Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Hard to believe that summer is actually going to happen, but I am pretty sure that it will...

It's around this time each year that I start receiving all kinds of flyers and promo stuff for summer music camps.  I thought I would use this communication tool to get the word out on some of my favorites as well as let you know what else may be out there.

For high school students in grades 10-12 next school year, I firmly believe that WMU runs the best high school music experience.  Their "Seminar" music camp is about two weeks long at the end of July, and kids get a college-style experience rather than an outdoor camp one.  Students are housed in dorms on Western's campus, and have many opportunities to study and perform with outstanding educators and students.  Here is a link to the website:

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp also offers a decent experience, but my opinion is that it is not geared toward advanced HS kids.  I've sent both of my own children there, and Erin really enjoyed it; Nathan kind of "maxed out" in 9th grade as far as playing, but also enjoyed the experience.  (Nathan also attended WMU's camp.)  You can learn more about BLFAC here:  We have had several ZHS students attend, and last year and this year had students accepted into the Blue Lake International program, giving them a chance to tour Europe in the summer.

CMU also runs a couple of camps - their Summer Music Institute runs for about a week in June, and there are a few other opportunities available.  Their website is, though I cannot at this point find specific application information.

Alma College is far and away the very best.  They run a one- or two-week camp, with each week focusing on a different aspect of percussion.  Week one is usually marching percussion; week two is concert.  Information is here:

Several entries here...
Aquinas College, right in GR, runs a great jazz camp in June.  There are options for commuting or overnight camps.  They focus on all levels of jazz, placing emphasis on some theory and improvisation as well as ensemble playing.  Web address:

A new one that I'm not familiar with, though I have immense respect for its founder.  The Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive takes place at WMU and focuses on jazz percussion.  Keith Hall is an outstanding performer and educator.  Check it out here:

By far the king of jazz camps is the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshop, now held in Louisville at the university campus.  Focusing on developing improvisation skills with students at all levels, this camp provides students with exercises and experience that are second to none.  I actually attended this camp as a student about 15 years ago, and it was a huge help to me as an educator; students learn SO much here!  It's far away, but it's the best:

That sums up my immediate knowledge and experience.  I would be glad to assist you/your children with negotiating the summer camp waters if you need!  Email me at if you have questions.