To me, IMIF is an opportunity for growth. Definitely musically, but also (very much so) as a person. I've attended IMIF for four years, and each year I have been further nurtured to become the best human and musician I can be.
IMIF 2014 was one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences I've had in my life. I learned, I laughed, and I lived. I tried new things. One of the most memorable moments was when Prof. Brian Ganz asked me to pretend to be a mouse (for my performance selection, Aaron Copland's "Cat and Mouse"). When I did (and the audience laughed), I didn't feel ridiculous. Instead, I felt excited, even proud. If Professor Ganz told me to act like a mouse, it meant that he knew I had the guts to do it. I probably wouldn't have been able to do it had I not been surrounded by musicians that had become close friends I'd keep for a lifetime.
The reasons I come back are plentiful, and they grow each year. I am inspired by all who I encounter at the institute, wether they are a student or faculty member. I plan to come back to IMIF until I get the last bit of knowledge I possibly can out of it. The experiences and inspiration I have gained and received from it will benefit me for ever.
Kara Iwanowski is a 13-year-old pianist from Bel Air, Maryland.
"IIMIF is an amazing place where you learn to master what you love with some of the greatest teachers in the world."
"I loved that IIMIF focuses on the emotional and spiritual side of the musician just as much as the technical side. I've been to several summer programs, and this sets your program apart."
"The focus on a holistic approach and comprehensive musicianship made for an incredible experience. There are not enough words to capture how grateful I am for what I learned."
"I especially loved that this festival is so intimate. Great things come in small packages!"