The Case for Summer Music Camps

by Jennene Estes

It’s that time of year where parents and students alike are gearing up for summer. Vacations are being planned, plane tickets booked and everyone is looking for a constructive wsummercampay to fill their child’s time with enriching activities. Music lessons are of course a big part of that, but how can private music teachers go that extra step to provide a group experience for their budding artists while not detracting from summer music lessons?

Here at CSM we do that in the form of a variety of 3 day and weeklong camps spread out through the summer. It gives our faculty a chance to break out of the regular teaching of private lessons and spread their wings into the design and execution of a group experience! It’s a great growing experience for faculty and it’s a time where they can really share their passion for music in a concentrated way.

We look at it here at CSM as a chance to broaden our student’s usual musical fare. We don’t cancel their private lessons. Those still continue on a full time basis in the summer, but we offer these camps as a way to challenge their view of music and help them step outside the private lesson arena and pack in some great group music making and learning.

Many of our part time teachers take advantage of the ability to create a summer camp curriculum. After all, it’s a great way to earn extra money and share their specialties! And our full timers often add something like a 3 day minicamp to their regular schedules to pack in a few extra dollars or flex their administrative time. Everyone wins! Especially the student!

This summer we are adding elementary aged (K-5) specialty camps to our regular offerings! We’re studying how the sounds in nature can be translated into music making with our “Music Explorers” series of camps! And we added an Orff specialist to our summer staff to really help bring this alive.

CSM was also recently gifted a state of the art recording studio so we will be rolling out several camps centered around recording/editing/production this summer as well.

We’ll bring back Jazz Camps and Blues Camps as well and round out the summer with a big summer party where everyone can perform.

Summer is an exciting time at CSM! It’s a little extra sweat and diligence, and it does go against that “lazy days of summer” mentality a bit, but it’s all so worth the effort. We find our teachers and clients are blessed beyond measure by it and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Now back to booking those plane tickets for my vacation…J

Catoctin School of Music
1 Comment
  • Posted at 12:16 pm, April 7, 2016

    Have you tried playing along with awesome background tracks for summer camp groups, especially beginners? I teach in Houston and helped make some that work great as a summer camp!
    Here’s a link, love to know what you think!

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