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Colby College
Waterville, ME

Full Session

June 24 – August 4, 2024

Individual Sessions

Session 1: June 24 – July 14
Session 2: July 15 – August 4

View of the Colby College library

Discover a world where musical talent flourishes and life-long friendships are formed. The AMF Institute's Pre-College Program invites musicians under 18 on a summer journey filled with musical exploration and personal growth.

Each year, the festival committee invites young musicians specializing in instrumentalists, singers, and composers based on their talent and potential to make a difference in this world.

The program uniquely combines rigorous musical training with access to collegiate-level masterclasses, encouraging a deeper understanding of music. Students are immersed in an environment that balances intensive learning with unforgettable experiences, fostering artistic development and lasting connections.

Program Highlights

  • Personalized Instruction: Engage in weekly private lessons with our celebrated artist-faculty members, offering personalized guidance to refine your craft.
  • Dynamic Learning Environment: Participate in our diverse weekly seminars and masterclasses that challenge and inspire young musicians.
  • Performance Opportunities: Showcase your talents through various performance opportunities, including solo recitals, chamber music, and orchestra. Each setting offers a unique stage to develop and showcase your talents.
  • Access to Advanced Learning: Benefit from collegiate-level seminars and masterclasses offered by the AMF Institute. This rare opportunity is unique to AMF and allows our participants to explore more advanced musical topics and techniques.
  • Flexible and Diverse Curriculum: Our modular program structure allows you to choose from various course offerings, tailoring your summer experience to your interests and goals.
  • Immersive Festival Experience: Be a part of the larger music community by attending open rehearsals and concerts throughout the season. These events provide a window into the professional world of music and an opportunity to learn from observing seasoned artists at work.

Sample Daily Schedule

Are you curious about what a typical day looks like in the Pre-College Program? Our sample daily schedule offers a glimpse into the exciting and varied activities our students engage in. Please note that this schedule is a representative example and may be subject to change, ensuring a dynamic and tailored experience for each participant. We design our program to adapt to unique opportunities and individual student needs, always prioritizing supervision, safety, and personal growth. Embrace the journey of musical discovery and personal development as each day unfolds in its own unique way.

  • 7am – 9am / Breakfast

    Start your day with a nutritious breakfast, featuring a variety of options for all dietary preferences.

  • 8am – 9am / Elements of Music

    Personal practice time or elective sessions on music theory, history, and more.

  • 9am – 10am / Studio Class

    A daily gathering for participants in our individual programs.

  • 10am – 11am / Studio Class, Ensemble, or Group Practice

    Participate in focused sessions like scale class, ensemble rehearsals, or group practice.

  • 11am – 12pm / Private Lessons and Practice

    One-on-one lessons with your instructor or individual practice time.

  • 12pm – 1pm / Lunch

    Enjoy a wholesome lunch with a variety of dining options.

  • 1pm – 2pm / Orchestra, Studio Class, or Private Practice

    Orchestra rehearsals, studio classes, or personal practice time.

  • 2pm – 3pm / Masterclasses, Ensemble or Private Practice

    Learn from world-class faculty in masterclasses or participate in ensemble work.

  • 3pm – 4pm / Community Hour

    A relaxed time for snacks, social activities, and building friendships.

  • 4pm – 5pm / Group Electives

    Explore unique electives from Open Seminars including topics such as career development and audition preparation.

  • 5pm – 6:30pm / Dinner

    Wind down with a delightful dinner, offering a range of tasty choices.

  • 7pm / Concerts

    Experience performances by peers and faculty, showcasing the day's learnings and inspirations.

  • 8pm / Evening Activities

    Enjoy a variety of evening activities, including commnunity time, movie nights, and more.

  • 10pm / Rest

    Rest up for another exciting day of music-making.


In the Pre-College Program, each student's schedule aligns with their unique talents and passions. Following their audition, students enroll in one of several dedicated pathways: Instrumental Program, Piano Institute, Composition Program, or Vocal Arts Institute. This approach ensures that every student receives the specialized training and attention needed to flourish in their chosen field. These pathways mirror those in our College Program (please click the program title for more details):

  • Instrumental Program: Designed for orchestral instrumentalists, this program combines individual skill development with ensemble performance.
  • Piano Institute and Seminar: Offers intensive training for pianists, balancing solo and collaborative playing.
  • Composition Program: Nurtures young composers focusing on creativity, technique, and innovation.
  • Vocal Arts Institute: Provides comprehensive training in various vocal styles and performance practices.

While enrolled in age-appropriate programs, students have opportunities to engage with the broader collegiate-level learning environment. This includes attending masterclasses, seminars, and lessons with select collegiate-level faculty members, enriching their educational experience.

A view of the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts

In 2024, the Atlantic Music Festival celebrates its new home at the Gordon Center, a marvel of artistic space spanning over 7,700 square feet. With its 300-seat performance hall boasting customizable acoustics, high-ceilinged studios, and a dynamic 2,500-square-foot black box theater, this center is an epicenter of creativity and collaboration, designed to elevate every performance.

A Safe and Inspiring Residency Experience

At the Atlantic Music Festival, the well-being and security of our young musicians is our top priority. Participants under 18 are housed in a dedicated dormitory, under the careful supervision of our trained staff and resident assistants. Here, they enjoy a blend of safety, comfort, and connectivity:

  • Secure and Supervised Accommodations: Separate living quarters for young participants, with campus rules and a mandatory curfew strictly enforced for their safety.
  • Nourishing Dining Options: Enjoy diverse, healthy meals at our dining hall, catering to various dietary needs including vegetarian and gluten-free.
  • Recreational Facilities: Access to the campus's extensive recreational amenities, including the Museum of Art, swimming pool at the Athletic Center, and scenic trails.

For a detailed overview of our residency policies and facilities, please visit our Residency Guidelines page.

Application Process

The Atlantic Music Festival is now accepting applications for its Pre-College program.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Check out our Fees, Dates, and Deadlines page for information on upcoming deadlines.
  • To apply, you will need to submit audio or video recordings of your work according to the requirements below:
    • Instrumentalists (including Pianists): Submit audio or video recordings of up to two contrasting works or movements. Selections must represent your current level of musicianship. Recommendations are optional.
    • Composers: Submit 1-2 representative scores and accompanying recordings (if available). Recommendations are optional.
    • Vocalists: Submit audio or video recordings of up to two contrasting songs. Recommendations are optional.

For more information on the application process, please visit our Online Application page, which outlines all of the required information for the application.

We look forward to receiving your application and considering you for this exciting opportunity to grow and develop as a young musician.

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From its inception, the Atlantic Music Festival has established a unique tradition of nurturing emerging artists through its Institute Programs.