Since 1985
In the quiet beauty of upstate NY
"intimate. collegial. challenging"
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Magic Mountain Music Farm
The Musician's Resource Center for Practicing,
Auditioning, Performing and Teaching

For Strings, Winds, Brass and Percussion

Magic Mountain Music Farm (MMMF) is the brainchild of Burton Kaplan. It offers Practice Marathon Retreats throughout the year for musicians of all instruments. In a distraction-free and beautiful natural environment "far from the madding crowd," each participant is offered a tested twenty-first century methodology for improving instrumental skill, creative interpretations and performance consistency. The retreats empower musicians to fulfill their dreams. Listen to the participants speak of their experiences:

The Participants Speak:

"Burton, each time I come I am recharged and inspired by your insights and the elegance of your teaching. I feel more connected to the deepest, most expressive aspects of musicmaking far more often as a result of working this way. My experience at MMMF was the most important musical and educational experience I've had in over a decade."
Scott Anderson, Professor of Clarinet, St. Olaf College
Principal Clarinet, Honolulu Symphony

"At MMMF I was reminded of how intuition and intellect must fuse in order to create a compelling performance. Burton Kaplan is an artist with great knowledge and amazing insights into the world of practicing and performing music as well as human nature. His passion for music and discovery is infectious. I am sure I will return to the Farm in the future to once again be part of this tremendous experience."
Marta Szlubowska, Concertmaster, Mississippi Sympony Orchestra

"It has been an inspirational experience here at MMMF and I'm thrilled that Burton, a violinist, was able to make a hand position suggestion to me, a flutist, that is freeing up my fingers."
Mary Hannigan, 2nd Flute, Harrisburg Symphony

"Burton possesses the uncanny ability to bring out each person's hidden strengths while not compromising standards. To witness such achievement coupled with his ability to know not only what aspects of each person's playing can be meaningfully addressed, but also how to best address them is truly powerful. As a teacher and performer I have found this to be a highly rewarding experience."
Francesca Arnone, Professor of Flute, West Virginia University

"MMMF has all the ingredients that helped me reconnect with music, feeling and my body. The workshops and lessons were times of incredible growth and insight. Practicing became fun, enjoyable, and creative. Fellow musicians were wonderful and inspiring and the camaraderie is supportive and understanding. It is indeed magical!"
Kerri McGonigle, Cellist, The Talisker Players, Toronto

"My experience at MMMF proved to be beyond my expectations. My playing has absolutely soared since having been there. You helped my sound, my musicality, how to listen and what to listen for, how to see the meaning of phrases and how to practice efficiently without wasting my "chops."
Owen Miyoshi, Principal Trumpet, Monterey Symphony, CA

"Attending Magic Mountain - participating in the classes, taking regular lessons with Burton and practicing without the distractions of the outside world – has helped me reawaken my connection to music. Burton's instructions, methods and techniques have helped open my mind, giving me new tools to get closer to achieving artistic fulfillment. No matter what the instrument, the retreat provides an amazing opportunity for musicians. The atmosphere is nurturing and always encouraging. Thank you for a wonderful experience and for making a percussionist feel welcome!"
Steve Dinion, Associate Principal Timpani/Percussion, Honolulu Symphony

Upcoming Retreats

Magic Mountain Music Farm

January 2-17, 2020 - Practice Retreat #1
Wind Players Retreat
August 6 - August 15, 2020 - Practice Retreat #2
Performance Power Retreat
August 22 - Sept 7, 2020 - Practice Retreat #3

Dates & Fees

Books and "Shoulder Horns"

Magic Mountain Music Farm

PDT publishes books to improve practice and sight-reading skills. In addition we offer sound-enhancing "shoulder horns" for violin and viola. The book "Practicing for Artistic Success" is a systematization of the information accumulated in the workshops at MMMF. It enables any musician who is ready to change to take a giant step forward in practice effectiveness.

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International Performance Power Seminars & Workshops

Magic Mountain Music Farm

, you will try out new techniques for harnessing and integrating your powers of mind, body and spirit when you practice and perform music. Performance Power™ is dedicated to giving the serious musician control of the path between the practice room and the stage.

Upcoming Seminars & Workshops

BK's Blog - Practice Magic

Magic Mountain Music Farm

After 30 years of witnessing thousands of musicians practice, one attitude emerges as dominant. Most musicians act and react in their practicing with an unreasonable urge to produce a performance-ready result TODAY. This is not a conscious decision. It is the result of a major flaw in instrumental pedagogy. Musicians are not usually taught explicitly how to coach themselves to maximize the results of their effort. Continue