Music is more than a scene in Seattle. It’s a source of pride, a way of life. And because of that, we Seattleites take our music very seriously, even amongst the mini maestro crowd. See ya, Raffi. Bye-bye, Barney. Only the coolest kindie rockers can be found on our iPods. Living in a musical epicenter really has its perks! And one of them is being home to some of the coolest music camps around. So we’ve rounded up some of the hippest, grooviest, rockin-est (what? it’s a word) area music camps for Seattle’s next generation of music legends. Get ready to drum, strum and sing your way through summer. Rock on!
Rock Band Summer Camp
Be honest. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of belting out hardcore rocks songs to a sold out crowd at the Gorge? Set your mini rocker on the path to stardom with Off the Wall Music School’s Rock Band Summer Camp. For one week, big kids will lead the life of a rock star, minus the late night parties and groupies, of course, once they’ve formed a killer band, complete with name and costume (hello KISS platform boots). Campers—ahem—band members practice their craft and create that signature sound with in-studio as well as personal instruments brought from home (guitars or bass, please). Then it’s time to lay down some tracks and shoot a rockin’ video, fresh enough for MTV. On the final day the band plays for its clamoring masses (parents, that means you) before returning to reality. Off the Wall also offers Girls Rock Band Camp sessions toward the end of the summer, for those who follow the lead of the GoGo’s over Fleetwood Mac. Be sure to set your amps to eleven for this one!
Off the Wall School of Music
4509 Midvale Avenue
Seattle, Wa 98103
Dates: June 24 – August 30 (weekly, no class the first week in July)
Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Music and Movement Summer Camp
Do your little ones have that uncontrollable urge to get down when the tunes turn on? Do you find they can’t help but wiggle and giggle while singing along to their favorite Kindependent artist? Well, get ready to let the little ones cut footloose with teachers Lindsay and Dillon at Music and Movement Summer Camp in Capitol Hill. This Bertschi School master teacher and Tae Kwan Do black belt (that’d be Lindsay), and Woodland Park zoo educator turned KEXP intern and local musician (that’d be Dillon) are the yin and yang to your kiddo’s creative journey through movement and music. Their classes combine music education and participation with yoga, martial arts, games and crafts to engage young minds. And weekly themes like David Bowie & Space Exploration or Pop Stars: Past and Present, provide ample opportunity for mini Mozarts to not only learn about music, but learn to play some too. These solid skills are taught on instruments provided in class, but students are encouraged to bring their own. And we may have heard mention of an on-location drum set (silent cheer that it’s not in your basement). In the end, students will gain confidence in their musical abilities at this rockin’ good time. Everybody cut footloose!
Music and Movement
Trinity Lutheran Church
1200 10th Avenue Eeast
Seattle, Wa 98102
Dates: June 17 – July 29 (weekly, no class the first week in July)
Time: 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Musical Theater Camp
There’s no business like show business! Or so they say. If you’re little one has EGOT aspirations, sign him up for a week-long musical theater camp with Seattle’s Littlest Performers. Music, dance and drama top the list of daily activities during these summer sessions, where students work together to produce a mini-musical. Working with 2-3 rotating teachers each day, students focus on music workshops in the morning and movement workshops in the afternoon, as they learn about the musical theater production process through hands-on experience. That’s right. Students are a part of the production, as they work with the teachers to write and score their musical masterpieces (Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, look out!). Students also get the chance to explore the sound booth for a real-life look at the technical side of theater. This time it’s okay to touch the buttons! And when hunger strikes, the littlest performers head outside to Callum Park, just a few block’s walk from the theater, where they can “take lunch” (hello, Hollywood) and enjoy the summer sunshine. Each week focuses on a different production, so be sure to sign up for one that intrigues you. Let the triple threat training begin!
Seattle’s Littlest Performers
Wing-It Productions Theater
5510 University Way NE
Seattle, Wa 98105
Cost: $225 (except Aristocats which is $175)
Dates: June 24 – August 26 (weekly, no classes the week of August 12)
Time: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Kindermusik Summer Camps
The popular Kindermusik program, offered by Studio 3 Music, takes you and your little ones on a musical journey this summer during their parent/child classes. You’ll love getting to spend quality time with your wee one during the 45-minute long classes, that use music to address the social, emotional, physical and intellectual developmental stages of your little one. Their engaging and experienced teachers disguise learning through music and play, so baby Beethovens won’t even realize they’re learning! Plus the information you learn in class, alongside the take home materials allow you to extend the learning (and play!) at home. With a different focus for each session, classes can be taken individually or throughout the summer. Best part? The age ranges make this the perfect option for the older/younger sibling pair. There’s even a $10 sibling discount when you register two kiddos!
If you’re looking for a drop-off option for budding musicians, the Redmond Kindermusik location is serving up some awesome camps this summer. These longer classes run weekly during the month of July, for children ages 3-8. Rockin’ in the Forest, Rhythms of the Land, Fairy Camp and Heroes from History round out the summer fun for the big kids. Campers can expect music, dramatic play and crafts as staples for each hour-plus class. And although it’s a drop off camp, parents are welcome to stay and play with their littles, or in this case bigs!
Good to know: Don’t let vacation plans keep you away. Studio 3 Music offers make-up sessions for missed classes so you never really miss out!
Studio 3 Music
Locations in Seattle and the Eastside
Ages: Newborn – 8 (sometimes with caregiver)
Cost: $72 -$155, dependent on class
Dates: July 8 – August 29 (weekly)
Meter Music School Summer Camps
Get ready to step in time at Meter Music School’s summer camps. These weekly camps each focus on a different instrument. From keyboards to drums, from voice to ukulele and guitar, there’s sure to be something to entice your little musician, even if it’s his first time playing. If your young one is a newbie, try signing up for a private lesson (or two) to introduce him to his instrument (and his instructor) before the summer session. Beyond building individual instrument fundamentals, campers also work together to learn to play as an ensemble, a special summer camp twist! Workshops on song-writing and recording are also weaved through the week, so campers experience the breadth of musical education and performance. And although each session is different, all students can expect to perform in front of a live (and amazingly supportive) parent audience on the last day. Put your hands together!
Good to know: The school provides instruments for all the summer sessions except for guitar and ukulele. If you’re in need of a rental, they can point you in the right direction.
Meter Music School
2011 East Union Street
Seattle, Wa 98122
Dates: June 24-28, July 8-12, August 12-16, August 19-23
Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Dusty Strings Classes
Folksy toddlers (and their parents) won’t want to miss the summer classes offered through Dusty Strings in Freemont. The iconic music shop, known for its collection of stringed instruments, offers three amazing music classes for the littlest music lovers in your life. You can’t go wrong with these (trip the light) fantastic classes!
Jammin’ with the Composers introduces your little ones to classical juggernauts like Mozart and Beethoven through their favorite melodies. Who knew Mozart composed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (it’s true, we wiki-ed it)? The kiddos will love the interactive nature of the class (shhh… don’t tell them they’re learning), and they’ll have a chance to play a little music too, on both pitched and non-pitched instruments. When all is said and done, students will give a short performance to really show off their skills!
Music For Everyone is the toddler Trifecta. Music education teacher, Janet Vitols, uses storybooks, puppets and games to bring music to the little masses in her Americana based class. Her enthusiasm and warmth engages mini musicians (and their parents) as they’re introduced to musical concepts (hello, pitch, meet meter), play and dance, with Janet strumming right along side them. We hear she plays a mean banjo! Get ready for your little one to express herself in this class!
The established Music Together curriculum teaches parents how to bring music into your wee one’s world. These parent/child classes support both little ones and big ones (that’s you, mom and dad) in an exciting musical exploration based on the idea that everyone is musical (at least a little bit)!
3406 Freemont Avenue North
Seattle, Wa 98103
Jammin’ with the Composers
Dates: Tuesdays, June 4- June 25
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Music for Everyone
Dates: Wednesdays June 19-July 24
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm
Ages: 6 months – 4
Dates: Thursdays June 27-August 15
Time: 10:30 am – 11:15 am or 11:30 am – 12:15 pm
Rhythm Jam Summer Camp
If the pots and pans and wooden spoons in your household often double as your young one’s drum set, check out West Side Music Academy’s Rhythm Jam summer classes. No musical experience is required for this one, other than a love a percussive instruments (we checked—pots and pans count!). During 90-minute, week-long summer classes, camp goers are immersed in the bedrock of rock ‘n’ roll, as they experiment with different rhythms and different instruments, building from the basics and moving to the complex. And if they’re feeling ready for it, students will get a chance to air out their pipes and sing along too. Cooperation and a good sense of timing is key in this musical journey for youngsters. So get ready to play that funky music!
West Side Music Academy
4214 SW Dakota Street
Seattle, Wa 98116
Dates: June 24- June 28; August 19 – 23
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am; 2:00pm – 3:30 pm
Didn’t see your favorite summer music camp on our list? Share it in the comments section below and we’ll add it to our list.
Photo Credits: Seattle’s Littlest Performers’ website, Meter Music School’s Facebook page, Off the Wall School of Music’s Facebook page, Dusty Strings website, Studio3Music website, artfulblogger on Flickr, Timothy Rysdyke