Personalized Assessment Process
By design, PCMF maintains a very small student body each year. Not only do these low numbers allow for a very personal environment, it also provides us the opportunity to create a unique and individualized lesson plan for each student. We use a three-step process that begins before the student arrives and continues after the festival ends.
Each prospective student is required to provide an audition video when applying to PCMF. This video is used to determine their acceptance, can factor into scholarship awards, and allows for proper placement into our ensembles. Once a student is admitted into the program, our faculty then uses this video to assess the student's technical and musical abilities. A specific lesson plan is then created based on utilizing strengths and addressing areas of improvement.
Each student receives instruction throughout the festival that is geared towards improvement in specific areas. This instruction is not limited to private lessons. Faculty members leading chamber music coachings, orchestra rehearsals, and sectionals are all aware of each student's plan. This system allows the student to receive relevant and helpful feedback in a constructive and positive manner. The result is that students are not asked to do something they are not ready for, are given instruction on how to improve in areas relevant to their personal growth, and are encouraged to use their pre-existing strengths.
Throughout the course of the festival, students will be given instruction using a "What", Why", and "How" approach. "What" area needs improvement, "why" is it important to address this area, and finally "how" to improve. It is the "why" and "how" that are so often lacking in a student's education. By giving them tools and techniques to address these area of improvement, they will have the ability to continue to improve long after the festival ends.
The added beauty of this system is that many of our students return for more than just one season. When they do, we are able to track their progress over an even longer time period and adjust the lesson plan as needed.