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It may be cold right now, but summer will be here before you know it. One of the biggest questions for parents during the warmer months is “What are my kids going to do this summer?” There are plenty of reasons why summer camp is great for kids, but if your child is a musician, there’s likely a certain kind of camp where you want to send him or her. If we want to find the best kids summer camps for musicians, we’ll first have to decide what kind of musician your student is. Just like there are sports camps and Christian camps of all kinds, there are also different music camps and programs. No matter what you’re looking for, these are some of the best kids summer camps for musicians that we know.
Best Kids Summer Camps for Musicians in Classical Music, Brass, Etc.
If your child is looking to become better equipped in the playing of classical music, let us first say “Bravo!” We are thrilled whenever a child takes up an interest in the musical realm, but playing an instrument like a cello is difficult and rarely gets the broad appeal of drums or a guitar. Since this study of music is a bit more academic than others, most of the best kids summer camps for musicians will be offshoots of music colleges and similar scholastic organizations. Some of these camps are more serious than others, but they all offer a challenge to kids who want to measure up their skills.
The Berklee College of Music provides one of the best kids summer camps for musicians with a multitude of programs in strings, vocals, composition, and more. Not every program could be classified as “classical,” but there are plenty of options for kids who want to study music of the sort. The courses and workshops range from only a couple of days to more than a month. These programs can be expensive, but if you consider them as a necessary step for college and adulthood, a few thousand dollars may not seem so bad.
Another esteemed program is found at the Curtis Institute of Music. This Young Artists program is pretty exclusive, so we wouldn’t suggest it for those who play at a less-than-great level. Students aged 14-22 can study composing, conducting, orchestral playing, and more in a conservatory-style environment. Again, the price is up near $6,000 for a 3-week summer program, so maybe only apply if your child is a very serious student.
These two summer programs are among the top options for the best kids summer camps for musicians, but there are many others like them. Most of the great summer camps for this style of music will be hosted by colleges and universities. If you look at schools in your area, you’ll probably find a great camp to help your child. Although most of these classes and workshops are for older kids and experienced musicians, there are sometimes options for students who don’t meet those criteria.
Best Kids Summer Camps for Musicians in Bands
This category has a lot of crossover, but many kids go to summer music camps in hopes to learn to use their skills in concert with other players. It’s one thing to hope to play in an orchestra, while quite another to want to play bass in a rock band. In this section we’ll focus on more of the latter. With guitar being such a popular instrument to play, it only makes sense that the demand for the best kids summer camps for musicians like them to be equally great. Unless these kids are hoping to solely perform as solo acts, they’re going to need to know how to play in a band.
One of the biggest camps for musicians who want to play in bands is Camp Jam. There is one key feature of this organization that may make it more appealing than others: it’s a traveling music camp that visits pretty much every corner of the continental United States. In 2018, Camp Jam will visit California, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Texas, and Connecticut. The camp allows your child to get the full rock band experience as they write and record music, play concerts and make a music video. In between these fun activities, the students will also receive professional instruction so that the week has as much substance as it does fun. You won’t have to send in an audition tape to Camp Jam, but the group does have a detailed form for you to fill out so that they know what kind of experience you have with music.
Since we mentioned the Berklee College of Music earlier, we want to highlight one program of theirs that fits well in this category. While most of the more academic camps listed at the top of this list are solely aimed at high school students, the Summer Day Sessions at Berklee allow for younger, less experienced musicians (12-14 years old) to come in and play with like-minded kids. Some of the program is intended to teach students individually, but there are also group sessions where they can learn to match up with different kinds of instruments and players. These camps run about $1000/week, somewhat on the cheaper side of many music programs.
Camp Electric is another one of the best kids summer camps for musicians, especially those who want to learn in a Christian environment. Located in Nashville, TN, the camp allows for kids to learn how to play their individual instruments better while also adjusting to playing in a group. Students between the ages of 13 and 19 will receive instruction in guitar, drums, keys, vocals, and more from some of the biggest names in Christian music. Compared to most other music camps, it’s also a steal at a maximum price of $699.
Best Kids Summer Camps for Musicians at the Beginner Level
Maybe your child loves music but doesn’t want the pressure of an intensive music program at a prestigious university. Not everyone can be Mozart, but we all have to start somewhere. That’s what makes beginner level camps so important. No matter what skill level your child plays at, you want to make sure that they enjoy the experience.
A great learning environment can be found at Long Lake Camp for the Arts in New York. This program is a laid back creative community that seeks to help your child explore his or her musical abilities. For kids aged eight to 16, the camp provides a chance to try out new instruments, learn to play with others, and excel at playing your favorite instrument. The organization has specialties for just about everyone, from orchestral music to rock bands.
One thing you’ll learn about the best kids summer camps for musicians is that the more casual the environment you are looking for, the more local you should probably be looking. The elite programs will be in the Northeast or in California, but a great summer camp for your child to improve on the guitar may just be in the next county over. Check with local colleges, churches, and community centers for opportunities in your neighborhood.
These are some of the best kids summer camps for musicians, but the good news is that there are so many wonderful programs out there. We encourage your first step being to talk with your child(ren) and think about what will work best for your family.
At Camp Electric, we want to teach your musician how to be the best they can be, both spiritually and musically. Our instructors are jam packed full of experience and are eager to help the students at Camp Electric learn to use their skills in whatever capacity they feel called to use them. Find out how your child can become our next student by clicking on the link below.