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ESME Virtual String Camp 2021


Attention all string and piano students!

We’re excited to announce the return of the ESME Virtual String Camp happening this summer of 2021, from June 21st through July 2nd!  Our virtual program offers a safe, exciting and enriching music learning experience unlike any other straight from inside your own home!

The ESME Virtual String Camp 2021 introduces interactive programs designed through the versatile and technologically experienced skillsets of a diverse, world class faculty which includes musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and special guest faculty from the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Grand Rapids Ballet.  Students will be guided through the tools for creating virtual performances and practice methods while participating in private lessons, chamber music and orchestra coachings, virtual masterclasses and concerts.  Our program includes real-time interactive workshops and classes on ensemble playing, basics of composition, rhythmic interplay, interactive improvisation, music entrepreneurship, introductions to video editing software, recording and sound engineering, body awareness, introduction to yoga and meditation techniques for music making, taking auditions, applying for colleges, creating a musicians' YouTube channel, warm-up exercises derived from classical and contemporary ballet for freeing muscle tension, improving physical endurance, posture, bodyweight distribution, exploring the interconnectivity of expression between music and dance and more!

What is the ESME Virtual String Camp? Who are the faculty and who is the ESME Virtual String Camp for?


The ESME Virtual String Camp is an exciting summer intensive chamber music program designed for any age and grade level.  We accept violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano students.   Students of other instruments are also accepted on a limited basis.  Individual students will be arranged into chamber groups, classes and workshops that are based on their *level and work with ESME on both traditional classical and ESME pop chamber arrangements.  Registration deadline is June 15th.  After June 15th students will be accepted on a case-by-case basis and based on availability.


* The 2021 ESME Virtual String Camp program is divided into two groups: ESME Concert Program (ECP) and the ESME Philharmonia Program (EPP).  Scroll down below to view requirements for each program group.

Camp Programs

Morning Warmups

​Livestreaming warm-up sessions begin each morning with interactive playing, listening, vocal and physical warm-up exercises.

Interactive Workshops

Various workshops are led each day by faculty members through live Zoom video conferencing with topics that include

  • Composition: The Basics of Composing Using Notation Software -  Learning how to use MuseScore (a free downloadable program) to create simple scores, and study the building blocks of writing classical music: Melody, Rhythm, Harmony and Bass.  Students will create short compositions and share them with the group at the end of the multi-day workshop.  Click here to see an example of a student's composition from the 2020 camp.

  • How to “Sing” as a String Player

1.  The interaction between the left hand and the right hand: How to use vibrato and bow speed to your expressive advantage

2.  Intensity and long-phrase: How to feel the underlying harmony when playing a melody

3.  How to play with direction and knowing when to let go

4.  Building your voice: What do "color,” "texture,” and "weight" really mean when we play music?

  • Improvisation Interactive Workshop 1

1.  An interactive workshop teaching basic techniques for improvisation.

2.  Learning harmonization, embellishment, overcoming stage fright or zoning out

3.  Developing a variation from start to finish.

  • Improvisation Interactive Workshop 2

1.  Exploring the vocal foundations and phonetics of articulation, rhythm and phrasing and applying them to improvisation.  

2.  Using fundamental tools of rhythm and tone study to create catalysts for improvisation.  

3.  Interactive improvisation exercises using tuning drones, scales and appoggiaturas: basking in harmonies and relishing interval relationships.

  •  Recording, mixing and editing virtual performances :

1.  An Introduction to Sound Engineering -  Learning how to use Audacity (a free downloadable program) to create sound recordings, edit them to be high quality, add effects and other edits, and produce a finalized MP3 or WAV file.  

2.  Learning basic acoustics and the definition of digital sound.

  • “Got Rhythm?”

1.  Rhythmic Interplay: Interactive rhythmic exercises that explore the interplay between big beats, subdivision, syncopation, ties, dance rhythm, and rubato.

2.  How to successfully navigate rhythms during ties and syncopations. Learn the secrets of playing off the beat, coming off a tie, timing of turns and grace-notes.

3.  “Groove: The Prodigal Son”- How we leave and return to the beat in order to create groove.

  • “Body Awareness”

1. Exploring our physical approach to the instrument as an extension of the self.

2. Centering the mechanics of playing and examining string temperament.

3.  Introduction to Yoga: Connecting mind, body, and breath to music-making

4. Safe yoga sequences for preparing the body for practice and performance

5.  Arm and hand stretches, relaxation breathing techniques to reduce nerves and achieving optimal body alignment.

6. Warm-ups derived from classical and contemporary ballet for freeing muscle tension, improving physical endurance, posture and bodyweight distribution.

  • Introduction to Video Editing: The Basics of Working with Video Editing Software

1.  Starting with raw video footage and creating a complete product.

2.  Aligning and editing audio

3.  Adding transitions and effects

4.  Learning formatting and terminology. 

  • Ensemble Playing: An Interactive Exploration 

1.  Accompanying in Chamber Music : The relationship between melody and motor rhythm, solo and accompaniment.  Creating direction in long notes; leading while keeping freedom.

2.  Understanding Rubato : What does “rubato” mean and how to use it correctly.  How to both lead and follow while playing rubato.

3.  “Importance of the Long Phrase in Ensemble Playing”: How the long phrase affects treatment of rubato, tempo, musical intensity and organic cohesion within an ensemble.

Special Classes

  • Music Entrepeneurship and Career and College Preparedness.  Lead by Joseph Conyers, Associate principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, faculty teacher at the Juilliard School and creator of the nationally renowned youth training organization Project 440.  Topics include college and career preparedness, music entrepreneurship, tips on how to take auditions, and what goes into creating an effective YouTube channel as an educational and business tool for musicians.  This class teaches young musicians how to manage their future in today's increasingly shifting professional landscape.  

  • "Intermission", a Ground-Breaking Program that unites Body, Mind, Breath, and Music-Making through Yoga and Meditation.  Lead by Elena Urioste, world renowned solo violinist and yogi.  In this class students will be exploring mindful movement, alignment, breath-work, and self-compassion, so that at any age and stage they can begin to unite their physical, mental, and emotional selves and allow music-making to become a more holistic, healthy, and joyful practice.  Groups are guided through safe yoga sequences with an emphasis on preparing the body for instrumental practice sessions or performances: for example, arm and hand stretches to warm the muscles, breathing techniques to relax and center oneself before a nerve-wracking stage appearance, and stacking the body from the soles of the feet to the crown of the head to achieve optimal alignment. 

  • Ballet and Holistic Musicianship   Lead by Yuka Oba-Muschiana, principal dancer and choreographer of the Grand Rapids Ballet.  Yuka will lead morning physical warm-up exercises throughout the week, perform live dance for the students and teach a special class that introduces ballet techniques for freeing muscle tension for musicians, improving physical endurance, posture, core strength and bodyweight distribution.  Students will also participate in interactive music and dance exercises designed and choreographed by Yuka from classical and contemporary dance that explore the interconnectivity of expression between dance and music-making and it's relation to phrasing, groove, musical shape, weight and direction. 

Meet the Artistic Faculty


Jeremy Crosmer completed multiple graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in cello, composition and theory pedagogy, and received his D.M.A. in 2012 at age 24.  He has served as Assistant Principal Cellist in the Grand Rapids Symphony, and is currently a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  Jeremy has written arrangements for the GRS Music for Health Initiative, which pairs symphonic musicians with music therapists to bring classical music to hospitals, as well as full orchestral compositions programmed for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's 2019-2020 classical concert season.  Jeremy has toured London with the Grand Valley State University Chamber Orchestra and performed as soloist with the GRS.  While still in school, Jeremy was awarded the prestigious Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award to publish, record and perform his Crosmer-Popper duets.  Jeremy has taught music theory, pre-calculus and cello at universities across Michigan.

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Mike Chen has been a violist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 2018.  He was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2018 and a member of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2012.  He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University and has studied violin with Blair Milton and viola with Li-kuo Chang, Michael Strauss, Peter Slowik, Keith Conant and Baird Dodge.  He has performed with the Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony.  He received a Master’s degree in Conducting at Northwestern University in 1999, and studied conducting with Victor Yampolsky, Mariusz Smolij, Gilbert Varga, David Zinman, and Murry Sidlin.  Mike was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado and has served as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and guest conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Side-by-Side Orchestra.


A native New Yorker, violinist Gene Hahn made his debut at Carnegie Hall as a guest soloist at age 13.  He continued to perform regularly at Carnegie with the New York Youth Symphony.  He has appeared as soloist with the Mannes College of Music Orchestra and was a winner of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Young Musicians' Competition.  Gene studied chamber music at the Manhattan School of Music with The American String Quartet and orchestral performance with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and The New York Philharmonic.  He participated in the Musicorda and Quartet Program chamber festivals, toured with The Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and upon moving to Michigan joined the Grand Rapids Symphony.  He also performs with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and as associate concertmaster of The West Michigan Symphony and is the founding member of ESME.

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Noted for her "sensitive and imaginative" (New York Concert Review) playing, Korean-born pianist Sookkyung Cho has appeared at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Sarasota Opera House, Montreal Conservatory, Chateau de Fontainebleau in France, and Zhejiang University in China, and was recently heard on Chicago's WFMT.  A founding member of the New York-based Almava trio, she has been featured at Yellow Barn, Norfolk and Sarasota music festivals, and was a Performing Associate at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.  She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard, where she was honored with the prestigious John Erskine Graduation Prize, a Master of Music degree from Peabody, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Juilliard.  She served on the piano and chamber music faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory in Boston as well as the music theory faculty at the Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University and serves as Assistant Professor of Piano at GVSU.

Special Guest Faculty


Joseph Conyers serves as acting associate principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra and served previously with the Atlanta Symphony.  He has performed as soloist with the Alabama and Richmond Symphonies.  Mr. Conyers is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, has collaborated with such artists as James Ehnes, Daniel Hope, and members of the Emerson String Quartet and studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Harold Robinson, principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and double bass soloist Edgar Meyer.  He won second prize at the Sphinx Competition in Detroit and is a Sphinx Organization Medal of Excellence recipient as well as the recipient of the C. Hartman Kuhn award, the highest honor bestowed on a musician of The Philadelphia Orchestra and selected by its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  In 2019, he was named one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year: Innovators, Independent Thinkers, and Entrepreneurs and has been named one of “30 Leaders 30 and Under” by Ebony magazine.  He has taught at the Philadelphia International Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra and has given master classes and lectures at the Colburn School, the Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Yale University, Ohio State University, and the Peabody Conservatory.  Mr. Conyers is the founder of Project 440, a non-profit training organization that uses music as a tool to engage, educate, and inspire young musicians, providing them with care and life skills to become tomorrow’s civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders.  Partners have included Carnegie Hall, the New York State Summer School of the Arts, and the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia.  In 2015 Mr. Conyers was appointed music director of Philadelphia’s famed All City Orchestra, an ensemble showcasing the top orchestral talent of students in the School District of Philadelphia.


Elena Urioste is a world-renowned violinist, yogi, and entrepreneur.  She has performed as soloist with Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota Orchestras, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Boston Pops, and the Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. Abroad, Elena has appeared with the London Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and National Orchestra of Wales.  She has collaborated with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christoph Eschenbach, Robert Spano, Karina Canellakis, and Gábor Takács-Nagy. She has regularly performed as a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall and given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, and Mondavi Center. A former BBC New Generation Artist, Elena has been featured on the covers of Strings, Symphony, and BBC Music magazines.  She was a featured chamber artist at the Marlboro, Ravinia, La Jolla, Sarasota Music Festivals, as well the the Verbier Festival’s winter residency at Schloss Elmau. Elena has collaborated with Mitsuko Uchida, Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Guarneri Quartet and is the co-director of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, appointed Associate Ensemble at Wigmore Hall.  Elena studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School with teachers Joseph Silverstein, David Cerone, Ida Kavafian, Pamela Frank and Choong-Jin Chang. Elena has practiced yoga since 2009 and received her RYT-200 hour certification from the Kripalu Center in 2019. She is a co-founder of "Intermission", a program that combines music, movement, and mindfulness to make music-making a healthier, more holistic practice through yoga and meditation creating virtual sessions for students, retreats for professionals.  She was awarded first prizes at the Sphinx and Sion International Violin Competitions, an inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence presented by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, spreads in Latina and La Revista Mujer magazines, a 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society “Inspiration Award” for the #UriPosteJukeBox project; and the 2015 Brooklyn Film Festival’s Audience Choice and Best Original Score awards for "But Not For Me", the independent feature film in which Elena acted as the lead female role. 


Yuka Oba-Muschiana is a ballet dancer and choreographer with the Grand Rapids Ballet.  Born in Japan, she received her training from Hitomi Takeuchi Ballet School and at the English National Ballet School in the UK where she also danced many soloist roles. Upon graduating, Mario Radacovsky invited her to join the Slovak National Ballet where she danced a variety of roles. Yuka was then invited to join Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011 where she has since danced principal roles in ballets by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Olivier Wevers, and Penny Saunders.  Yuka has won many competitions in Japan including NBA All Japan Ballet Competition, Saitama All Japan Dance Competition, UB All Japan Ballet Union Competition, International Ballet Competition in Yokohama, and others. In 2013, Yuka had the honor of performing Olivier Wever’s The Sofa at the Joyce Theatre in New York and reprised her role in Seattle.  Yuka performed Le Corsaire Pas de Deux in the gala at The National Theatre in Tokyo and the Pas de Deux from Le Carnaval de Venise in Fukushima.  In 2014, Val Caniparoli choreographed Clara on Yuka for the world premiere of The Nutcracker.  She also choreographed Tomorrow Never Comes for MOVEMEDIA in 2015.

Virtual Learning Process

Students will be taken through a tangible learning process from the ground up throughout the course of the camp.  They will be taught how to use online and virtual performance practices as powerful tools for building themselves as players and as chamber musicians.


As part of this learning process students will have easy access to necessary equipment, software, instructional videos and lesson plans that include:

  • online performing; how to create effective virtual performances

  • using audio and music notation software

  • how to effectively play with a click track

  • how to effectively play, record and practice with fellow musicians using Acapella, BandLab and other virtual performance apps and tools

Practice Templates, Orientations and Instructional Videos

Students receive template practice videos weeks in advance. These unique templates created by our faculty include video and audio recordings/click tracks for every assigned chamber piece.  Students receive the recording of their assigned piece (with their part omitted) to work with before and during the camp.  It’s like having a virtual side-by-side practice session with our string faculty available any time of the day!

The faculty will hold online orientation lessons during the weeks leading up to the camp.  During these orientations the faculty will test student’s equipment and software and familiarize students with the virtual process.

Instructional videos on all necessary camp software and equipment will also be sent out to students prior to these orientations.


Items and Software: What do I need for the camp and is it free?

​All software used for the camp is free to download.  


All students will require the following item:

·  At least one desktop computer or laptop with a built in or external camera

·  A smartphone (or iPadiPod, tablet) with audio and video recording capabilities

Additional recommended items:

·  A pair of wired earbud earphones.

·  Internet connection with speeds of 10mbps or higher

ECP and EPP Program Requirements


ESME Concert Program:

·  Suzuki Book 4 equivalent or higher

ESME Philharmonia Program:

·  Must be able to read sheet music

·  Suzuki Book 1 (Late) equivalent or higher

All student participants should be prepared to play a piece of their choice during the orientation lessons prior to the camp and may be additionally asked to sightread.  

What is the Daily Schedule?

​The ESME Virtual String Camp runs June 21-July 2nd, 2021 with Saturdays and Sundays off.  Daily schedule may consist of approximately 1.5-3 hours of screen time depending on the day.  Information collected during the registration process will be used to help acommodate any special needs for students to schedule at specific times.

ESME Concert​ Program Daily Schedule

·  *30 minute warm-up - 9:30am-10am 

·  Interactive workshop / one per day - 10am-10:45am or 11am-11:45am 

·  Private lesson - 45 minutes / 2 lessons per week.  Lessons can be scheduled between 10am-12pm or 1pm-3pm (Requests for scheduling lessons outside of these hours may be granted upon faculty approval.  Each student is guaranteed 2 lessons per week with the option to request more lessons at the rate of $30 per additional lesson)

·  *Special Class - 1pm-1:45pm 


ESME Philharmonia Program Daily Schedule

·  *30 minute warm-up - 9:30am-10am 

·  Interactive workshop / one per day - 10am-10:45am or 11am-11:45am 

·  Private lesson - 30 minutes / 2 lessons per week.  Lessons can be scheduled between 10am-12pm or 1pm-3pm (Requests for scheduling lessons outside of these hours may be granted upon faculty approval.  Each student is guaranteed 2 lessons per week with the option to request more lessons at the rate of $30 per additional lesson)

·  *Special Class - 1pm-1:45pm 


*The ESME Virtual String Camp schedule is designed to provide flexibility for students with existing conflicts and/or engagements.  The 30 minute morning warm-up and afternoon Special Classes in particular are offered based on student's availability and their attendance are not strictly required for enrollment.

The 12-1pm hour will be reserved each day as a lunch hour where students can choose to have lunch online with fellow students and faculty or offline.  Remaining time slots in between lessons, workshops and classes will be designated as practice sessions.  Faculty assisted Breakout Room practice session rooms will be open and available to students during those times but students have the option to practice offline during camp hours as well.

A final virtual concert will take place at the end of the camp that includes all student chamber groups, orchestras and faculty performances.

Chamber Music Coachings and Private Lessons

​Each student receives private lessons and/or chamber music coachings from the ESME string faculty through livestream video conferencing.

Each student will be provided in advance with faculty recordings of their chamber repertoire to work with in preparation for and during the camp.  Students will also work continuously throughout the camp from recordings made by one another which will also be incorporated into teacher’s daily lesson plans and final camp performance projects.

“Breakout Room” Practice Sessions

Students will rotate between the workshops and individual “Breakout Room” practice sessions set up through zoom.  Breakout Room sessions will include both personal and faculty assisted practicing.

Masterclasses and Faculty Performances

Special live masterclasses and live performances by faculty artists will be given throughout the camp.

On Call Faculty Assistance

​Faculty members will be on call virtually any time of the day to assist students for additional help with their camp project assignments.

ESME Chamber Arrangements

​ESME chamber pop arrangements provide a unique and exciting context drawing from a wide eclectic range of styles for students at any level to form connections between fundamentals of music making and string playing while presenting a “modern day Sukuzi” approach utilizing modern musical exposure towards classical training.

Application Process, Tuition Costs and Discounts

​Registration fee for the ESME Virtual String Camp is $400 if application/payment is received by May 15th.

Refer-A-Friend Discount Program

​The ESME Virtual String Camp now offers a discount off your tuition every time a friend you refer to the camp signs up!  Here's how it works:

Step 1.  Invite your fellow string and piano student friend(s) to enroll in the camp.

Step 2.  Make sure they list your name next to the "Refer-A-Friend" section on the application form.

Step 3.  Both you and your friend will receive $50.00 discounts off of your tuition fees (in the form of a reimbursement after application/tuition is received). You also receive an additional $50 for every additional student you bring to the camp so invite as many friends as you want! 

The ESME String Camp is sponsored in part by

Meyer Music 

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