American Music Camp for Strings

June 25 – 30, 2017

About the Camp
Join us for the second year of American Music Camp at South Shore Conservatory: a fun, hands-on program for violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin and guitar students ages 3 and up.  During this one-week camp, students participate in a variety of classes led by top teachers from South Shore Conservatory and around the United States.

Through fun classes and instruction, students explore a variety of techniques and styles of music, including classical, jazz, rock, pop, Irish and American fiddling, and more! Students also learn to create their own music through composing and improvising and will trace music back to its roots with various American folk and Irish dance classes. Each day concludes with an all-camp recital and jam session where students showcase their musical creations and share music together in SSC’s outdoor Jane Carr Amphitheater!

SSC’s American Music Camp kicks off on Sunday June 25 at 3:30 pm with registration, and an opening concert by camp faculty at 4 pm. 

For more information, please contact Program Director Amanda Roberts at,
or call 781-749-7565 x10.

The American Music System website and Facebook page

Saturday, March 11, 3-6 pm
Hingham campus

Students age 3 to 18 who play violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin, or guitar are
welcome to bring their instrument and join SSC for a fun afternoon of American music!

Contact SSC String Dept. Chair Amanda Roberts at or
781-749-7565, x10 for more information.


Half-Day Camp

Half-Day Camp
9 am to 12:30 pm
Ages 3 to 5

Open to violin, guitar and mandolin students only. Students should have at least 6 months experience with their instrument (special consideration will be given to new beginning students or those with less than 6 months experience upon request). Music reading is not required.

Daily Activities

  • 2 Group Classes (8-10 students per group)
  • 1 Music & Movement class which includes singing, dancing and playing other instruments
  • Daily Recital/Jam session

Register online with the Class Registration Request Form (use the PayPal buttons when available to pay tuition), or contact our registration staff directly at (781) 749-7565 ext. 10.

Tuition: $395
Early Birdt Discount: Pay in full by March 15: $355

Tuition Assistance
Tuition Assistance is available. To be considered, submit the Tuition Assistance Application form by May 10. 2017.

Half-Day Camp Pay in Full before March 15: $355
PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!
Half-Day Camp Tuition Deposit Due by May 1: $150
PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!
Half-Day Camp Tuition Balance Due by June 15: $245
PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Full-Day Camp

Full-Day Camp 
9 am to 4 pm
Ages 6 to 18
Open to violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin and guitar students. All classes are grouped and geared towards each individual student's playing level and ability. Music reading is required for Write Your Own Tune and Classical Chamber Music.
Daily Activities:

  • One group class
  • One dance session
    Electives from the following choices (open to all instruments unless noted otherwise): Irish Sessions, How to Jam, Old-Time Radio Show, Mandolin I: no experience necessary*, Guitar I: learn to accompany fiddle tunes (must have own guitar)**, Electric Bass I: (must have own electric bass and amp), Write Your Own Tune, Song Writing, Chording and Chopping for Violins, Violas and Cellos, Viola/Cello/Bass Rock Band, Fiddling Electives in: Bluegrass, Irish fiddling, Southern Appalachian and fiddling on viola , Guitar Electives: Rock, Blues, Classical, Classical Chamber Music

*There are a limited number of mandolins available for those without instruments.
**Parents, chaperones, grandparents and siblings of registered campers may join the mandolin and/or guitar classes for an extra fee of $50 per class. You may register for multiple classes.

  • 1 Free Period used for jamming, practicing, exploring, resting or socializing
  • Daily Recital & Jam Session: all-camp sharing of band projects & solos

Register online with the Class Registration Request Form (use the PayPal buttons when available to pay tuition), or contact our registration staff directly at (781) 749-7565 ext. 10.

Tuition: $595
Early Birdt Discount: Pay in full by March 15: $555

Tuition Assistance 
Tuition Assistance is available. To be considered, submit the Tuition Assistance Application form by May 10, 2017.

Full-Day Camp Pay in Full before March 15: $555

Full-Day Camp Tuition Deposit Due by May 1: $150

Full-Day Camp Tuition Balance: Due by June 15: $445

Teacher Training Seminar

Teacher Training Seminar

Pam Wiley, Instructor

15 hour course includes:

  • Principles of the American Music System
  • Creating Group Class Arrangements
  • Improvising in Your Group Class
  • Overview of O'Connor Method Books I-IV
  • Combining Methods
  • Use of Supplemental Materials
  • Observation of Student Classes
  • Certificate of Completion from American Music System, Inc.
  • Graduate Credit from College of Charleston

Seminar fee: $385. Please contact Amanda Roberts to register.

Camp Orientation

Camp Orientation: Sunday, July 25

3:30-4:00 pm - Camp Registration and Check-In
Please arrive to check-in and pick up your name tags and schedules for the week!

4:00-6:00 pm - Camp Orientation and Opening Concert in Amphitheater (Bring your instruments!)
Join the whole camp for an important orientation meeting regarding your daily camp schedules and activities. Camp faculty will be introduced through an amazing and fun opening concert. Be sure to bring your instruments, as an all-camp introductory jam session will follow the opening faculty concert!


Pam Wiley
Pam was a contracted member of the Harrisburg Symphony for 28 (1978-2006) years, a well-known Suzuki teacher in Central PA for over 40 years and has been an avid back-porch fiddler since the early 70s. In 2005, Pam relocated to South Carolina with her husband John where they currently maintain private studio at Hungry Monk Music. From 2009 to 2014, Pam worked closely with Mark O'Connor to develop and promote the O'Connor Method Books traveling to over 20 States, Canada & Washington DC and training over 800 teachers in the New American School of Violin Playing. In 2011, Pam founded and directed the first American Music Camp (under the name of "O'Connor Method Camp") in Charleston, South Carolina. Now in it's 6th year, this camp has set the standard for summer music camps for young students wishing to experience a diversity of musical styles, improvising, jamming and holistic music-making with peers.

In 2012 Pam founded LASO (Lowcountry American String Orchestra), a multi-generational community orchestra that specializes in studying and performing American string music. Also in 2012, Pam started The Jacksonboro Fiddle Club, a free after school program for under-served children in rural South Carolina. Pam is currently the President of American Music System Charleston, Inc. and editor of The American Music System Newsletter. Pam is the author of "Teacher Training in the American Music System," a teacher's manual for the O'Connor Method books. Pam is a frequent clinician at music educators' professional development workshops and conventions and currently teaches a graduate level course entitled "Teaching Strings in the American Music System" accredited by the College of Charleston. When not working with teachers or students in the American Music System, Pam can be found knitting, fishing or playing scrabble.

John Holenko
John Holenko received degrees in Classical Guitar performance from the New England Conservatory, and the University of Southern California has performed on classical guitar, steel-string guitar, mandolin, banjo and historic instruments throughout the United States and in Europe. John has performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Spoleto Orchestra. As a member of the of the Medieval ensemble Sonus, Mr. Holenko recorded three CD's of Medieval music. John performs and records with his group The Hungry Monks, an eclectic, acoustic ensemble playing a wide variety of traditional and original music. In addition to his work during the summer at the American Music Systems camps, and his experience teaching at The Charlotte Children's Theater, The Green River Preserve in North Carolina, as Artist-in-Residence at the Cuyahoga Environmental Education Center in Ohio, and many other educational settings, John runs Hungry Monk Music, a music school in Charleston, SC where he teaches privately and in group settings. Mel Bay Publications has published editions of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music for mandolin by Mr. Holenko.


Melissa Tong
Violinist Melissa Tong is quickly gaining a reputation for her finesse and versatility, performing everywhere from Boston Symphony Hall with Savion Glover to Lincoln Center to one of the last remaining juke joints in Mississippi. Recent performances have taken Ms. Tong throughout the U.S. accompanying violinist, fiddler, and composer Mark O'Connor on piano, and abroad to Japan, Mexico, Jamaica, and the U.K. An active musician in NYC, Melissa is a member of the New York based Artemis Chamber Ensemble, plays regularly with numerous orchestras in the tri-state area, and has collaborated with the Flexible Orchestra for several commissioned world premieres. Ms. Tong also makes frequent appearances with a multitude of pop, rock, and folk artists, such as bands Young the Giant, The Album Leaf, Wakey!Wakey!, and Vienna Teng, and can be heard in the recordings of artists Elizabeth and the Catapult, Ari Hest, The Spring Standards, Alex Wong, and Alex Berger, among many others. In addition, "Railroad Nails" Tong is half of the North Mississippi Blues duo Pork Chop Willie, with whom she also sings and plays piano. Melissa attended the University of Southern California on full scholarship, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal Concertmaster Martin Chalifour, as well as a minor in Communications and the Entertainment Industry. Ms. Tong is a dedicated teacher, is certified in both the O'Connor and Suzuki Methods, and is on the faculty at the Third Street Music School Settlement in Manhattan and the Mark O'Connor/Berklee College of Music Summer String Program in Boston. When not rehearsing, performing, recording, or teaching, Melissa can often be found fiddling away at a bluegrass jam session. She resides in Manhattan, where she happily feeds her addictions to coffee and yoga. Melissa can be found online at

Andy Reiner
Andy Reiner, an award-winning fiddler from Lexington, MA, grew up in a musical family. He began playing at age 5, learning fiddle from his father Dave Reiner, a fiddle contest champion and author of instructional fiddle books with publisher Mel Bay. Over many summers of fiddle camps which changed his life forever, he studied Old Time, Bluegrass, Irish, Cape Breton, Quebequois, Swing, and other fiddle styles and repertoire, and internalized the spectrum of different teaching methods of the many world-class fiddlers and educators from whom he took workshops. Upon graduating from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2008 with a BM in Violin Performance, he continued touring with several bands while taking on students and fiddle camps. Andy has played with the Reiner Family Band from an early age, Heavy Metal with Devil in the Kitchen, Folk/Hip-Hop with FiddleFoxx, Old Time/Swedish with Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, toured Southeast Asia with The Earth Stringband, and sometimes performs solo. Andy has composed five major works for string orchestra, which have been performed at the Berklee Performance Center and the Kennedy Center, as well as a book of 54 original compositions for fiddle.

Hazel Ketchum
Hazel Ketchum began her performing and song writing career as a drummer in country bands at age 14. After performing throughout Northern California and Las Vegas, NV Hazel started music school to study classical guitar, lute, voice and composition. Since receiving her Masters in Music from the University of Southern California in 1989 she has had a lively career giving classical concerts, playing with the Medieval ensemble Sonus and lute duo Rossignol. Currently, Hazel performs with her band the Hungry Monks and they have 3 CDs featuring her original songs. Hazel also performs with Irish fiddler Tom Morley in their “band of two” Banna de dhá. Hazel continues to play percussion and drum set with the blues trio The Harrows and lute with the Baroque trio Corde Cantanti.

Hazel’s music is also the focus of two children’s CDs “Big as the World” and “Say Darlin’ Say”. In 2012 Hazel premiered her first commissioned work “Heloise and Abelard – a masque” for Counter Tenor, Alto and instrumental ensemble.

Hazel is in demand as a music teacher and directs music studies for the Cooper School, Oak Grove Montessori and Hungry Monk Music. In the summers Hazel teaches with her husband John Holenko for the American Music Camps that have been held at the Berkley School of Music in Boston, Charleston, SC, South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA and Portland, Maine. You can also find Hazel teaching music at Green River Preserve in North Carolina where she her musical performances and classes combine with outdoor experiences.

Hazel has been part of the very successful collaboration with naturalist, educator and musican Ian Sanchez. Their project Science Songs Rock has produced one CD and engages children in musical science projects in schools through out the South East.

Hazel lives in Charleston with her family and together they run Hungry Monk Music where students of all ages come to play music, dance and sing.


Rob Flax
Rob is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator from Evanston, IL, USA, with a playful heart and an open mind. He has performed locally, nationally, and internationally with groups of many different styles, including opening for B.B. King and Tower of Power, collaborations with dancers and filmmakers (including work on the soundtrack of James Franco’s film As I Lay Dying), and several original projects. Rob is a recent graduate of New England Conservatory, where he received a master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation.

An accomplished educator, Rob has taught violin at several schools in the greater Boston area, at all ages (pre-kindergarten to septuagenarians) and skill levels (young beginners to expert students at the Berklee College of Music). His teaching philosophies are rooted in the theories of John Dewey and in the latest advances in neuroscience, with a firm belief that music is for all. He has been published in the Arts Education Policy Review, discussing the “myths and misconceptions of talent” (, May 2013). Visit for Rob’s mailing list, plus sounds, videos, and more.

Amanda Roberts (SSC Faculty)
Violinist Amanda Smith Roberts has performed both nationally and internationally as a soloist. Having joined South Shore Conservatory’s faculty in fall 2013, she holds her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in performance and studied under renowned pedagogue Paul Kantor during her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Dr. Roberts has soloed with numerous professional orchestras throughout the southeastern United States, and has also competed in, and won, national competitions. In 2008 she and her husband, pianist Jonathan Roberts, founded their duo, The Stardust Duo, named after Hoagy Carmichael’s jazz tune Stardust. Their duo specializes in performing and commissioning classical works influenced by popular musical styles, namely jazz and blues. Dr. Roberts shares her love for various musical styles through teaching and performing. Twice she was even awarded the Mississippi State Fiddling Championship. Dr. Roberts was also one of the first teachers to become certified in the emerging Mark O’Connor American String Method. Through her encouraging instruction, she enjoys guiding students to reach their highest potential as creative and versatile artists.

Erik Caldarone (SSC Faculty)
Erik Caldarone leads an active and varied musical life as a performer. He is the leader and founder of the in demand performing group ECG, which finds home in the cross section of modern jazz and indie-rock. He also performs regularly with the formerly Boston based (now Brooklyn based) indie rock group Take Care, whose album Somewhere Safe was marked by rave reviews by both Indie Rock Cafe and Indie Music Reviewer. Erik is currently in the process of recording ECG's highly anticipated debut album with Bob Pascarella.



  • $150 deposit is due at the time of registration
  • Receive a $40 discount if students register and pay in full by March 15
  • Full tuition balance is due on June 15
  • Late fee of $50 is added to registrations and outstanding balances after June 15
  • All deposits are non-refundable
  • Registration
  • Use the online Registration Request Form to register for any of these program.

Late Fee: $50

For more information or questions, please contact Amanda Roberts, Program Director, at or call 781.749.7565 x15

PLEASE NOTE: Paying tuitions online with PayPal does not register you for programs and lessons. Click here to submit the Class Registration Request or contact our Registrar to complete the registration process.