Summer is just around the corner (although you wouldn’t know it from the weather lately). If you are wanting to teach some summer camps, now is the time to start planning and advertising! The music school I teach at has just gotten all the camp scheduled and started registering for them. I am excited about the camps I am going to teach, so I thought I’d share with you about the camps I’m offering in case you are still looking for some ideas.
1. Way Cool Keyboarding 4 Kids Camp: This is one that I’m really looking forward (although I could probably say that about all of them). Have you seen the Way Cool Keyboarding books by Debra Perez and Will Bailey? These are published by Pedagogy in Motion and can be purchased at this website. Debra Perez gave a session about summer camps for kids during the RMM Track of Pedagogy Saturday at the MTNA conference. Using the Way Cool Keyboarding 4 Kids books, these camps get a lot of kids interested in piano and really looked like a lot of fun from her presentation. They typically run 5 days a week for 3 hours a day. I went by the Pedagogy in Motion booth at the conference and they were kind enough to give me a copy of two days of lesson plans for the camp. They also sent me a free copy of the book in the mail. These books come with a CD that has backing tracks for each piece, and the tracks sound great! Our school is offering camps Monday – Thursday this summer, to allow for families to go out of town for a long weekend, so these camps will run Mon-Thurs for 3 hours each day.
2. Music History Composer Camp: This will also be a four day camp, but only for an hour and a half each day. I’m planning to use four of the Composer Lapbooks available for purchase from Joy at colorinmypiano.com. These are only $10 each, and you can use them for as many students as you want, so the materials for the camp will cost me $40 total. The great thing about this camp is that anyone can take it! You don’t have to have any musical experience, but if you’ve taken piano for several years you won’t be bored. I am offering it to students ages 8 – 13.
3. Piano Ensemble and Improvisation Camp: Using pieces from the first two books of Pattern Play that I posted about recently, this camp is for students with at least a year of private piano lessons, ages 8 – 13. The camp will be an hour and a half a day for four days. I plan to use the quartets in the Pattern Play books. If I have more than 4 students, I will double some of the parts and add percussion instruments to the mix. I am also planning to do some fun rhythm activities and games, because our ensembles will fall apart if we can keep a rhythm together! I’m considering using Rhythm Menagerie book by Wendy Stevens at composecreate.com. This is another book where you purchase the PDF and then print as many copies as you’d like. It is intended for private lessons, but suggests that it can easily be adapted for group classes. I haven’t purchased it yet, but it looks like a great book. We have the Music History Camps and Improvisation Camps scheduled on the same weeks, fifteen minutes apart. This way, if students want to attend both they easily can.
4. Carnival of the Animals Early Childhood Camp: This camp will be an hour and a half a day for four days for ages 3-5. I will use the Carnival of the Animals curriculum discussed here and probably print some of the coloring pages from this beautiful coloring book made by the folks at Music Matters. There’s also another coloring book option available here. This should be a fun camp, and there’s plenty of animals to keep us busy for the four days of camp!
So, I’m looking forward to lots of fun this summer, but I’m also going to be busy preparing plans for all of the camps! I hope some of these resources help you as you plan for summer camps.
Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.