Unlock Your Musical Potential at Summer Music Camps
Summer’s is here! With school out and more free time on your hands, there’s no better opportunity to consider the benefits of summer music camps and programs.
These programs offer a structured learning environment that allows students to develop their musical skills, collaborate with other musicians, and gain exposure to diverse musical genres, styles, and techniques. There are a wide array of options that vary in length, format, and focus.
Music education is incredibly important for children or anyone looking to develop their musical talent. Regular engagement with music can develop quantitative skills, discipline, leadership, and improved mental health. For children especially, musical training fosters essential benefits such as brain development, verbal intelligence, listening skills, academic achievement, and confidence.
Unlocking Your Musical Potential: Why Summer Music Camps and Programs Matter
Structured Learning for Musical Growth
Summer music programs offer the chance for uniquely intensive engagement with music. Regardless of who you are, learning to play an instrument well takes countless hours of regular practice. If you or your child struggle to keep up with individual practice, a summer program is surely a great fit, since it immerses you into a structured learning environment that encourages constant growth.
Additionally, a summer program is a great way to hone in on musical skills and technical proficiency. Understanding music theory concepts is essential to musical development, but it can also be tough to grasp and even harder to learn without an expert’s help. A good teacher will introduce these concepts in a digestible manner that will be essential for lifelong musical learning.
Playing in Tune: The Collaborative Music Experience
Beyond the technical elements, these summer programs are fun!! They’re a great place to find like-minded peers and possibly lifelong friends. Having friends with musical interests will be essential to helping you or your child stay motivated to keep practicing and engaging with music.
Music programs in particular will allow these collaborative social spaces to foster creativity and self-expression. Instead of practicing an instrument at home alone, these programs provide opportunities for regularly creating music in groups. This teamwork creates a great space for friendships to strengthen, and for musical creations to grow!
“Music is collaborative in nature,” Emma Patterson from Dana V Music says, “Though we often think of studying music and learning an instrument as solitary, so much of the joy of music comes in working as a group and creating something larger than ourselves. It seems only fitting to incorporate teamwork in all stages of learning music in order to revel in the joy of group musicianship, but also to practice listening, steady beat, improvisation, and cooperation.”
Creating music spontaneously, in a band, or for a performance can also allow the musicians to improvise and experiment, honing their understanding of the techniques and concepts beyond the sheet music that they’ve learned. This is essential for keeping your passion and love for music strong.
These consistent and (sometimes impromptu) performances build confidence and self-esteem! When you’re challenging yourself with anything new, the sense of accomplishment you feel when making progress towards your goals is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. Now imagine that you also have friends who understand the struggles you’re experiencing and can encourage you to keep pushing!
“The best way to get better at performing is to do it as often as you can,” Emma says, “Our lives are filled with circumstances where we need to ‘perform’ in front of others. Whether that be playing the piano in a recital, giving a speech at your sister’s wedding, or making a career defining presentation in front of your boss, the skill of “performing” is essential. Learning an instrument and finding opportunities to show your progress and love for music is a transformative way to grow your confidence in front of an audience.”
Emma also notes that performing frequently can help students get more comfortable with making mistakes! She says, “I often tell my students that becoming a better performer is not about never making mistakes, it’s about getting better at moving on from them. This is clearly a skill that’s applicable in so many areas of our lives!”
Exploring New Melodies; Diverse Musical Genres, Styles, and Traditions
Even more, this allows for peer learning and support, where everyone gets to both share their knowledge and learn from each other.
It is crucial at any stage of musical learning to expose oneself to as many different instruments, musical techniques, styles, and traditions as possible. For children, this gives them a space to find their own sound and preferences, as well as building unique and varied interests. For older students, you can build upon your knowledge and figure out how to adapt it in new situations.
As an educator, Emma says, “It is not our job to decide the musical direction that they should go in, but just to celebrate the endless variety that is out there and see what might inspire each student. We celebrate the colorful differences each student has and the endless growth and potential they possess”.
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.