You now have access to the exclusive Camp Electric magazine. Each year students receive this limited edition magazine and now you can download your own copy for free!
Music is full of competing thoughts and theories. Some prefer a more traditional sound while others want to employ every little gizmo they can get their hands on. Most people can’t even agree on who are the best guitarists, drummers, or singers. We all have different criteria for what it means to be a true musician and the steps needed to master that feat. What if we told you that a summer music camp could really help continue your musical journey? Some of you would think “A summer music camp is exactly what I need!” but still others would respond with indifference or negativity. That’s why we want to work through any fears or misgivings you have about what a summer music camp is. Let’s work through the seven stages of denial and see what you think afterward.
I’m a Self-Taught, Lone Wolf Musician. I Don’t Need a Summer Music Camp.
We get it. Not everyone can afford private lessons and even those who can still might prefer to learn on their own. It’s fun to tinker around with some drums or a guitar until you know what you are doing. One of the best ways to learn is by exploring your instrument and getting used to the feel of it in your hands. Even if you are a talented self-taught musician, there comes a point when you want to advance in your knowledge by playing with other people or tackling a public performance. Music is fun to play by yourself, but it’s also a public activity that can be enjoyed by crowds both great and small. Summer music camps will help you get used to the idea of performance and will also expose you to different styles of playing that you might not consider before. There is a lot of information available out there through DVD classes and streaming lessons online, but they can’t cover absolutely everything.
Does a Summer Music Camp Even Help You Get Better?
We often think of summer camp as a time to explore new activities like archery or horseback riding. Although those can be really fun, nobody leaves camp thinking that they are experts at those things, right? So how can summer music camp be expected to make me a better singer or violinist?
First off, if you’ve been practicing even a minimal amount, you are already set up to be better at your instrument than kids are suited for an activity with which they are not familiar. Summer music camp can be geared toward players of every skill level, but we’re all assuming you want to get better at your instrument of choice. Once you’ve decided that you want to be better, there are so many music camps who have something to offer. You may not drastically improve at every facet of your area of expertise, but you will definitely walk away with some new tricks and answers to questions you’ve been asking yourself for months. The level at which you improve depends on the skill of your teachers, your willingness to learn, and what you do after the camp is over.
What if I’m Not That Good at My Instrument?
Have you ever felt like you’ve gotten in over your head? We know it can be terrifying to put yourself out there when you’re not confident in your skills, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t swing for the fences. If it means that much to you, find a camp that caters to your needs. If you’re at the beginner level, don’t try to sign up for the biggest, baddest summer music camp out there (You know, the kind where everyone wears blazers and talks about their parents summer homes. ((No offense to those with summer homes.))). Instead look for a camp that groups together similarly talented players for workshops and classes where they can strive to be better. Most camps know how intimidating it can be to walk into a class where you don’t know anyone or you feel drastically underprepared, so many of them will separate students by skill level. Summer music camps are not about showing off, but learning and growing in your musicianship.
I Don’t Want a Boring Classroom. It IS Summer, After All
Students work five days a week for nine months each year, so we don’t want to make summer another classroom experience, right? One thing that helps the teaching process at summer music camps is that the subject matter is one that all students should be invested in. When you go to a summer music camp, you aren’t signing up for bland PowerPoint presentations and old-fashioned methods. What you will get is a hands-on learning experience where you’ll confront new ideas that will propel you toward becoming a better musician. When you’re having fun, making new friends, and learning exciting new material, “boring” will be the last word on your mind.
Are My Instructors Going to Be a Bunch of Weirdos Who Never Made It Big?
If your childhood is anything like ours, then it seems like any man with a ponytail feels qualified to teach guitar lessons. While there are so many talented instructors out there who perform an invaluable service in teaching music lessons, there are a few whose merits seem lackluster at best. When we talk about exciting summer music camps, we’re not talking about dry professors wearing tweed jackets who deliver lectures akin to Ben Stein in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” At places like Camp Electric you will be learning from touring musicians who have played sold out shows around the country. Even if you are looking to study forms of music that are not so rock or pop friendly, you can find plenty of music programs that feature amazing musicians and composers on their list of instructors. It’s important to look for a summer music camp where the instructors excite you either through their vast knowledge or the success they’ve experienced in the industry.
Would a Summer Music Camp Be Fun?
Going back to the idea of boring classrooms, homework, and everything else that kids are looking to escape during the summer, you might be surprised to know just how fun a summer music camp can be. The best summer music camps know that students need to have a little fun with the learning material or the whole experience will quickly grow stale. That’s why you will often find competitions between groups aka Battle of the Bands, songwriting contests, and other games meant to mix things up in the classroom. Besides the time spent learning, these camps bring together children from around the country who all love music. Such like mindedness should inspire as much fun as kids can have doing anything else. It’s important to remember that although discipline is a virtue in the study of music, you can still have plenty of fun.
What If I Can’t Afford an Expensive Arts Education?
So let’s say we’ve sold you on everything else: how helpful camp can, the fun you can have, and how you don’t have to worry about your own skill level. The last hurdle to attending a summer music camp might be the cost. Depending on the program, you might be spending a few hundred dollars or close to $10,000. If you like the idea of meeting with other musicians and improving your playing ability, but can’t afford a summer program that costs as much as a semester at college, remember that there are all kinds of different programs out there. If you want to be one of the elite students at the country’s finest music schools, you might need to look at the possibility of scholarships.
Don’t forget that the most expensive summer music camp may not be the right fit for you. Between location, price, skill level, area of study, etc. you can narrow down the camps available and find the right choice for you. For example, Camp Electric is a summer music camp for students studying a variety of instruments at a number of skill levels. We feature today’s most popular Christian musicians as our instructors and our costs are affordable compared to many similar programs. That’s not even mentioning the numerous discounts and enrollment specials we run throughout the year. Find out more by clicking the link below.