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Top 10 Summer Music Summer Programs for High School Students

As summer approaches, you might be eager to finally get a break from school. However, it might be difficult to manage all that free time. Fortunately, there are summer programs for high school students who have a passion for music! Keep reading to learn more about programs like these and how they can help you hone your skills and enjoy the company of like minded music lovers! .

What is a summer music program?

A summer program is a great way to engage more closely with one of your interests and improve on your skills while you’re still in high school. While taking part in one of these programs, you’ll get a chance to see whether this hobby or activity can become your future career or college major. Attending summer music programs for high school students also looks good on your resume and college applications!

Why we chose these programs

There are tons of summer music programs out there for you to explore, but we compiled a list of our top 10! This list is based on programs that will maximize your skills while you’re still in high school, and some even offer financial aid. Unfortunately, we couldn’t include every amazing option, but each program is worth exploring.

Note about application deadlines and camp open and close dates

If you want to attend a summer music camp, the first thing you need to do is find out each program’s deadline. Fortunately, we’ve included the camp dates and their deadlines so that you can pick the best one for your summer. Even if the deadline has passed, be sure to put it in your calendar to apply next year!

Top summer music programs for high school students

1. Berklee ASPIRE Music Performance Intensive

Berklee is extremely well-known for producing stellar musicians, and they also have summer programs for interested students. This five-week program is unique because you can gain college credit while exploring different parts of the music industry. Fortunately, Berklee offers scholarships to help with the cost of the program.

  • Eligibility: ages 15 and up 
  • Cost: $9,200, including housing and the registration fee. 
  • Application deadline: June 1, 2023
  • Camp dates: July 8 – August 11
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts

2. Stanford Jazz Camp

The Stanford Jazz Camp is one of the multiple music programs that this university offers during the summer. They offer instrument-specific classes along with lessons for vocalists. Each participant even gets a private lesson, and your family can check out your new skills at the end of the week at the showcase! 

If you don’t currently have an instrument, Stanford offers an instrumental request to make sure you can still get your jam on this summer! Keep in mind that the financial aid deadline for all programs is April 15th. 

  • Eligibility: ages 12-17, must have 18 months of instruction.
  • Cost: $2,465, including housing and meals
  • Application deadline: Two weeks before the first day of the program
  • Camp dates: July 16 – July 21 or July 23 – July 28
  • Location: Stanford, California on campus

3. Morse Summer Music Academy at Yale

Start your music journey as early as the third grade at the Morse Summer Music Academy! Students enjoy learning their craft while building a foundation in music theory through mentorship and education. Before attending, all students must complete an in-person musical assessment to assign each to a level, but it doesn’t dictate if you can attend the academy. 

  • Eligibility: Students in grades 3-11. Requires enrollment in New Haven Public Schools, a recommendation letter from a music teacher, attendance for the entirety of the Academy, and a musical assessment.
  • Cost: Free
  • Application deadline: March 26, 2023
  • Camp dates: June 26 – July 21 (Monday through Friday)
  • Location: Yale School of Music in New Haven, Connecticut

4. Castleman Quartet Program

The Castleman Quartet Program is a summer program specializing in strings and collaborative piano. It’s open to high school, undergraduates and graduate students, and you can choose between a 7-week, 3-week,  4-week, or 1-week experience. 

It’s important to take your audition seriously since the program only accepts four piano interns since their tuition and room and board are covered. However, the string program doesn’t offer this opportunity, but there are financial aid options to lessen the cost. 

  • Eligibility: high school, undergraduate or graduate student. Requires an audition. 
  • Cost: $50-65 application fee, $3,950 for 3 weeks, $4,700 for 4 weeks, and $8,000 for full session
  • Application deadline: March 1, 2023 for string and March 31, 2023 for piano
  • Camp dates: June 4 – July 23, June 4 – June 25, June 24 – July 16, or July 16 – July 23
  • Location: Fredonia, New York 

5. Interlochen Center for the Arts

The Interlochen Center for the Arts offers a variety of summer music programs that specialize in instruments such as bassoon, oboe, cello, and more! There are even voice programs for students interested in songwriting and opera. Don’t let the price of this amazing program stop you from applying! After all, Interlochen offers need-based financial aid, merit scholarships, and returning student discounts. 

  • Eligibility: Students in grades 3-12. Requires a video audition.
  • Cost: $65 application fee, $1,750 for 1 week, $4,180 for 2 weeks, $6,550 for 3 weeks, $7,500 for 4 weeks, and $9,980 for 6 weeks.
  • Application deadline: Priority deadline is January 15, 2023 but applications are still accepted depending on availability
  • Camp dates: One week: June 17 – June 23; Two weeks: June 25 – July 8, July 9 – July 22, July 23 – August 5; Three weeks: June 24 – July 15, July 16 – August 6; Four weeks: June 25 – July 22, July 9 – August 5; Six weeks: June 24 – August 6
  • Location: Interlochen, Michigan

6. Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard

Julliard is known for its impact on the arts, and you can experience it firsthand at one of the summer programs. There are five different music opportunities: String Quartet Seminar, Summer Percussion Seminar, Summer Performing Arts, Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, and Summer Music Theory and Ear Training. Each program is about one week to two weeks long with varying deadlines.

Specifically, the Summer Performing Arts program has two sessions that focus on different aspects of the arts. The first session covers drama, piano, and voice while the second session covers dance and musical theater. 

  • Eligibility: ages 12-18. Requires a video audition.
  • Cost: $100 application fee and $10,950 including room and board
  • Application deadline: February 15, 2023 (rolling admission if there’s availability) 
  • Camp dates: June 25 – July 8 and/or July 9 – July 22
  • Location: Orlando, Florida

7. National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute 

The Summer Music Institute at the Kennedy Center is a wonderful opportunity for you to work in a professional setting while improving on your musical education. It’s a four-week program that includes private lessons and master classes. Students can also attend National Symphony Orchestra rehearsals and performances free of charge!

  • Eligibility: ages 15-20. Requires two video auditions, two essay responses and one recommendation letter from a music teacher or conductor
  • Cost: Free, not including the $30 application fee
  • Application deadline: January 22, 2023
  • Camp dates: June 26 – July 24
  • Location: Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center

8. Sphinx Performance Academy

Get excited about spending part of your summer at the Sphinx Performance Academy! It has three different partnerships with music schools, which are University of Colorado Boulder – College of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. This program is a great alternative to applying to one of the partnered schools, and you won’t have to worry about any fees. 

  • Eligibility: ages 11-17 and must be U.S. citizens. Requires a personal statement, a headshot, a repertoire list, and a video audition
  • Cost: Free
  • Application deadline
  • Camp dates: University of Colorado Boulder: June 22 – July 2; Juilliard School: July 8 – July 21; Cleveland Institute of Music: July 23 – August 5
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, New York, New York and Cleveland, Ohio

9. BYU Musicians’ Summer Festival

The Brigham Young University Musicians’ SummerFestival is a great way to spend six days of your summer! It caters to both instrumentalists and vocalists that are searching to improve their skills. You can delve into different musical styles or stick to the one you know. Either way, you can gain a lot from this summer program, including master classes, recitals, and a BBQ! Pack your bags, and get ready to gain new skills and new friends.

  • Eligibility: ages 14-18
  • Cost: $778
  • Application deadline: June 5, 2023
  • Camp dates: June 18 – June 24
  • Location: Provo, Utah 

10. UCLA Summer Voice Intensive 

Test your vocal cords at the UCLA Summer Voice Intensive! This summer program knows that singing requires more than just your voice, so it was made to instruct you on body awareness, repertoire development, and audition preparation. No voice is the same and instructors will work with you to create individual recordings showcasing your skills in the best way possible. 

  • Eligibility: ages 14-18 
  • Cost: $1,200
  • Application deadline: May 14, 2023
  • Camp dates: June 19 – June 24 and June 26 – July 1 
  • Location: Los Angeles, California at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

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