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Summer Workshops FAQ

What dates/times should I book flights to MSP?
Arrival: Friday, June 23 — Book flights to arrive between 11:30am and 2:00pm
Departure: Thursday, June 29 – Departure times are dependent on your camper’s workshop final concert (see below)

  • Jazz and Hip Hop Workshops: Book departures no earlier than 3:00pm
  • Vocal, Audio Engineering, Music Production, and Songwriting Workshops: Book departures no earlier than 5:00pm.
  • Guitar Workshop: Book departures no earlier than 8:00pm

I asked to be picked up at the airport, how do you know when to get me?
All students who are staying in the Residence Hall will receive a phone call and email from our lead counselor within 2 weeks of the workshop. At that time students and parents can share their flight numbers and preferred cell numbers. From this information we will set a plan to get you picked up from the airport. We will follow the same routine if you are arriving by train or bus.

Where do I stay?
If you have signed up for housing you will stay in the McNally Smith Residence Hall, located at 345 Wabasha Ave N in St. Paul, just 5 blocks from the school. You will walk with counselors in the morning and evening between the school. Don’t worry, you won’t have to haul much gear; we have everything you need on campus. In the event of inclement weather we will use the skyway system, which will bring us one block away from the school. All of our Residence Hall students for the summer workshops are located on the same floor and our counselors are present and on-call 24 hours during the workshop for any needs or issues. We expect our workshop students to respect the summer workshop rules.

NOTE: Overnight accommodations in the McNally Smith Residence Hall are available to ages 13-18 only.

What is housing like?
You will be in apartment style housing with 3 roommates maximum per room and 5 roommates maximum per unit. You are welcome and encouraged to bring snacks, but meals will be provided throughout your time in the workshop. Click here for some general information about the Residence Hall.

If I live in the area do I need to stay in the Residence Hall?
You are welcome to come to any of our workshops as a day student! If you come as a day student, the majority of your instruction will take place from 10am-4:30pm. You are welcome to stick around for all of our evening activities. Consult your workshop schedule for end times but in general, if you come to an evening event you will need to be picked up from McNally Smith by 9pm.

What should I bring if I am a day student?
If you are a day student please bring your instrument in a case and an instrument cable if your instrument requires it. You can bring an acoustic or an electric guitar, but it’s best to have an acoustic with a pickup if you do choose to bring an acoustic. If you play drums, keyboards, or turntables, we have those instruments ready for you to sign out at our resource center. All you need to bring is sticks for drums and needles if you are using vinyl turntables (we have CDJs as well). We will have an area to lock up instruments during field trips and evening activities. If you did not purchase the meal plan please bring $7 per meal in cash for the meal. Bring a comfortable hoodie or jacket in case the weather turns cold or rainy for the day.

What should everybody bring?
All students should bring a notebook and pencil to take notes during instruction and some staff paper is helpful (even if you don’t read music currently).

I paid for the meal plan, what does that get me?
If you are staying in the residence hall you are required to get the meal plan. That pays for all of your meals including during field trips! If you are not staying in the residence halls the meal plan secures you, breakfast, lunch and dinner. We appreciate you getting the meal plan; it helps to keep things running on time during our lunches. If you did not purchase the meal plan please bring $7 for each meal or bring food that doesn’t require refrigeration. You will not be able to visit area restaurants for lunches during our workshops.

What should I bring if I am a staying in the residence hall?
Please bring:

  • A week’s worth of clothing – keep in mind that days are warm and nights can be a bit chilly – bring a sweater or jacket!
  • Toiletries
  • Towel
  • Your instrument and any cables it may require
  • A SMALL amplifier (do NOT bring a full-sized one, as they violate sound limits in
  • the residence hall)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Some spending money, for the trip to the Mall of America
  • Camera

You don’t need to bring sheets and blankets, and you aren’t going to want to bring an extra blanket, as it will be pretty warm. You don’t need to bring a laptop, but you’re welcome to. We have wireless Internet access available at the Residence Hall and you will have time to catch up on email on the school’s computers if you don’t have a laptop.

What are we going to eat?
For lunches we will be dining in the Sound Bite Café at McNally Smith. The Café will provide an entrée, side and beverages for each lunch. You can expect a variety of salads, pizzas, ethnic dishes, sandwiches and more.

I’m vegetarian/vegan. Are you guys ready for that?
The Sound Bite Café is prepared to respond to all diets including vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and more. Email and let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll make it happen!

When and where should I show up if I’m staying in the Residence Hall?
If you are driving in for your workshop and staying in the residence hall please aim to arrive between Noon and 2pm to 345 Wabasha Ave N. We will have a big McNally Smith sign and a counselor in an orange shirt in front of our residence hall to let you know you are in the right place and assist with equipment and luggage. You will also receive an email and a phone call from our lead counselor within two weeks of your workshop to set an exact arrival time. Click here for a video that shows how to find the Residence Hall.

Where should I get picked up at the end of the workshop?
At the end of the workshop you are free to go after your final concert (please consult your schedule to find your performance time). But, we will have staff available until 2pm the following day if decide to stay in the Residence Hall for the final night. Parents who come to the final concert will be provided with a map to drive their vehicle over to the residence hall afterwards. Parents who decide to pick their students up on the day after the concerts will be greeted by a McNally Smith counselor in an orange shirt and assisted with moving luggage and equipment. There is a separate note below for people arriving via airplane, bus or train.

When should I get dropped off/picked up each day if I’m a day student?
On the first day of our workshops, day students can arrive between 2-3pm to get situated and comfortable on the campus. On the first day workshop events end at 8pm. After that, each day’s instruction will start at 10am and end at 4:30pm. Day students are welcome to arrive as early as 9am to practice or get started in the studio. If day students are not attending evening activities they can leave at 4:30pm. If day students remain for evening activities they should be picked up at 9pm.

I’m a day student; can I come to some evening activities and skip some?
Yes indeed you can. We recommend that you look over the schedule for the workshop before you attend and discuss with your parents which events you are interested in attending and which ones you are likely to skip. That way you can plan rides accordingly with your family.

Who will my teachers be?
Your teachers will primarily be composed of McNally Smith College of Music Faculty. We don’t completely finalize teaching schedules until early June but here is a list of past faculty to check out for your workshops!

  • Jazz – Adam Meckler
  • Guitar – Tim Lyles
  • Hip-Hop – Zach Bagaason
  • Vocal –Maria Vejdani
  • Audio Engineering – Chad Helmonds
  • Music Production – Zachary Bagaason
  • Songwriting – Mary Jane Alm

Who will my counselors be?
Your counselors will be current McNally Smith student workers and Residence Hall advisors. Our counselors are CPR and First Aid trained and they are here to help make sure you have a great week. Plus, they are all musicians so they can show you a thing or two about that while you’re hanging out together!

Will I get any time to see the rest of the Twin Cities?
All of our workshops include a trip to Mall of America and a visit to a local music concert. We often get to some other great landmarks around the Twin Cities as well!

Can my friends and parents come to the final concert?
Please invite all your friends and family to the final concert. It’s a great time and we love the opportunity to meet your friends and family and tell them what a great job you did in your workshop.

I’m almost 18, why do I have to have a lights out time?
In any workshop environment one of the duty of the programming staff is to make sure that students are in an environment where they are rested and ready to learn more the next day. We know that some folks are going to be night owls but by having a lights out time we can ensure that there are enough quiet and dark hours to ensure the needed rest for our students.

What happens if I break the rules?
Students who violate workshop policies can be dismissed early from the workshop with no refund. Click here to read the workshop policies.

Can I bring my huge amp? Can I play it while my roommate tries to sleep?
We recommend bringing a small amp to practice on since even with the volume on low your huge amp might be just too loud. You will not need to lug your amp to campus because we have amps a plenty waiting for you!

Can I audition for McNally Smith College of Music while I’m on campus?
Yes indeed. Email to get the process started. We will set you up with a time that works during the workshop.

Why’d you ask for my t-shirt size on my application?
We asked for your t-shirt size because you are getting a free t-shirt!

Can my buddy who isn’t staying in the Residence Hall come visit my room in the Residence Hall?
No. Day students and visitors from outside of the workshop are not permitted in the Residence Hall.

Do you have any other questions?
We are happy to answer them! Email and someone will reply to you ASAP.