Since 1985
In the quiet beauty of upstate NY
"intimate. collegial. challenging"

1. How many participants are accepted in each Practice Marathon Retreat?
A maximum of twelve musicians are invited to attend.

2. What kind of program does each participant pursue in a Practice Marathon Retreat?
The program for each participant is custom-tailored to both their repertoire needs and skill needs. You choose your repertoire and you choose what to focus on in your practice. The daily workshops reflect the unique program of each of the participants. Information of every kind is offered, if requested.

3. In what way is the Orchestral Excerpts Retreat different from the other Practice Marathon Retreats?
In the Orchestral Excerpts Retreat the emphasis in the workshops is on preparing for an audition. We discuss what the audition committees are listening for in each excerpt, and, each participant performs in two or three mock auditions during the retreat. Therefore, participants whose primary goal is to work toward auditions are accepted. The repertoire covered includes solo audition repertoire as well as excerpts.

4. In what way is the Performance Power Retreat different from the other Practice Marathon Retreats?
The Performance Power Retreat is designed for musicians who are yearning to develop their performing personalities, to tackle everything from stress management to charisma. It is the only retreat which ends in a public performance. Excellent pianists are available for rehearsals, workshops, and performances; and the workshops are oriented toward solving performance problems, such as managing stress before and during the performance, managing practice to perform with conviction and excitement, creating a compelling interpretation, maximizing projection of the interpretation in a hall, rehearsing with a pianist, and commanding the stage.

Each participant brings one collaborative accompanied work, such as a sonata, which they have performed before. The aim is to work on interpretation and performance, and to avoid being distracted by learning new notes. At the end of the two week retreat, each participant gives a videotaped public performance at the beautiful stone church in Gilbertsville, New York. The recording is available to take home. During this retreat, each participant rehearses each day with the pianist. There is a surcharge of $250 for this service.

5. If I am working on an audition, will it be meaningful to attend a retreat other than the Orchestral Excerpts Retreat?
Yes! In the Orchestral Excerpts Retreat all of the participants are working on auditions and everyone plays two or three mock auditions during the session. In the other retreats, you may be the only one practicing for an audition, but you also have an opportunity to perform in mock auditions.

6. Is scholarship available?
There is no scholarship available. However, interest-free extended payment plans of up to 10 months are available.

7. What is a day at Magic Mountain Music Farm like?
The morning begins at 7 a.m. when your personal butler reads a poem outside your door. If you get up at that time, you have an hour before practicing can begin. Practicing is from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. You make your own breakfast, the fixings for which are purchased according to your desires before you arrive. You design your day within the constraints of the following scheduled events: a one-hour workshop at 11 a.m.; lunch at 1:15 p.m.; one-hour individual lessons, which are scheduled three times a week; dinner at 7 p.m. and a one-hour evening workshop at 8:30 or 9 p.m. There is a fitness room for exercise, or many acres of fields and woods. Our nearest neighbor is one-half mile away. Lunch preparation and cleanup is shared. Every other dinner is prepared by our incomparable in-house chef, Susan Sebeck. The other dinners are prepared communally from easy-to-follow recipes by 3 people at a time. Preparing a meal together is a great relief from the solitude of practicing and all find it collegially fulfilling. During the unscheduled time, you have up to seven hours of intense, distraction free practice time to use as you wish.

8. What are the workshops like? Are they like traditional Master Classes?
In the workshops the participants get together twice a day with Burton Kaplan to explore "the process" of practicing. In order to examine and understand the process of practicing as objectively as possible, participants are asked to practice in front of each other. Each is asked to act exactly as they would if they were alone. This is a very sensitive matter. Therefore, the atmosphere of the workshops is informal, calm and non-judgemental. New strategies are offered and each participant is guided to try them before going back to their practice space.

9. I have seen MMMF advertised for violinists, violists and cellists. I can understand a violinist teaching all of those instruments, but how can he teach a wind, brass and harp player or a pianist?
The principles of practice management and strategies for developing advanced interpretive and technical skills as developed by Burton Kaplan are the same for all instruments. Click here to read comments from woodwind and brass players as well as pianists and harpists who have attended either a Practice Marathon Retreat or a Performance Power Marathon Seminar conducted by Burton Kaplan.

10. Can you accommodate participants with special diets, i.e., vegetarian, allergy prone, etc.?
At MMMF the food is custom-tailored to your diet. Before you come you fill out a Personal Needs Sheet explaining your individual needs. If you tell us what you need, we accommodate you.