “foundation of all forms of greatness.”
We are privileged indeed to have access to a teacher who can help our children reach these places where the air seems almost too thin to breathe, and a school that we can call home. Thank you Elliott Markow, and thank you Manchester Community Music School.