American Institute of Musical Studies
Summer Programs in Austria for Voice, Piano & Orchestra
Take the next step in your career – join us in Graz this summer
As the leading summer music program in Europe, AIMS is a one-of-a-kind experience. The program is designed to prepare you for a career as a professional musician. In six weeks of intense training, you’ll work on every aspect of your craft, studying opera and lieder repertoire, and performing with renowned European conductors. Many participants feel they learn more in a summer at AIMS than in a year or more at school. And it all takes place in Graz, one of the most beautiful small cities in all of Europe.
The AIMS Mission
To bridge the gap between fine musical training and a career in music in a unique European environment.
- Singers/pianists: one-on-one training with internationally acclaimed faculty
- Pedagogues: immersion in observing outstanding voice teachers
- Instrumentalists: performing with the AIMS Festival Orchestra
- Master classes with renowned performers, teachers and coaches
- Auditions for agents & presenters
- More than 30 public performance opportunities
- The AIMS Meistersinger Vocal Competition
During the six-week program at AIMS, I received voice lessons and coachings. I also took my first German class and became attracted to the German language. My affinity for German caused me to take a particular interest in its poetic-song companion, the Lied. It is an aspect within standard solo vocal literature that I admire. Mr. Harold Heiberg, my vocal coach at AIMS, who specialized in Lieder, taught me how to appreciate and utilize the language in song performance. This was my first in-depth experience with song interpretation that illuminated musical collaborations not only between the poet and composer, but also between the singer and pianist. It was an exciting time as a developing musician.
The knowledge and guidance I received from the faculty has changed my perception of my own singing and artistry for the better. I feel as if I can walk out onto a stage, into an audition, and into the world with this new-found confidence. I’m more passionate about my dreams and have a burning desire to see them through.
I had the chance to work with so many good and serious singers as well as top-notch teachers…that alone was worth it, but I carried away so much from the program that the cost was minuscule compared to what I learned. Contrary to being burnt out by six weeks of intensive music studying, at the end of AIMS I was more eager than ever to go to my university’s music library and check out as many books on Lieder and opera as I could carry. I realized the true quality of the AIMS music instructors when the first book I checked out happened to be edited by not one, but five AIMS instructors.
AIMS has given me a true sense of where I need to work from – how I measure up and areas I need to strengthen for a future in classical singing. I learned more about my voice and how to maximize its use in one week at AIMS than I had in three years.
Acting and audition classes at AIMS had a direct and immediate impact on my career. I completed my first professional audition right after AIMS for the Salzburg Festival young artist program, and got offered a contract on the spot! I don’t think I could have achieved that result before my summer at AIMS. I would encourage any young, ambitious classical or opera singer to participate in AIMS. It certainly changed my life.
The music, the people I met, and the atmosphere were so incredible! My experience with AIMS is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I learned SO much and had a fabulous time with all my new friends, colleagues, and contacts. I am very thankful for all of the opportunities to sing that I was given.
AIMS was a wonderful experience of learning, performing, and seeing a dedicated staff in action. I am personally better from being blessed to have had this opportunity. Many thoughts continue to filter down from this unique and outstanding musical studies program.
I am proud to say that I am passing on some of what I learned at AIMS to my students, who consistently win state and regional vocal competitions, secure leads in the opera at UM, and go on to graduate schools and conservatories in the US. Thanks for your inspiration!
The AIMS experience is necessary for any opera singer that doesn’t want to just ’fall into’ the European music scene. With dedication and diligence, one can come away with a wealth of knowledge and preparation.
I want to thank all of you for being a vital part of my growth into an emerging professional artist. Being a part of AIMS last summer opened my eyes to the professional world of music and helped me understand who I am as an artist and what I needed to accomplish to transition from a student to a professional musician. Thank you SO much for inspiring me to work hard in the practice room; to connect my entire body when I perform; to walk into auditions not expecting anything but to have fun sharing my craft; and to go after career opportunities knowing that they will not come to me. I appreciate it more than words can express!