Music Camps

Offering Summer Music Camps for Piano Students

Are you thinking about holding any camps/workshops this summer?  Here are some great reasons to consider holding camps:

  • It allows you to reinforce concepts or cover topics that are difficult to cover during private lessons.  E.g., music history, rhythm, improvisation, composition.
  • It is a great way to build camaraderie among your students.
  • It allows you to have a different/lighter teaching schedule during the summer if you desire.
  • It creates the possibility of increasing your income during the summer months.

Here is what I do during the summer months.  This is pasted directly from my Studio Policies:

Summer Months: During the summer months (June _ through August _), private students are expected to continue taking lessons; however, they have two options: 

  1. 5 lessons scheduled as convenient for the student and teacher, plus all two 4-day summer camps (one each in June, July, and August).  Each camp meets from 10-noon Monday through Thursday.  Summer camps themes vary each year, but may include Musical Olympics, Music History Blast From The Past, Music of the World, etc.  
  2. Or, students may continue weekly lessons (10 in total) as normal.  Students who choose this option may also participate in one or more summer camps for a nominal fee.   

Not only does the teacher feel strongly about the value of continuing the student’s musical education throughout the summer months, but the teacher’s livelihood depends upon a regular income throughout the summer months because the tuition rate has been determined based on a 12-month calendar.  For these reasons, if a student does not continue lessons through the summer, the student unfortunately cannot be guaranteed a spot in the schedule in the Fall especially if there is a waiting list.  

For either option, students are expected to continue paying the flat monthly tuition rate.  This system has worked very well for the past two years and I plan to do it again this summer (2014).

Things to consider as you are planning your camp:

  • How long do you wish for it to last?  Examples: 4 consecutive days for 2 hours each day; or 5 hours in one day; or 6 Tuesdays for 1 hour each day.
  • What is your ideal number of participants?  What is your minimum and maximum number of participants to make it worth your time?  Personally, my range is 4-10 but my ideal group size is 6 or 8.
  • Consider how much you’d like to get paid as a minimum hourly wage during the camp.  Also consider your time involved in all of the preparations beforehand.
  • Choose a theme/topic.  Consider what kind of curriculum you will use — will you write your own lesson plans or buy them?
  • Make a list of all of the materials you will need and total the expenses.  Examples: paper, printer ink, glue, scissors, food for snacktime (or you could ask students to pack their own snack/lunch), game materials, pencils, crayons, craft supplies, etc.
  • Price your camp so that you will be profitable even if you have the minimum number of participants sign up.   Research what it costs for students to attend other types of camps in your area.

Setting Tuition

Be sure to crunch the numbers for a different scenarios until you find a tuition rate that is profitable for your business but also reasonable for your students.  For example…

Scenario 1: Let’s suppose you charged $100/student for an 8-hour camp (4 days, meeting 2 hours each day).

  • If you have 4 students attend and the expenses totaled $100, you would make $300.  If you divide this by the 8 hours of contact time with the students, you are earning only $37.50/hour (not including prep time).  [As with all of your income, of course, you will lose between 20-30% of your income to pay self-employment taxes.]
  • If you have 6 students attend and the expenses totaled $100, you would make $500.  If you divide this by the 8 hours of contact time with the students, you are earning $62.50/hour (not including prep time).
  • If you have 10 students attend and the expenses totaled $100, you would make $900.  If you divide this by the 8 hours of contact time with the students, you are earning $112.50/hour (not including prep time).

Looking at these numbers, I would probably decide that this tuition rate is not profitable in the event that only 4 students register.  Therefore, I would either set my minimum number of students to 6 (which means risking that I might have to cancel the whole thing if I don’t get 6 registrants), or set a higher tuition rate.

This is just a scenario for how you might go about deciding what rate is right for you and your area.  I’m not trying to suggest a particular tuition rate, but rather show you how to think through the numbers.  🙂  Here is another scenario.

Scenario 2: Let’s suppose you charged $60/student for a 4-hour workshop (1 day).

  • If you have 4 students attend and the expenses totaled $75, you would make $165.  If you divide this by the 4 hours of contact time with the students, you are earning $41.25/hour (not including prep time).
  • If you have 8 students attend and the expenses totaled $75, you would make $405.  If you divide this by the 4 hours of contact time with the students, you are earning $101.25/hour (not including prep time).

As you can see, the success of your camp depends largely on how many students will register!

If you are thinking of holding a camp for the first time and are looking for an easy, complete curriculum, I would highly recommend holding a music history camp using my lapbook curriculum, “Great Composers and Their Music.”  Read more about Music History Camp here.  The curriculum is ready-to-go and students absorb SO much information when they learn through lapbooking.

Other camps I’ve offered in the past include So, You Want To Be A Composer?, Music of the World, and Musical Olympics.

Please share your thoughts about how to plan special camps/workshops in the comments.  I would love to hear from you!

Music Camps

Photos from Happy Lapbookers

A blog reader kindly sent me these photos of her students completing Bach & Mozart lapbooks as part of a music camp this summer!

photo (4)

These students look like they had a blast!

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They also played a “Name That Tune” game that turned into a musical hats game.  I can see that the students loved all the hats.  🙂

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Thanks for the photos, Mary!  If anyone else has photos of their students with lapbooks, please email me!  🙂


Group Classes, Music Camps, Music History

New in Shop: Eras of Music History Kit

Remember when I gave a sneak peek at these music history booklets last month?  Well, I’m pleased to announce that the Eras of Music History Kit has just been added to the Shop!  The kit contains a variety of printable pdf’s for studying the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Eras of Western music history.

The four era booklets are the core component of this resource.  Each era booklet discusses the stylistic characteristics of the music, the evolution of the piano, and the popular forms composers used.  The back of the booklet features a list of major composers and a list of important works from the era.  The information has been carefully researched and written in a concise, clear way intended for students age 7+.

Photo - collage

This kit also contains a pdf for creating a composer timeline.


There are a few more pdf’s included in the kit:

  • Four worksheets that correspond to the four era booklets.
  • A handout with a brief overview of all four eras.
  • A historical context timeline.

Most importantly, purchase of the Eras of Music History kit includes a license to be able to print from the pdf’s as much as desired throughout your teaching career, as long as you are using the printed materials with your own students.

The resources within this kit are suitable for all kinds of settings:

  • Monthly group classes for your private students.
  • Music appreciation courses for homeschooling students.
  • Music history camps (see this blog post for more information).
  • At-home assignments for private piano students.

And, as you might have guessed, this kit works great alongside a composer lapbook study.  🙂

This resource is designed to make it easier to incorporate more music history into our students’ musical education.  Maybe it will be just right for you and your students over the next school year!  View the Eras of Music History Kit in the Shop here.

Music Camps

2013 Music of the World Camp Details

Good news!  The Music of the World Camp curriculum is ALMOST ready to be listed in the Shop.  🙂  I’ll keep you updated.  Update: The Music of the World camp curriculum is now available for purchase in the Shop!  View the description page here.

As I alluded in my previous post, I used lapbooking as the method of study for the countries we visited each day.


I took my students’ photos on the first day of camp for their passports.  I also made sure to “stamp” their passports before and after each flight.

passport collage Continue reading “2013 Music of the World Camp Details”

Music Camps

2013 Music of the World Camp – Sneak Peek

This week, I’ve been running my third and final summer music camp!   Below is a peek at some the activities we did during camp.

You may not be surprised to learn that I chose lapbooking as the method of learning during our world music camp.  Lapbooking works so well for studying composers and it works very well for studying countries, too.  🙂

DSC_20130807_095911 Continue reading “2013 Music of the World Camp – Sneak Peek”

General, Music Camps, Music History

2013 Music History Camp

As I mentioned in a post last week, I held a Music History Camp last week with five of my private students.  Each day, we studied an era of music history (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern) and also focused on a composer from that period.

To study the eras, I decided to write a printable booklet for each era.  Below is a sneak peek at how they turned out.  I think they could be very useful both for music camps as well as for private students.   These booklets are going to make their way to the Shop very soon, accompanied by a set of corresponding worksheets and a timeline showing other events occurring in history during these eras. Photo - collage

Continue reading “2013 Music History Camp”

Music Camps, Music History

2013 Music History Camp

My students and I are in the middle of Music History camp this week and having a blast!  This year, I’m teaching 5 girls between the ages of 5 and 8.

Yesterday, we studied Handel (using my lapbook curriculum) and the Baroque Era.  Today was Haydn and the Classical Era.  We have two more days of camp to go, when we’ll be covering the Romantic Era and the Modern Era.  Wish me luck!  It is a lot to cover in just four 2-hour classes, but I am pleased with the information my students are absorbing so far.  This camp will serve as a good first introduction to the stylistic periods of Western music!


Music Camps, Rhythm

2013 “I Got Rhythm” Summer Camp – Sneak Peek

This week, my students and I are in the middle of rhythm camp!


My blogging might be a bit sporadic for the rest of the week as I continue preparing and teaching this camp.  We’ve been busy working in our workbook…


…and playing games and making crafts, too!


I will be blogging more details about our “I Got Rhythm” camp pretty soon.  Stay tuned!

Music Camps

2013 Summer Camp T-Shirt

The T-shirts for my summer music camps arrived yesterday!  I’m very excited about this year’s design:

2013 Summer Camp T Shirt

I ordered my shirts from again this year.  I was happy with the quality of the shirts last year, but more importantly — I love that CustomInk has an artist check your design before it gets printed.  My design required slight adjusting to make it work properly for both adult and child T-shirt sizes — so it was a good thing they checked everything over before the shirts were printed.

I chose the piano tie design from among the many music graphic options available on CustomInk’s website.  All I had to do was add the text on the side!  I hope this year’s T-shirt design will be a big hit.  🙂

Music Camps

2013 Summer Music Camps

I haven’t shared much about my summer music camps yet — and they are coming up soon!

Like last year, I’m holding one camp each month.  They run Monday through Thursday from 10am-12pm.  I chose a different topic for each month:

I’ve Got Rhythm!” – (June)

During this camp, students will benefit from focusing on arguably the most essential element of music: rhythm!  There will be lots of opportunities for group music-making, using body percussion (clapping, snapping, tongue clucking, etc.) and hand-held percussion instruments.  Throughout the week, we will also complete workbook about various aspects of rhythm (pulse, time signatures, rhythm values, etc).  For students ages 6-14.

Music History Blast From The Past” – (July)

Back by popular demand, this camp will give students a glimpse into the lives of the four different great classical composers.  As we study the composers we will be not only listening to the music of each time period, but also looking at the instruments, clothes, and art of each time period in order to make the past come alive.  Each day, we will focus on a time period from music history and create a scrapbook page of pictures/notes to take home.  It will be similar to last year’s music history camp, but we will cover four different composers this year.  Campers will be sure experience the thrill of a blast from the past during this music history camp!  For students ages 6-14.

Music of the World” – (August)

Join us for a journey around to world to study the music of different cultures!  Campers will travel to four different countries to learn about each culture, music style, and musical instruments.  Students will complete a workbook and craft their own musical instrument each day.  Join us for this adventure!  For students ages 6-14.

Are you planning any summer music camps this year?  If so, please share about your camp plans in the comments below!  

Music Camps, Music History

Planning A Music History Camp Using My Lapbook Curriculum

It’s March, and I have already had a couple of my piano students inquire whether I will be doing summer music camps again this year.  The answer is YES, I have started thinking about them.  🙂

One of the camps from last year that I will definitely be repeating this summer is Music History Blast From The Past.  I plan to use the same format as last year, but I will be focusing on different composers.

In case you are considering the possibility of offering a summer music camp or two, I thought I would share more about how I planned my music history camp last year.

Continue reading “Planning A Music History Camp Using My Lapbook Curriculum”