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Top Summer Music Camps for High School Kids

The journey of a young musician involves a lot of hours spent in private lessons and practicing alone in your room. As kids grow older, they have to think about just how far they plan to go with this whole music thing. A great way to understand how well you perform is to attend a summer music camp or program. The top summer music camps for high school kids range from elite programs focusing on classical music to camps designed to be fun and engaging. There are many wonderful institutions pouring into the next generation of musicians, but some carry more notoriety than others. Here are some of our favorites for the top summer music camps for high school kids.

Camp Jam

Many of the top summer music camps for high school kids are hosted by prestigious schools of music and are designed to ready musicians for college courses. Camp Jam is one of the few music camps that sells itself on the fun aspect of creating music. The camp is best suited for guitarists, drummers, and others who want to play in some version of a pop or rock band. The experience isn’t just about performance, though. Along the way students will also shoot a music video and record in studio. Students receive expert instruction from teachers in workshops and classroom settings as well. One of the best things about Camp Jam is that it travels around the country, so you may not have to travel as far as you would for some other camps.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

You’ll find that many of the top summer music camps for high school kids are found in northern states, especially if the student is hoping to study somewhere in the area of classical music. Located in Michigan, Interlochen Center for the Arts is a well known institution beloved for its commitmed to training young talent. The Summer Arts Camp is a great place for kids to have fun and explore creativity. This six-week program allows for growth in the areas of theater, music, and more. Six weeks may sound like a long time for some students. If so, you can also take part in shorter workshops that may only be one or three weeks. Check out the video below and, if you like what you see, peruse their website.

Tanglewood Institute

Like we've said, many of the top summer music camps for high school kids are held at college universities. For some camps this is because the location is designed to get students ready for studying music in college. Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI, for short) is a highly respected center for music education that features a number of multi-week workshops throughout the summer. While we’re sure there is plenty of fun to be had, these sessions are less focused on the camp aspect than the rigorous study of orchestra, composition, and other worthwhile pursuits. The Young Artists program features private instruction with world famous musicians and may even translate to several hours worth of course credits at Boston University.

Curtis Institute of Music

From one esteemed music academy to another, the Curtis Institute of Music is another very special place to learn. During the Young Artist Summer Program, students will receive private instruction from great teachers, engage in weekly recitals, and take part in a number of studies. The categories for the Curtis program are Conductor, Composer, Instrumentalist, and Pianist. Of course the curriculum changes depending on which activity you register for, but the program is quite impressive regardless. This is an elite program that only accepts a total of around 100 students and the costs may be more than some parents want to pay for a summer camp. However, if your child is serious about music and you have the means, it’s a great opportunity.


What sounds more like it belongs to the top summer music camps for high school kids than a camp sponsored by the Recording Academy? GRAMMY Camp is usually hosted in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. Accepting less than 100 students per year, it is a non-residential five-day camp which offers tracks in audio engineering, songwriting, performance (both vocal and instrumental), music journalism, and more. Students are able to interact with more than one of these tracks as they spend five days learning from some of the best teachers. At $1500, the camp is cheaper than its exclusivity would lead you to think, but we remind you that it is not an overnight camp.

Idyllwild Arts Academy

You can find another one of the top summer music camps for high school kids in California at Idyllwild Arts Academy. This camp is a collection of artists and musicians who study together throughout the summer in a number of intensive workshops. Most of these two-week sessions are focused on a particular style of music. Piano Performance, Festival Choir, and Jazz Instrumental are just a few of the options at Idyllwild. The different choices for your summer camp experience lead to a range of prices, but most of the time you’ll be looking at $3,000 or so. For parents who have children interested in arts other than music, the camp also offers sessions for visual arts, creative writing, fashion, and dance.

Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music is certainly one place of higher learning that sticks out for many musicians. One great thing about the school is that there are so many different options for studying music in the summer. Programs range in length from 12 weeks to only 3 days and focus on everything from guitar to musical theater. Some of the shorter courses sit around $1000 when it comes to the price tag whereas the five-week Summer Performance Program costs just over $9000. For what it’s worth, success in this program can be worth some college credit.

Brevard Music Center

Brevard Music Center is a wonderful home to music that is situated in a beautiful corner of North Carolina. Among other offerings, Brevard hosts a summer program for high school students that lasts about six weeks. During this period, students will learn about music theory and related topics as well as spend time in a chosen track from the list of voice, classical guitar, piano, orchestra, and composition. Brevard is host to many talented musicians during the summer, so students are able to witness some of the best performances imaginable while also studying from these great minds. Tuition for the full six weeks costs about $7000 while some teens may be able to opt for a three week stay at $3850. Brevard isn’t quite as exclusive as some camps on our list but attendance is cut off at around 200.

Camp Electric

Lastly, we also want to tell you about Camp Electric. Many of the top summer music camps for high school kids will offer you quality instruction, but none provide a Christian learning environment like Camp Electric. This camp is traditionally held in Nashville, TN, and features a group of teachers who come from today’s biggest Christian bands. The camp conducts a series of workshops and group lessons throughout the day and puts on a series of concerts at night throughout the week. Camp Electric is a one-week camp that costs around $700.

Did your favorite summer music camp for high school kids make our list? There are some great opportunities for young musicians out there. If you like what you hear about Camp Electric, check us out at the link below. Who knows, you may just be our next student!


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