Reviews and Feedback From Parents, Campers, and Staff

Encore/Coda is unlike any other overnight music camp in the world. Discover what makes our program so unique.

The Best Thing About Encore Coda According to:

Parents

I like that there’s such a feeling of genuine caring. I’ve never felt that any requests were not being met. I like that all the staff love being there! So many people return year after year and that says a lot. I also really appreciate that there are high standards–not really based on ability, but on being part of a group, and that expectations need to be met. My child has matured socially and of course musically! Her first year she learned how to be a good audience member–so important! 
          Parent from Fryeburg, ME

The opportunity for my child to be independent AND be a better musician from others. 
          Parent from Providence, RI

The warm, positive environment. Everyone was incredibly kind. Adrian made many friends and loved being there!   
          – Parent from Woburn, MA

The gender-expansive cabin was a huge success for my child. Thank you for making it available to all campers, regardless of gender identity. 
          – Parent from Boston, MA

Inclusivity, musical challenges, variety of activities, fun!
          – Parent from Princeton, NJ

Maria loved it as both a musical experience and a social one. Given that she’s 15 and it was her first summer at camp, the ease of making new friends and finding community was a wonderful surprise. She also loved her counselors.
          – Parent from Newton, MA

Love the small(er) size, the opportunity to get private lessons, and to explore music in different forms. My kid loved her counselor and CITs. She said the food was pretty decent too!
          – Parent from Ardsley, NY

Serious yet accessible and non-competitive music experience. Community of music-makers.
          – Parent from Arlington, VA

Bryn discovered a real love of theatre and was incredibly happy at camp!
          – Parent from Woburn, MA

Friendly atmosphere that encourages campers to try new things.
          – Parent from Colorado Springs, CO

I liked that the counselors actively participated in the music. Not just as teachers but as musicians.
          – Parent from Medfield, MA

This was Ben’s second summer at Camp Encore/Coda. As a musician myself, I appreciate the balance of serious music and fun. It is clear that the campers worked hard throughout the summer and the performances were excellent. The counselors and instructors at Encore/Coda created an environment of collaboration and love of music which was so clear throughout all the aspects the camp.
          – Parent from Winchester, MA

How nice everyone was and always has been. That place is made of magic.       
          – Parent from New York, NY

Arya got great quality music instruction this year, and really enjoyed her instructor.
          – Parent from Wellesley, MA

I love that it’s a place my child feels they can be themself socially among other musically-focused kids. The environment strikes a great balance between supportive/nurturing and rigorous/disciplined. 
          – Parent from Boston, MA

Really grateful for the gender inclusive/expansive community.
  

Campers and Staff

The supportive environment to play music with your friends!
          – Camper in Eagles cabin

The Dance!!
          – Camper in Whales cabin

The Community!
          – Camper in Penguins cabin

The supportive community at camp is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Everyone is so kind and willing to help.
          – Current Counselor

Meeting new friends and making music from morning to night.
          – Camper in Eagles cabin

So many things, but E/C has brought me the best friends I could ever ask for <3
          – CIT

The Community!
          – Current Staff member

Making new friends who are also passionate about music
          – Camper in Falcons cabin

The best part about Encore/Coda is the friends I made and got to spend so much time with.
          – Camper in Eagles cabin

The people! Everyone is so kind and shares a love of music, which is so special
          – Current Head Counselor

Alumni

Walking the paths at almost any hour and hearing music from all directions, styles, instruments.
          – Camper alum

The people. I’ve made friends there that I cherish wholeheartedly.
          – Camper and Staff alum

The best part is everyone shares the interest in music, which is the magic of this camp!
          – Camper alum

It was such a safe place when I went 🙂
          – Camper alum

The Lifelong  Friendships <3
          – Camper and Staff alum

What Did You Discover About Yourself

I want to start a jazz combo at home!
          – Senior in Eagles Cabin

That with the help of the great teachers I can advance much more. Also that I can be more independent and kind to everyone.
          – Middler in Starfish Cabin

I discovered my capability for handling challenges. I took on some music that was way above my level but with a lot of practice I got it mostly under control.
          – Intermediate in Stingrays Cabin

I was brave and I could be away from home for 3 1/2 weeks
          – Middler in Seagulls Cabin

Sometimes I think I underestimate my ability to try new things
          – Senior in Eagles Cabin

I discovered I can play in an orchestra
          – Junior in Robins Cabin

I found out that I make friends quickly, that I don’t like the saxophone, that I hold my flute wrong and definitely need to fix it, that I love Ben, Yaffa, Jonathan, Rachel, and Daphne, that I really like eating cereal with peanut butter and honey, that I don’t actually hate lakes, that I can successfully perform a solo piece, and that I loooooooove Encore/Coda.
          – Senior in Eagles Cabin

My time at camp further solidified my dream of becoming a music teacher because I met many great music faculty who I look up to and saw how they were helping kids improve musically. That made me want to do that too.
          – Senior in Falcons Cabin

That there is a place where people are nice!
          – Junior in Sunfish Cabin

I discovered that I need to work on fingering and sightreading
          – Middler in Cardinals Cabin

Way more than I can put in a single submission box. I really honed my songwriting style, and through music I was able to express and realize my understanding of my self, my confidence, and my gender. I discovered that I really love performing, even if that passion fades away during the times when I don’t have the chance.
          – Senior in Whales Cabin

That I can hit the high A while belting in Pippin
          – Intermediate in Piranhas Cabin

Parents

Especial shout out to the Theater Director for her talents and dedication putting together such an incredible theatre performance. We loved it. Aviva was in her “element”. 🙂
          – Parent from Baltimore, MD

All your hard work (and of all the staff and employees) clearly pays off. We appreciate it. 
          – Parent from Boulder, CO

The joy [the choir director] brought to her work, the song selections, the encouragement, the artistry and deep understanding of the need to play while also learning discipline – all of this are skills that can’t be taught. I’m so grateful my child got to learn from her and feel the spirit she brings to her work. I’ve been in choir and theater my whole life – it’s truly not about the perfect performance. The performance that matters is one that fills hearts and expresses life in a way that makes others feel seen, included, moved, and a desire to create more, give more, learn more, and share experiences with others.
          – Parent from Chevy Chase, MD

The conductor who led the Crimson band – did a superb job.  Energetic, caring. He carried a great energy that he passed to his students.
          – Parent from Baltimore, MD

Mr. Saltman was so generous and masterful in his teaching. My child had no experience with jazz at all and is a beginner with piano, but Mr. Saltman brought out artistry still. What a wise, giving, inspirational teacher he is!
          – Parent from Chevy Chase, MD

 

FAQs and Comments from Previous Years

Do Campers Come Back Year After Year?

Rachel had a GREAT GREAT time at camp this summer. She is very excited to return next summer. We picked her up at the airport in tears…..”do i really have to wait 11 months to go back to camp?”
          – Parent from Boulder, CO

Anthony really enjoyed camp and didn’t even miss me. I am sure he wants to be back next year!
          – Parent from Newton, MA

Anthony really enjoyed camp and didn’t even miss me. I am sure he wants to be back next year!
          – Parent from Newton, MA

Thank you so much for.a wonderful experience for our daughter, Maisy. As she had never been to a sleep away camp before, we were unsure what to expect. We are grateful for the positive reviews from Maisy! She obviously would like to return next summer (and her little sister would like to join her!)
          – Parent from Concord, MA

Can’t wait to go back next year!
          – Junior in Starfish Cabin

We wanted to thank you for a great work done this year.  Aviva enjoyed her time at camp and already looking forward to next year.
          – Parent from Baltimore, MD

Juliette is already speaking about next summer at Encore Coda. It is something she will look forward to all year long.
          – Parent from Concord, MA

After all that happened, he had a wonderful time playing music and hanging out with his friends and says that he wants to come back. That is directly related to the fact that he felt safe up at Camp Encore/Coda.
          – Parent from New York, NY

Aurora had the best time! Thank you sooo much for allowing her to come. She is already talking about next year!
          – Parent from Bridgton, ME

 

Do Families Get to Experience A Day at Camp?

Thank you so much to you and your amazing team for everything you do to make the summer a magical time. My mom and I loved coming to Family & Friends Day and were very impressed with everything we saw and heard. The wind ensemble was a special highlight of the day. It was also great fun to meet some other families.
          – Parent from Concord, MA

I saw so many happy faces, kids and parents. Job very well done.
          – Parent from Newton, MA

I cannot really imagine how much work it must have been to mobilize everything for families to visit after the long hiatus. It all looked easy from the visitors’ standpoint – but I know it took a lot to make it run smoothly. Well Done.
          – Parent from North Conway, NH

The way you ran the visiting day was incredible, I’m sure it took an insane amount of planning and coordination.   
          – Parent from Quebec, Canada

Camper Comments

Campers

Thank you for another wonderful summer at E/C. I keep saying that each year gets better, and it sounds cliché, but I think it is because of the friends I make, and the general welcoming community you foster at camp. This year was no different…Thanks again for another wonderful summer!

-camper from Washington, DC

…I don’t think there has been any definitive experience more profound in my life than my years as a camper, counselor, faculty member…the time I have been involved with you and camp. The experiences I had have helped me as a musician, communicator, teacher and organizer/leader.

-camper, counselor and faculty alum from Missoula, MT

…it’s so important to have a kind and welcoming staff, and everyone at E/C has always been so nice and caring to everyone…camp has made me into the musician I am today and I am so grateful for that. I learned to love music through camp…

-camper from Tampa, FL

Thank you for making camp so great this year!..Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn & grow as musicians…This camp has been so good for me both as a musician & as a person, so you have my gratitude for making such a good place to develop.

-Camper from Mansfield, CT

Thank you so much for camp. I had so much fun!

-camper from Tamworth, NH​

Thank you so much for running camp Encore-Coda! I had an amazing time at camp…I can’t wait to come back next year…

-camper from Boulder, CO

I just want to say thank you for giving me a chance to experience Camp Encore/Coda. It was my first sleepaway camp for that long of a period, but I was able to make new friends, and got to learn a lot about music…I really enjoyed my time at camp and hope to come back again…

-camper from Weston, MA​​

I had a great time at camp Encore/Coda! My favorite thing at camp was that I got to meet new friends and amazing counselors…I hope to come back next year!

-camper from Weston, MA

Camp Family Comments

 

Parents

Thank you so much for making this very special and enriching experience possible! My guys have grown so much individually; they’ve also formed a special bond at camp… which is priceless.

-parent from Princeton, NJ

Our son John had an amazing first Camp Encore/Coda experience…He grew as a musician, but also as a person. I was amazed at how his playing abilities changed in only 3 weeks…I think you all did a great job keeping the kids safe and healthy with the way things were organized! We loved the blog and scrolling through to find a smiling John amongst all the campers. He came home with new friends and fond memories! Thanks to you and the entire staff for a wonderful 3 weeks! John really wants to return next year!

-parent from Chatham, NH

Thank you for the music evaluations for the kids this summer. The teachers always provide positive feedback and constructive criticism – two things that are truly appreciated…I couldn’t have been happier to hear from Zoe and Adam each week…They absolutely love camp. And I love that you provide, essentially, the same camp experience to my children as I received when I went to E/C. We love to compare our experiences…Thanks again for a great summer.

-parent from New Haven, CT

We want to thank you for a memorable fun camp this summer; my daughter had so much fun, met new friends, and met supportive teachers and faculty members…Elishia tells me all the time how much fun she had in camp…she said that all the teachers, staff, and classmates created a fun and encouraging environment. We genuinely appreciate everything that all the faculty and counselors did to care for her…Thank you very much.

-parent from Honolulu, HI

Thank you so much for sending the evaluations. Leo had such a wonderful time at camp this year. I think jazz was his favorite but he’s also talked glowingly about senior orchestra. Sounds like socially he had an amazing time as well. We are so grateful that he could go this year and have nothing but wonderful things to say about Encore/Coda.

-parent from Somerville, MA

If one were to invent the ideal path for a young person to ramp down from the purgatory of the last 18 months, your camp would be very, very hard to beat…months ago when I asked around the dinner table “Where would you be if you could get there safely and be safe?” Graham answered without hesitation, “In my cabin at camp.”…What you guys have accomplished over decades is remarkable in and of itself. To navigate these last months and to deliver, without drama, a reopened camp is huge. I am confident that all of you worked impossibly hard in order to make it appear well under control…Congratulations to all of you in marshaling your experience, talent and love to create such a sanctuary!

-parent from Washington, DC

Bill and I would like to thank you so much for the amazing opportunity that Quinn experienced this summer. He has spoken so highly of the camp, the staff, counselors and the other campers. For a kid to experience 3 weeks at overnight camp for the first time, and have such a great time it shows what a strong commitment to the kids and the program you all have. He can’t say enough about it…When we picked him up on his final day and he was hugging kids and yelling goodbye to everyone it was beautiful, so wonderful to see him so engaged with the group…Overall it was more than we could ask for. Thank you again for a great summer experience for Quinn.

-parent from Center Conway, NH

…I just wanted to give you a very big THANK YOU for taking care of Nathan for 7 weeks this summer! He had a fantastic time, really loved every minute of camp. Thank you for recruiting such a great staff and counselor team and for giving Nathan the opportunity to stretch in advanced bands…All the very best to you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I’m so grateful we discovered Encore Coda!

-parent from Cambridge, MA

…Erica had an absolutely wonderful experience at Encore Coda this summer. She had never before played and heard so much music in such a short period of time, and she enjoyed every minute of it. And she really connected with the other campers and staff. She sobbed as we drove out the camp road. 🙂

-parent from Hoboken, NJ

…it’s so important to have a kind and welcoming staff, and everyone at E/C has always been so nice and caring to everyone…camp has made me into the musician I am today and I am so grateful for that. I learned to love music through camp…

-camper from Tampa, FL

Encore/Coda has been such a special place for both Becca and Sophie and we are incredibly grateful for the amazing environment you have created and continue to foster.

-parent from S. Portland, ME

Our family values Encore-Coda so deeply. It means so much for Lucas to have the rare and beautiful opportunity to be himself, make many new friends and to deepen his study of music in a healthy environment.

-parent from Tamworth, NH

Thank you very much for giving our daughter, Catherine such a great music camp experience. She was in tears leaving the camp and stated that she wished she could stay longer…she is happy to practice the piano, feels more confident with the guitar and got lots of new friends…We are extremely pleased and thanks again…Looks like we will be back next summer.

-parent from New York City

Thank you both SO MUCH for making the summer so wonderful for Bode and Desmond. I got an earful on the drive out about how much fun they had! I can’t wait to hear more about it! Please send my thanks to their counselors as well.

-parent from Los Angeles, CA

Thank you for another amazing summer camp experience for Sarah! It’s been wonderful to look at the photos with her and hear all about camp.

-parent from Arlington, VA

I just wanted to thank you for making Serena’s camp experience this year so wonderful!…She had such a great time at camp—it has renewed her confidence!…I can’t thank you enough…The sparkle has returned to her eyes!…Would you please thank everyone at camp for us—I am so grateful.

-parent from Fryeburg, ME

I just wanted to let you know that Auden had an amazing time at camp. Thank you so much!! She especially liked her cello teacher…..She really misses eating there as well. She is very disappointed with breakfast in Houston compared to breakfast in Maine…I really appreciate that the camp is tech-free and has a wholesome vibe in a natural setting. I think that really helps children!!! Tech is a ball and chain on mental health…I want to thank you, Ellen, and all of the staff for such an amazing summer…Best wishes for a great second session!

-parent from Houston, TX

Thank you for all you did to make Shon’s experience in Maine so wonderful.

-parent from Montrose, CO

Alex had a fantastic time at camp. He came home so excited about music and about his experience…He was very homesick for camp for the next few weeks after 1st session ended and is determined to stay all summer next year….Marina also had a blast as did all of Alex’s friends from home. Thank you for everything!!!

-parent from Princeton, NJ

Just letting you know Rachel had an absolutely great time at camp. She loved her bunkmates; and she was pretty fired up about Crimson. Crimson-type band was a completely new experience for her and she enjoyed that challenge…She is already plotting her return for 2022, and telling anyone who will listen about why they should go to Encore/Coda……

-parent from Boulder, CO

Thank you so much to all of you!!!!! We are so very happy for this amazing experience for Daniel and Sebastian, thanks to all of you!!!

-parent from Brookline, MA

We have a happy camper back safe! She had an amazing time and we are thrilled with all the opportunities she had in such a short time. You, Ellen and your staff deserve kudos for running such a great camp.

-parent from Bethesda, MD

We cannot thank you enough for this summer. Penelope and I just got home, and honestly I cannot believe how much she has grown as a person. It was extraordinary to get to talk with her (for 4 hours!) in the car and hear about everything. I hadn’t quite put together how much this would matter, how much it would influence her. And how much she would love it. We spent considerable time dissecting whether she would come first or second session next year…I know how hard this period must have been, and how many new challenges the summer must have brought. So, really, thank you.

-parent from Providence, RI

…I’m writing because I don’t know how to thank you for all the help you gave Kenry and Shelcy…Kenry came home with a lot of energy wanting to learn more…he has always gone to camp but it is the first time he returns with so much motivation…he told me that James told him that he did very well and that he should continue practicing and putting all his effort and he will be successful, and the first thing he told me is that he wants to be successful when he is an adult…for me as a mother he fills me with excitement because it is what we long for from our children. Thank you again and I hope to see my children attend Encore/Coda again next year.

-parent from Leominster, MA
I just wanted to drop you a quick ‘thank you’ note… Sebastian enjoyed music camp very much and is actively making plans with his cabin mates to go back next year. He’s made several meaningful friendships and has grown so much as a musician in 3 weeks! He’s now enthusiastic about playing, he developed a routine to practice on his own without any reminder…Thank you so much for the wonderful experience!

-parent from Princeton, NJ

Staff Comments

Faculty Comments

…What you have done for these kids at camp this summer is just amazing!!…Wow!!…I just think it’s really fantastic! Of course I’m not surprised…Anyways, huge congrats!!

-faculty alum from Providence, RI

I had such a wonderful time working on the piano faculty this summer. I felt that the atmosphere around camp was very friendly and welcoming and that this attitude transferred well to the campers. I felt that camp was well-run and that the kids had a lot of fun…Overall, I had such a great summer at Encore Coda and would love to return next year…

-faculty member from Chicago, IL

I have to say I am HUGELY impressed with the success of camp this summer! As both a parent and faculty member, I could not be more pleased with the seriousness and care regarding all things COVID exhibited by Camp E/C. I was very nervous going in about exposing my daughters to potential dangers, but my concerns were quickly and consistently allayed. Thank you so much for that!…

-faculty member from Jackson, MS

Overall, I am simply so grateful to have been able to be back to camp this summer. It was wonderful to be able to reconnect with campers, make new faculty connections and teach/learn so much in such a beautiful place. Thank you for everything!

-faculty member and counselor alum from Auburn, ME

Counselors

…this camp has reaffirmed my desire and confidence in working with kids and teaching music…this camp is special – thanks for all you do for E/C and enabling this experience for all!

– Counselor from Gainesville, FL

Camp is a wonderful, special place and I am really proud and honored to be a part of it. I am so glad I was able to come back this summer and grateful that you had me back.

-counselor from Walnut Creek, CA

Campers Turned Counselors

Campers Turned Counselors

…It felt like such a privilege to be a part of the camp community this summer, and I am so glad to have been a counselor…I hope I am back at Encore/Coda really soon, and once again, thank you so much for everything that you did for me this summer. I appreciate this experience so much, and it feels like a real gift to have been part of the community this summer.

-counselor and camper alum from New York City

It’s nearly impossible to describe how much Encore/Coda has meant to me, but I’m going to do my best…I’ve always felt that I belonged here in a special way that I’ve never really felt in high school or college…I’ve learned a great deal about music here, but even that pales in comparison to what I’ve learned as a person…This camp has given me some of the fondest memories I’ve ever had, and it all goes back to the culture that you’ve created here…It’s been the greatest of honors being your camper, working for you, and sharing music with you…

​- Counselor and Camper alum from Concord, MA

When I first went to Camp Encore/Coda, I was a shy, insecure 13 year old. I didn’t think I had any special talent and I certainly didn’t think I was among the “gifted”…However, something happened on Stearns Pond…All of a sudden I was around people like me: kids who loved playing music and kids who thought being a good musician was more important than anything else. I made friends. I started to talk more. I gained confidence. I was accepted. I was encouraged to explore all kinds of musical activities…So, many years later, I want to say thank you to the entire Saltman family. Everything I learned at camp has had a profound impact on my life and I am forever grateful.

-camper & counselor alum from Vienna, VA