Music Camps

My 2016 Summer Camp Offerings

The weather is warming, and summertime is practically here! I don’t know about you, but I’m gearing up to offer a couple of music camps this summer.

summer camp descriptions


I first offered a composing camp to my students back in 2012 and have decided it is time to offer something similar this summer. I plan to use my So, You Want To Be A Composer? curriculum while pulling in some newer ideas and resources.

The second camp, Music History Blast From The Past, is one that I have been offering my students for the past four years. We focus on a different historical time period and a specific composer example each day. Students love the hands-on crafting and the discovery of what they can relate to from composers’ lives. I find this camp gives us a great foundation of knowledge for us to refer when learning to play staples of the piano teaching literature. To study each composer, I use the composer lapbooking curriculum that is available in my shop. Check out the general lesson plans here.

Here are the descriptions for the camps I’m offering this year.

So, You Want To Be A Composer?
June 13-16, M-Th from 10am-noon
Throughout this camp, students will experience the joy of creation while composing their own music: from the energy of the initial creative urge, following the path of their personal inspiration, then settling it all into a captured vision. By the end of the week, each student will take home an illustrated copy of their composition, printed using professional music notation software. In addition to individual work, students will get to take part in group-based improvisation and composition throughout the week. For students ages 5-14. No previous musical background necessary.

Music History Blast From The Past
July 11-14, M-Th from 10am-noon
Back by popular demand! This camp gives students a glimpse into the lives of four great classical composers. As we study each composer’s childhood and career, students will learn about the music, fashion, art, and architecture of the time. Every year, students are fascinated to find that they can relate to the life stories of composers who lived hundreds of years ago. In the long run, having this broader context of music history enriches later years of piano study, especially when playing classical piano literature. Each day, students will take home a crafted scrapbook page about that day’s composer. For students ages 5-14. Previous musical background preferable, but not necessary.

What summer camps are you planning this year?

Update: Check out the form I give out to my students in order to present summertime camp/lesson options.

Music Camps, Reviews

Review: Road Trip USA! Camp by Sheryl Welles

My friend Sheryl Welles has just put her RoadTrip USA! camp lesson plans up for sale on her website!  She very kindly sent me a copy to review, and so I’m going to tell you all about it.  🙂

RoadTrip USA! is a 159-page pdf that contains detailed descriptions with photos of the games and activities Sheryl does for her camp.  Sheryl also includes detailed lists for the supplies you will need each day, as well as some advice about registration forms and setting tuition.

So, what is the camp like?  Each day, campers travel to a different part of the United States to listen to different styles of music, learn about composers, and reinforce basic musical concepts, like rhythm and note reading.  The five destinations are Washington D.C., New Orleans, the Wild West, New York City, and Hawaii.  The activities throughout the day are themed around that day’s destination.  I love the great variety of activities (indoors, outdoors, movement, listening, etc!) Sheryl uses for this camp, and your students will love it too!  If you haven’t seen Sheryl’s blog before, I highly recommend you check out some of her posts about her music camps. Continue reading “Review: Road Trip USA! Camp by Sheryl Welles”

Composition, Conferences, Music Camps

MTNA 2012 Conference | Session on Composition Camps

The last session of the conference I attended was a wonderful one!  It was called:

Get Out of That Musical Box: Teach Students How To Compose!

Dianne Higgins gave a delightful presentation about the summer composition camps she holds each year.  It has been a great success even since the first year she tried it!

The first year, Dianne emailed her students and friends to ask for donations of keyboards, headphones, computers, and other equipment she would need.  She was surprised with the response she received, and only had a few things left to purchase.  Over the years, she has upgraded her equipment and now has 5 computer stations with small MIDI keyboards, and some keyboard/headphone stations too.  She has a separate room in her house for these stations.   Continue reading “MTNA 2012 Conference | Session on Composition Camps”