Tips for First-Time Summer Music Camp Goers


Registrations close soon

Like most summer camps, registration for music camps closes around April 1st. If you haven’t already, submit your application as soon as possible. If you have missed an application deadline, or spaces are listed as FULL/CLOSED online, try calling the camp directly. There still might be available spaces because late dropouts do occur… but don’t rely on these unlikely scenarios.

Camps offer more than just performance opportunities

Sure, you will play your instrument, get instruction, and play in an ensemble. But you’ll also be exposed to music theory, concerts, and lots of other cool music related things. Camps that are in remote areas also present you to the outdoors and provide you the opportunity to enjoy favorite camping activities.  

Not all camps require overnight stays or last for weeks at a time

Some camps are only during the day and allow you to go home each evening. These are great, first-time opportunities to see what camps are like and what they offer students.

Camps can go for as little as a few days or up to several weeks

First, establish a goal. What do you want out of your camp experience? Then decide how long you would like to attend a camp. Unless you know of a well-known or popular camp, try not to commit to several weeks, especially if it’s your first camp. Test out a few camps and decide what camp experience and duration is beneficial to you.

Get a taste of the college atmosphere

Some camps are hosted at colleges and allow you to stay in a college dorm room with other students. Some camps also will enable you to practice and perform on a college stage. If you want to gain somewhat of a college atmosphere experience, attend a masters course camp.

There are scholarships for summer camps

Do not let financial restrictions keep you from attending a music camp. Many camps offer scholarships for students who want to attend. Some camps, like the Oklahoma Arts Institute, are scholarship only camps. That means all accepted students get scholarships to attend. When you apply to a camp, be sure to ask about scholarship opportunities.

Every week spent at summer camp is worth college scholarship money

Although summer camp tuition can seem very expensive, the benefit of attending a longer camp can far outweigh the cost of tuition. Longer duration camps look stronger on college applications. Specifically, a week spent at camp is worth approximately $1,600 a year in scholarship money.

Colleges actively recruit students at music camps

Another reason to attend a music camp is to create lasting relationships with college recruiters. If you haven’t started to think about college, relationships are very important. You might even learn of potential programs that could be options for you in your future.

Here are few multiweek camps that recruiters are known to attend:  

Last Bit of Advice

Planning your summer and deciding on a music camp can seem overwhelming but investing a little effort could result in a great experience for you! You’ll not only expand your musical skills, understanding and repertoire, but also create lasting friendships and stories to take with you when you leave the camp.

Colleges are always looking for students who go the extra mile. What extracurriculars or achievements do you have that set you apart from other students? Summer camps are highly-valued among college recruiters so be sure you add it to your list of experiences.

Remember to have fun this summer. We recommend a summer music camp near you! If you need assistance with finding a camp or want to learn more about what you can gain from attending camps, contact us.

As Dr. Bayne always says, keep practicing!

Elke Ridenour
Band Mom