The clatter and crowds of SXSW are gone, spring is here, and that means it’s really time to get the kids signed up for summer camps, before they fill up. The number and variety of music-related camps in Austin is pretty overwhelming, and it’s not possible to talk about them all, but here’s a sampling that may get you started.
Most of the music camps in and around Austin lean toward rock and allow young musicians to improve their skills, play in bands, and learn a little about recording and mixing music, sometimes with a little songwriting thrown in. Rock camps include the intimate Eastside Music Summer Camp, the much larger University of Texas Longhorn Music Camps, Lone Star School of Music’s Little Rock Camp, Band Aid School of Music’s Summer Rock Camp, Rock Lab School of Music Camps, and of course, the Austin School of Rock camps.
If you’re into empowering girls with guitars and amps, check out the Girls Rock Austin summer camps. They’re operated by a nonprofit dedicated to diversity and music education.
Beyond these staples of headbanging summer fun, there are a few smaller camps that you may want to investigate too:
Blue Frog School of Music offers songwriting, performance, and recording camps in its homey location near the Austin Waldorf School.
Velocity Music Academy has a wide variety of camps for all ages, focused on learning to play the piano, guitar, violin, and other instruments.
Orpheus Academy of Music Summer Camps are offered all summer and range from world music to broadway to introductory instrument classes.
TexArts camps focus on musical theater.
Paramount Theatre hosts a small songwriting camp for kids in grades 6–10.
Creative Action, a nonprofit group of teacher-artists, has a variety of art- and music-themed summer camps planned for this year, including Broadway or Bust and The Studio: Performer camp, all about writing, mixing, and performing music.
If you live near beautiful Wimberley, Agua Fresca Studios camps all combine visual art with music. They’ve got a Ukelele and Drum Camp for ages 9–12, a Music Camp for ages 10 and up, and an Art and Music Extravaganza camp for little ones 6–8 years old.
For kids who love percussion instruments, Ratamacamp offers camps at area public schools for middle and high schoolers.
The Austin Girls’ Choir has an early June camp for beginning singers and a mid-June camp for advanced singers. Both introduce girls to many music genres, from classical to pop.
And if you have a kid who loves chamber music and wants to play in small groups, the Austin Chamber Music workshop is the place to be.
Most music camps in the area are day camps, but if your student wants an overnight experience you’ll want to explore Texas Jaam Camp on the Guadalupe River in the Hill Country in July. Music styles will range from bluegrass and cajun to jazz and Western swing.