The sun is out and so is school! Summer break is the perfect time to relax and take some time away from the mundane school routine. However, just because school isn’t in session for a few months doesn’t mean band students should put down their instruments for the whole break! After all, consistency in practice is key to becoming a better musician. So what are some options for young musicians to stay active in their musical practice in between the start of summer break until band camp begins or school restarts in fall? Don’t worry…we have some ideas for you!
- Don’t just keep practicing what you already know- use some of your valuable summer time to enhance your skills through music intensive courses and day camps! Many universities and community arts centres offer such programs throughout the summer months. Below are some recommended programs in the Tennessee:
Belmont University School of Music Summer Camps (Grades 9-12)
Belmont offers camp for players of string and wind instruments as well as piano and vocal arts. Participants are instructed by respected Belmont faculty and enjoy opportunities experience a recording studio, watch performances, learn the techniques of improvisation, join in on jam sessions with Belmont faculty and students, meet new friends with similar interests, and showcase their work in a concert at the conclusion of the week. If you want the full immersive experience, stay overnight in the dorms for the week! If you’ve missed the deadline for this year, start planning for next summer! Many programs (especially those sponsored by colleges and universities) require auditions, so prepare accordingly.
University of Memphis Summer Music Camp (For middle and high school students)
At this camp, your first day will begin with a simple audition of playing scales and sight-reading for placement into an ensemble for the week. Upon registration you’ll choose of five electives that are geared to enhance your overall music camp experience. This year’s electives are Art, Conduction, Piano, Dance, and Improvisation.
Music City Youth Orchestra’s Summer Intensive Workshop (for middle and high school students)
Workshop intensives are a great way to advance your musical abilities or discover a new genre to dabble in. Summer workshops by Music City Youth Orchestra offer masterclasses as well as instruction in orchestra and chamber music!
- Get enough of formal music training during the school year? Then try something new and fun! Here are some programs that are a little less structured and more geared towards fueling your passion for music and increasing your stage presence and performance skills.
School of Rock Summer Music Camp (For ages 7 and up)
Join this camp to be placed in a band and learn some of your favorite songs to perform for your family and friends! In this setting students can explore different instruments if they wish. This is the perfect summer music program for young/beginner musicians or kids that have an interest in music and are deciding on which instrument to start playing once the new school year starts up.
- Some students work better when they study individually. Summer is a great time to start (or increase the frequency/intensity of) private lessons!
There are many summer music programs available each year, both local and across the country (and even the world for those who crave an overseas experience!). To decide which one (or ones!) is right for you, first consider your goals. If you plan to audition for an orchestra, band, ensemble, etc. you may want to think about a more structured, formal training course. Main goal is to get over stage fright? You may want to go with an option geared towards having fun and putting on low pressure performances for small groups. Whatever you decide, we hope you take advantage of these sunny months and find a way to rock out this summer!
Written by Laura Whitlock