L Jenkins – Guest Contributor
Jul 18 2018
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Summer Is Here! Now What?

Author: Christina Quiñones, Office Manager at Dallas Academy of Music & Performing Arts

Can you believe school is just around the corner? Summer flew by, as it tends to do – it only really lasts a couple of months, and the time quickly dwindles when you account for travel, summer camps, and other obligations.

The brevity of summer, however, also makes it the perfect time to switch from weekly practice plans to a more project-based approach. Finding one or two big goals that you want to accomplish – be it a new song you’d like to learn or write, a new monologue, or a new dance you want to perfect – is an amazing way to spend your summer and gives you something to show for the months when school is not in session.

The key to project-based learning is to make it fun, exciting, and focus on an area that students don’t necessarily have time to explore during the hustle of the school year. I personally took this approach this summer and learned the song, “Don’t Tell Me” by Madonna. It has always been one of my favorite music videos, and I really wanted to add it to my catalog. This goes to show, regardless of age, summer is the perfect time to explore, set, and achieve artistic goals!

Summer is a fantastic time to assess where your student is and where they would like to be; to think about questions like – what do I really enjoy? Is there something else I want to learn - maybe another instrument or type of performance?

It is so important to take the time to revisit our students’ passions and love for music. Supporting students’ interests and developing a springboard for their exploration is crucial to their development both as an artist and a person. I encourage everyone to pose these questions to their students this summer. Set a project based goal or two. Encourage students to communicate their desires and goals with their teachers – DAMPA is here to support dreams! Let's make them come true together - give us a call at 214.965.8324 or visit our website at!