Ask Abe: Summer Music Clinic

An Alum

Does the UW still offer the Summer Music Clinic?

Abe

It does indeed! This Sunday marks the start of the 88th year of the Division of Continuing Studies’ Summer Music Clinic (SMC). Opened in 1929, the clinic began as a three-week camp for teachers. According to Orien Dalley, the camp’s initial director, “The teachers in those days didn’t have the opportunity for learning and preparation that exists today.” Eventually, the programming shifted to focus entirely on middle- and high-school students. Today the camp hosts about 850 students each year — a number that has held strong since Anne Aley took over as the SMC’s outreach-program manager in 1983. So what’s kept this camp going? “I think it’s the community that is formed in making music together,” Aley says. “It really is that feeling that you’re part of something greater.” This sense of community inspires many campers to return as counselors and eventually to become Badgers. Since 2006, approximately 62 percent of campers have applied to the UW, and about 50 students per year are accepted and choose to enroll.