By: Camp Electric
  • November 28, 2018
Andy Mineo at Camp Electric

With Christmas just around the corner, it may seem crazy to think about summer music camps, but the warm season will be here before you know it. Although there are many questions that pop up concerning different kinds of youth camps, the cost is always one of the biggest deciding factors for people. While we’d like to quickly give you a number, the truth is that there are so many summer music camps out there, we have to be a little more explanatory than that. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about the cost of these camps.

You Get What You Pay For at Summer Music Camps

Camps come in all shapes and sizes. Prices are determined by a number of things, from the reputation of its faculty to the amenities. Some summer music camps are actually worth college credit, so that’s another factor to weigh into the cost. You can opt for your child to attend a day camp (often a great way to save money if the camp is in your hometown). If you have the resources, you may prefer to send your child to the best academy money can buy. Naturally, that option raises the price substantially.

The good news here is that you can control the amount you pay for a summer music camp. Once you find the cost of the cheapest place to send your child, it’s really just a test of pros and cons to see how important the music education is to your family. We can tell you there is a difference between a free music workshop at your local community center and a six-week intensive course with highly renowned teachers. There’s nothing wrong with choosing the former if that’s what is best for your situation, just know that you will most likely get what you pay for at these camps.

Elite Summer Music Camps and What They Cost

This may not be what people want to hear, but not everyone is best suited for elite music camps. Different learning environments are better for certain kinds of students. Don’t feel like you have to aim for the gold standard if your child isn’t seeking that level of education. What’s the difference between an average music camp and one that may be considered elite? Number of students admitted, the necessity of audition tapes, tuition cost, and what is expected of students at the camp are among the factors that may inform you of how prestigious an institution is.

The more elite the camp is, the higher the cost. This is because the leaders have carefully selected an extremely talented group of instructors and decided to hold the camp in a special location, either an impressive school of music or a secluded learning institution. NYU Steinhardt is an example of the former and here you can expect to pay at least $1000 for a workshop in subjects like jazz or brass. Longer programs like the piano intensive course are significantly higher, in this case a two-week program costs nearly $3000. For the more prestigious music institution, this is a pretty fair price to expect.

What Skill Level Are You?

If those prices we just quoted seem scary, maybe you should consider what skill level your child is at the moment. Perhaps paying thousands of dollars for a week or two of camp seems crazy for a child who has only been playing less than a year. Fortunately, the number of available camps out there can help you find the one that is right for your family. This may not only save you money, but a lot of heartache.

Many summer music camps offer programs for kids at multiple playing levels, so if your child isn’t a candidate for Julliard, maybe you should think about looking for a beginner or intermediate program or camp. It does you no good to pay for the most expensive camp you can find, only for your child to feel completely lost while he is there. Knowing what to look for when choosing a summer camp is beneficial for your bank account and your peace of mind.

What Do You Hope to Get Out of Summer Music Camps?

Summer camp has been a part of American life for decades now. While the concept may have originally been designed for enjoying the outdoors, today you can find camps celebrating music, dance, video games, sports, and so much more. When you are pricing summer music camps for your child, are you simply for a subject she likes, or is this something she wants to pursue for college and beyond? If we look at summer camps as an investment for a future career, then cost may not be as big of a concern. However, if this is simply a pastime your child enjoys, you may be satisfied with an arts camp where teenagers explore several different passions within that arena. Even if your child is really good at his instrument, you may only be looking for a short workshop rather than a month long camp. Knowing what you hope to get out of summer music camps is a key question when looking at prices.

Price Tags Aren’t Always Written in Stone

Just because you see a camp priced at one amount, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the final price you will pay. We mean this in both negative and positive ways. On the negative side, some camps may ask you for a security deposit for your child’s residence, an application fee may be required, or there could be a series of costs you’re not factoring in (for example, transportation to a camp out of state).

Now let’s talk about something much more interesting: discounts. If you’re signing up for camp at the last minute, this may not apply to you. For you early shoppers, though, keep your eyes peeled on early discounted rates and other special markdowns that could end up saving you a bundle. This isn’t something we would tell you to expect from the more prestigious outfits, but several summer music camps for beginners and intermediate players should have something to offer the early birds.

Looking at the Numbers

Let’s look at a few price basics. If your child is sleeping somewhere, expect to pay some kind of housing fee. Does the camp boast about its beautiful venue or world renowned teachers? That’s going to be in the cost as well. For many of the country’s best summer music camps, you can anticipate a price tag somewhere between $1000 and $5000. Some of the really nice camps can even get closer to $10,000, but these typically offer college credits or last nearly the entire summer.

For an overnight music camp that is only offering the basics, we would tell you to prepare for somewhere between $500 and $1000 for tuition and everything. If you can find a camp that is closer to your area, you may even pay less as a commuter. Of course, you may be able to find something cheaper, but eventually you’ll come across something that sounds too good to be true and probably is. This is another reminder that you typically get what you pay for at summer music camps, so beware.

Camp Electric is a summer music camp in Nashville, TN for kids who want to learn from the biggest names in Christian music. Our instructors are made up of band members from today’s hottest acts and they have all joined together to offer an unforgettable experience. Find out how your child can become our next student by clicking on the link below.

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