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Summer is a great time for kids to get out and explore. When school is not in session, we want our children to learn and play in new ways and through different experiences. That’s one of the many reasons why kids need summer camps. For some families that means a traditional summer camp where kids will learn to ride horseback or paddle a kayak. Those are great, but there are all kinds of students who would rather work on their skills as a musician instead. The fine arts (music, dance, art, film, etc.) cover a wide range of passions and different ways to express oneself. That means there is an insane amount of camps that specialize in this area. Maybe your son wants to play in an orchestra or your daughter really feels called to vocal performance. You can find camps around the globe that will cater to these desires and more. We wanted to give you an idea of what summer music camps are out there as well as how they can help your child. Ranging from the elite to the more come-as-you-are, here are some of the best and brightest when it comes to summer music camps for kids.
Camp Jam - Summer Music Camps for Kids
For kids who want to learn how to start their own bands and play onstage for the first time, Camp Jam is a great introduction. This camp focuses on bands in the areas of rock and pop, rather than the more academic side of music. That doesn’t mean Camp Jam is any less of an experience, though. You’ll find this summer program in a number of cities around the US like Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. With classes of instruction and special tracks for guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and keys, Camp Jam pairs your child’s abilities with like-minded players and prepares them for a career in “the business.” This cool experience runs a week at a time and has a price tag that comes in under $1000.
Interlochen Summer Music Camps
Some of the best summer music camps for kids are academic institutions that also function in the summer for younger musicians. Interlochen Center for the Arts is a renowned destination for those seeking to better their skills in the fine arts. Founded in Michigan in 1928, this 1200-acre retreat is perfect for getting in touch with your musical abilities. The Summer Arts Camp has programs for film, dance, and other artistic endeavors as well, but there is an impressive number of music specializations for your child to pursue. The vast majority focus on orchestra, piano, and band, however there is a Rock course for those who feel called to a less formal approach. There are simply too many different educational tracks for us to cover in this one post, but we encourage you to check out the summer music camps available. To give you an idea of what the options look like, know that the programs range from one to six weeks and cost anywhere between $1000 and $10,000. You will also have to send audition tapes or files.
NYU Steinhardt - Summer Music Camps for Kids
The northeast offers some of the best summer music camps in the country and New York University’s Steinhardt School has a great programs for kids 16 and up. Courses on songwriting, jazz, music technology, and vocal performance are just some of the exciting options on the summer slate. Like Interlochen, these summer music camps are broken up according to the specialty you wish to study, so choose your course wisely. Since these classes are taking place in New York, you can expect a fairly large price tag ($2000 to $5000), but the costs really aren’t crazy when compared to similar programs. This summer music camp is for advanced high school students and up, so maybe sit this one out if you’re just starting to play.
Berklee Summer Music Camps
The Boston area boasts several iconic institutions when it comes to education, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the Berklee College of Music has one of the best systems of summer music camps out there. Depending on what your schedule looks like or what you want to study, a teen could spend anywhere from 12 weeks to two days at one of the many training sessions. For a traditional summer camp experience, perhaps your child could be interested in the Five-Week Summer Performance Program. This period helps you to understand not only how to play better, but to be a true performer. Berklee also has shorter summits and workshops that last only a couple of days. Prices range from around $1000 to $10,000 for students 15 and up. Berklee also has a series of day sessions for middle school players. These day camps are roughly one week and price out at around $1000.
Local Colleges and Universities
We’ve talked about a few specific colleges and universities already, but maybe traveling to New York or Boston isn’t ideal and you want to find something closer to home. The truth is that most colleges and universities have good music programs during the summer for high school kids. We recommend you look in and around your area to find the perfect fit.
Churches and Community Centers
On that same note, there are churches and community centers that offer music lessons or day camps for musicians all the time. While these summer music camps likely won’t feature the talented instructors you would find at Berklee or Interlochen, this could be a great introduction for younger or less experienced players.
Camp Electric - Summer Music Camps for Kids
That leaves us with Camp Electric. This Nashville-based camp has been found at Trevecca Nazarene University for the last 10+ years. What separates Camp Electric from the others on this list is that it specializes in Christian music. Since Nashville is the unofficial home of Christian music, the instructors at Camp Electric are made up of some of the biggest names in that industry. This weeklong camp features classes and workshops that help kids learn to better use their skills on the stage and with a group. If you’re wanting to use your musical talent in a Christian setting or just want to learn how faith and music can connect, check out Camp Electric.
This is just a glimpse at some of the best summer music camps for kids. If we told you about all of the great places to learn, you’d be here forever. Look at some of the options above that interest you and be sure to check your area for any other great summer music camps for kids. If you’d like to learn more about Camp Electric and how your child can get in on the fun, click the banner below.