The Charleston Academy of Music got its start 11 years ago and has catered to young Charleston-area musicians seeking not only private lessons but also theory training, performance opportunities and interaction with other students.
The collaborative, stimulating environment helps motivate young musicians to excel, according to several teachers and students.
The school has contributed to the development of several young players who are at or near the cusp of a professional career. The Post and Courier asked CAM Director Eunjoo Yun about her efforts.
Q: The Charleston Academy of Music offers a centralized place where young musicians at all levels can study and perform. What prompted you to start CAM 11 years ago?
A: I felt that there was a need for a conservatory-style prep school that focused on music in Charleston.
Q: What were your expectations when your started? What were your goals?
A: I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to be able to express themselves through playing an instrument or by singing. The ultimate goal was to have a music school where everyone works and makes music together in harmony.
Q: Some extraordinary talent has emerged from the school. Do you sprinkle some sort of magic dust onto the fingers of your students? What accounts for this success?
A: The magic sprinkle is the talented and dedicated teachers who care about their students.
Q: CAM also organizes concerts. Tell me about those.
A: We launched the Rush Hour Mini Concerts (RHMC) so that the students can attend and be inspired by their teachers' performances. Another purpose of the RHMC is to encourage younger generations to attend more concerts, by offering shorter concerts at an earlier time. For instance, all RHMCs start at 5:30 p.m., whereas the traditional classical concerts are about 90 minutes long and held in the late evenings.
The Guest Artists Series showcases world class artists to perform for the public, and allows the artists to give master classes to CAM students.
Q: What are your plans?
A: I would love to develop CAM further for it to become a leading arts center, where programs for people of diverse background across all ages are offered.