Matching Musical Goals, Needs, and Abilities
There are a few things to consider when choosing a summer music camp that best suits you or your child’s needs.
First, consider the level of musical proficiency. There are plenty of camps with different levels of intensity and focus. Talk with your child or reflect for yourself on the reasons for choosing a program.
If you or your child are interested in building foundations of music theory, consider a summer program that focuses on creating music in fun, engaging, and community-building ways. Remember, music is not just for artists making a living out of it!
If you or your child are serious about perfecting an instrument or possibly doing music as a profession, there are plenty of programs that will offer intensive training, top-quality teachers, and immersive experiences. Some of these programs are incredibly selective as well, and getting accepted can jumpstart one’s musical career.
These programs will also vary in duration. Some will be sleep-away camps where you or your child stay away from home in the program for a month or two. These can be great opportunities for personal growth and discovery, as you or your child must push through the challenges that this new and unfamiliar environment pose.
Other programs could be just a couple of weeks long or even just a few hours each day. These programs are helpful for individuals who can’t dedicate too much time in their summer but still want to reap the rewards of practicing more regularly.
For any program, compare the mission statements and stories of the program with the goals and focus that you or your child are entering with to find the best match.
Money Matters: The Cost of Summer Music Camps
If you look up “summer music camps and programs,” you will quickly be inundated with too many programs to keep track of. To narrow your search beyond goals, age group, or ability levels, it can be helpful to also determine your budget.
Highly intensive programs are likely to be expensive, but if your goal is to develop a level of professional musicality, it may still be worth considering. Some programs may also offer scholarship opportunities!
Location can also impact the cost– if the program is affordable but is a plane ticket away, that travel could build the cost beyond your budget.
When considering your budget, do keep in mind that the cost is covering a trained professional who will be able to teach you or your child invaluable skills that will carry over for years to come. For weekly 60-minute lessons, we’ve found that most schools charge around $280 / month. If your program is providing daily lessons for a full month, of course, that charge will be a bit higher.
Choosing the Right Camp Program
If you are choosing a camp or program in a region you’re unfamiliar with, make sure to do some research into the location to ensure that it is convenient and safe. Particularly for sleep-away camps, make sure you have a bit of a safety net for travel, should you need it. If you’re choosing a nearby city or town that you’re unfamiliar with, ensure that you will feel safe and comfortable with you or your child traveling to and from the program.
Also consider the program’s reputation and track record when calculating how much risk you are willing to take. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations can be a great place to start. Among other abilities, a good music teacher or program should be able to tailor lessons to the students’ levels, explain complex concepts in an approachable way, spot issues in technique and work to find solutions, and, of course, foster a growth mindset in their students.
Needless to say, any musician or music lover should consider entering a summer music program to make the most of their developing passions and skills. Whether for personal or professional growth, music education enhances cognitive abilities, builds confidence, boosts confidence, and fosters community in ways that are sure to benefit you or your child.
There’s a world of musical opportunities that you or your child have yet to discover, and all that might be needed is the guidance of a great program to get you there!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Author: Kayla Powers
Kayla is a globally competitive and nationally ranked debater who is currently studying Writing, Rhetoric, and Media at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Kayla has work experience as a writer for the HWS Communications Department and has interned at multiple law firms, including Deloitte and Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum. Aside from work, Kayla enjoys singing and found a love for musicals at a young age.