Holiday decorations are making an appearance in stores and marketing campaigns are beginning to use carols and snow as the seasons turn to winter. As hard as it may be to consider, the school year is almost halfway over.
While you may still be reeling from the first few months of getting back into a school routine, the best time to start thinking about next summer is during the fall. Instead of waiting until the cries of boredom become overwhelming next year, begin learning about opportunities for your children to enrich their lives (and stay happy) during the long days of summer vacation.
For the musically-inclined student, music camp can be the answer to everyone’s needs. Want a preview of what summer programs there are for music? Here are eight of the nation’s top-rated music camps. There’s sure to be one that will meet every child's needs and abilities.
Interlochen Summer Music Program
Held on the campus of the renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan, the ISMP offers a variety of summer camps for aspiring musicians. High-school-aged students can select from one-week or multi-week programs.
Intensive one-week training institutes are available for many instruments, including bassoon, cello, flute, oboe and trumpet. Multi-week programs offer instruction in voice, composition, rock, piano, harp, and more.
Students receive daily lessons, private coaching, daily rehearsals and performance opportunities during camp at Interlochen. Serious musicians may consider attending Interlochen full-time. The camp experience is an excellent way to try out the program while enjoying a summer filled with music.
Chicago Chamber Music Workshop
This three-week intensive workshop is offered to rising 7th- through 12th-grade students who aspire to a career in music. Students are grouped according to both ability and age for daily rehearsals and performances.
Individual lessons, music electives, and master classes fill the days with music and learning, allowing students to immerse themselves in the process of making music. Both residential and commuter student options are available. Transportation is provided for resident students to the workshop center at Fort Sheridan.
Penn State Summer Camp
Located on the Penn State University Park campus, this music camp is for high school students who want to improve their musical abilities during the summer. As attendees at this week-long residential music camp, students participate in individual and group lessons for band, chorus, orchestra, piano, or jazz.
In addition to taking master classes in their chosen track, they can also participate in classes on cartoon soundtracks, musical theater, mysteries in music, and more. Culminating in several performances on the Penn State campus, the camp will have students wishing the experience lasted longer.
California Summer Music
Focusing on performance and composition, this three-week residential camp is held on the Sonoma State University campus. Students interested in either strings or the piano, as well as those who wish to pursue a career in musical composition, will enjoy private lessons, independent workshops, and classes on their chosen concentration.
During the course of the camp, students can participate in recreational activities such as local trips, soccer, and swimming. They can also take advantage of performances by guest artists and faculty members.
Boston University Tanglewood Institute
Capitalizing on the prestige of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, this summer program has received international recognition as one of the top summer programs for teens. By partnering with some of the music industry’s top professionals, they are able to offer programs for wind ensemble, composition and harp, vocals, and more.
Programs vary based on the chosen concentration but include master classes, public performances, and intensive training sessions. Residential facilities are available on the West Campus of Boston University.
Young Artist World Piano Festival
Focusing on classically-trained piano students between the ages of 7 and 18, the Bethel University program is a 10-day residential camp experience. Lectures and forums, lessons, and master classes provide students with the opportunity to interact with top-level faculty and guest performers.
In addition, students are also able to participate in multiple piano competitions, various public performances, and a session-ending recital.
NYU Steinhardt Summer Program
Intensive summer programs in both vocals and piano are offered to students 15 years of age and older. During the three-week program, students learn to focus on their chosen craft with intensive training sessions, one-on-one lessons, cultural outings, and preparation for a musical career. Residential options are available for students who live elsewhere.
The International Music Institute and Festival
Mount St. Mary’s University is the home to the IMIF summer program, an interdisciplinary approach to musical training that takes place over two weeks each summer. Students study under internationally recognized artists as well as attend master classes, solo lessons, and group classes that are designed to enhance their understanding of the music profession.
Highly qualified students are selected each year to participate in a five-day tour at the conclusion of the camp. This camp focuses on chamber musicians and performers, including piano, violin, cello and viola.
Next summer, don’t just wish you had planned something musical for your child to participate in, make it happen. Start planning now to not only give them the best summer of their lives, but also help them develop the lifelong skills that music affords.