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10 Summer Music Programs for High School Students

If you are a high school student passionate about music and the performing arts, enrolling in one of these summer programs is a great opportunity that you should consider! These programs provide a platform for you to explore and confirm your interest in music as a potential career path. Participation in these intensive summer programs can also significantly bolster your curriculum vitae (CV), offering tangible evidence of your dedication and passion for music. Your experiences at these summer music programs for high school students will also serve as valuable writing material for your statement of purpose (SOP) for college applications, making you a more competitive applicant!


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Cost: $50 application fee, and $9,630, including housing. 

Application deadline: June 1, 2024

Program dates: July 5, 2024 – August 9, 2024

Eligibility: ages 15 and up 


The Berklee ASPIRE Music Performance Intensive is an amazing opportunity for you to explore music performance, combining core curriculum studies with specialized electives tailored to your interests. The core curriculum includes private instruction, allowing you to receive personalized feedback and guidance on your instrument. Instrumental labs and surveys, along with ensemble participation, allow you to enhance your performance techniques across various genres. The program also emphasizes musicianship, theory in performance, and performance perspectives. Visiting artist clinics are a great opportunity for you to learn from industry professionals. The program culminates in final week concerts, showcasing the skills and progress you have made throughout the intensive.


Electives serve as an extension of the core curriculum, allowing you to explore specific areas of interest in greater detail. Required electives include Groove Essentials, Producing Music with Ableton Live, Jazz Composition and Arranging, Music Business, Music Therapy Basics, Scoring for Visual Media, and Songwriting Techniques, among others. 


Location: NYU Campus

Cost: $13,920 

Application deadline: January 9, 2024

Program dates: July 7, 2024 – August 3, 2024

Eligibility:  

  • You must be a current high school junior or sophomore (rising senior or junior) to apply. Only juniors (rising seniors) are considered for the Filmmakers Workshop. For all other tracks, preference is given to current high school juniors. Freshmen and seniors are not eligible.

  • You must have a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 unweighted scale and be in good academic standing at the time of submitting your application. SAT and ACT testing grades are NOT reviewed.

 

At the Tisch Summer High School Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, you will explore the world of recorded music through a structured curriculum that combines theory with practical application. Over the course of the program, you will learn the Fundamentals of Music Production, gaining hands-on experience with leading digital audio workstations like Pro Tools and Logic Pro. This course emphasizes the importance of file management, system configurations, multi-tracking techniques, and preparing files for the mix session, providing a solid foundation in music production. Additionally, the Foundations of Music Business course offers a comprehensive overview of the music industry, covering key players, revenue streams, record label operations, marketing, and new business models. 


What sets the program apart are the experiences offered through the Arts & Culture of New York City course. You will take field trips around New York City that expose you to the city's rich musical and cultural heritage. These outings are complemented by workshops and seminars led by leading industry professionals, providing invaluable insights into the music business. 


Location: Stanford, California on campus

Cost: $2,545 for the week, including housing and meals

Application deadline: May 1, 2024

Program dates: July 14, 2024 – July 19, 2024 or July 21, 2024 – July 26, 2024

Eligibility: Ages 12-17, must have 18 months of instruction


At the Stanford Jazz Camp, you will explore jazz through a structured series of events designed to enhance both technical skills and musical understanding. You'll engage in jazz theory classes tailored to different levels of expertise, from beginner to advanced, where you'll explore jazz harmony, song forms, and scales. Musicianship classes will refine your ear training and rhythmic skills, emphasizing playing by ear and the exchange of musical ideas. Masterclasses with faculty artists focus on technique, tone, and the historical context of your instrument. The program also includes combo rehearsals and special topic afternoon classes. Additionally, you'll have the chance for one-on-one development through a private lesson with a faculty artist, further personalizing your learning experience.


Evenings at the Stanford Jazz Camp bring their own set of enriching experiences, notably through participation in the Stanford Jazz Festival concerts. These concerts are an opportunity to see world-renowned jazz artists and faculty members perform live. Post-concert, the CoHo Jam sessions will allow you to enjoy faculty performances further, available to all Jazz Camp participants and their guests. The camp offers a variety of evening activities ranging from informal jam sessions and counselor-organized activities to practicing or simply enjoying some free time.


Location: Yale School of Music in New Haven, Connecticut

Cost: Free

Application deadline: March 15, 2024

Camp dates: June 24, 2024 – July 19, 2024 (Monday through Friday)

Eligibility: Students in grades 5-12. 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.


The Yale Morse Summer Music Academy is great for you if you come from the New Haven Public Schools, offering a month-long, immersive music program at no cost. The program includes a mix of performance opportunities in both chamber settings and larger ensembles, allowing you to experience the dynamics of group performance. Beyond performance, the academy places a strong emphasis on music theory and composition. 


The Yale Morse Summer Music Academy also distinguishes itself with a series of notable events and field trips. These components will introduce you to the broader world of music beyond the classroom and rehearsal spaces. While specific events and trips vary from year to year, they are designed to connect students with the community at Yale and the greater New Haven area. This could include attending performances, workshops with visiting artists, and educational outings.


Location: CMU Campus

Cost: $10,866.00

Application deadline: March 1, 2024

Camp dates: June 24, 2024 – August 2nd

Eligibility: 

  • Be at least 16 years old by the program start date (to participate in the full-time program options).

  • Be a current sophomore or junior in high school at the time of application submission (to participate in the full-time program options).

At Carnegie Mellon University's Summer Music Pre-College, you will get to take a wide range of courses and electives. You will participate in private studio lessons, where personalized instruction aims to refine your technique and artistry. Core classes include music theory, solfège (sight-singing), Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and performing ensembles. The program also includes a concert choir, a music history seminar, and convocation events that feature performances by professional groups, admissions information sessions, and Q&A opportunities with faculty and current college students. Electives are available in areas such as minor studios, music technology, jazz studies, and recording techniques.


The culmination of the CMU Summer Music Pre-College is the Concert Week, an exhilarating festival-style series of performances showcasing the talents of participating students across various disciplines. Whether you're involved in chamber music, opera scenes, choir, jazz ensembles, or other performances, this week provides a platform to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you've acquired over the summer. The program offers major studio options in a wide array of instruments and disciplines, including less commonly offered areas like bagpipe, euphonium, and music technology/electronic music, alongside traditional choices such as piano, violin, voice, and composition. 


Location: Fredonia, New York 

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, 2024 for string and March 31, 2024 for piano

Program dates: June 9, 2024 – July 28, 2024, June 9, 2024 – June 30, 2024, June 30, 2024 – July 21, 2024, or July 21, 2024 – July 28, 2024

Eligibility: high school, undergraduate or graduate student. Requires an audition. 


The Castleman Quartet Program (CQP) is great for you if you are passionate about string instruments and chamber music. Over the course of either a 7-week or 3-week session, you will learn "from scratch" and perform one concerto movement, two contrasting movements of Bach (or the equivalent), two string quartets, and a sonata. This repertoire is carefully selected to prepare you for college auditions or solo competitions. In the final week of the 7-week session, you will dive into sonata study. Each ensemble is carefully assembled under the guidance of Charles Castleman and the CQP faculty.


The Castleman Quartet Program is selective, accepting only 36 applicants per season. The program includes 46 alumni in groups with permanent university residencies, 22 active professional chamber groups with more than one CQP alumnus/member, and 86 orchestras featuring principal players who are CQP alumni. The program also includes a piano intern summer program for young artists pursuing or holding advanced academic degrees, offering tuition-free attendance, room & board, and intensive collaborative experiences. Piano interns, accepted in small numbers each year, benefit from locked practice rooms with grand pianos and are integral participants in the session concerts, coached by the string faculty. 


Location: Windermere Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida

Cost: $100 application fee, and $11,300 including room and board

Application deadline: February 15, 2024 (rolling admission if there’s availability) 

Program dates: June 30, 2024 – July 13, 2024 and/or July 14, 2024 – July 27, 2024

Eligibility: ages 12-18. Requires a video audition.


The Juilliard Summer Programs are offered at one of the most prestigious arts institutions, located at Lincoln Center in New York City. For aspiring composers, the Juilliard Summer Composition program is a two-week intensive that allows students to rehearse, record, and perform their works with Juilliard musicians, receive mentorship from leading composers, and explore New York City's iconic music and arts institutions. Similarly, advanced pianists and vocalists can delve into their crafts through the Juilliard Summer Piano and Juilliard Summer Voice programs, respectively. These programs offer daily lessons, masterclasses, and seminars with world-renowned faculty, along with performance opportunities in recording sessions and public recitals for pianists, and coachings, movement, and acting classes for vocalists. 


Beyond these, Juilliard provides specialized programs such as the Summer Percussion Seminar, designed for advanced high-school percussionists to explore a wide range of techniques and styles through masterclasses, clinics, and performances. The Juilliard Summer Dance Intensive offers a three-week immersion in ballet, modern, and contemporary dance, while the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar provides intensive coaching for pre-formed, pre-professional string quartets. Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard at Nord Anglia Schools offers immersive two-week programs in dance, drama, musical theater, piano, and voice, under the guidance of Juilliard artist faculty. Additionally, high school students seeking to strengthen their musical foundation can benefit from the Summer Music Theory and Ear Training classes, offering college-level instruction in a range of levels to prepare for Advanced Placement exams and earn college credit. 


Location: Interlochen, Michigan

Cost: $65 application fee, $1,830 for 1 week, $4,510 for 2 weeks, $6,765 for 3 weeks, $7,775 for 4 weeks, and $10,080 for 6 weeks.

Application deadline: Priority deadline is January 15, 2024, but applications are still accepted depending on availability

Camp dates: One week: June 15, 2024 – June 21, 2024; Two weeks: June 23, 2024 – July 6, 2024, July 7, 2024 – July 20, 2024, July 21, 2024 – August 3, 2024; Three weeks: June 23, 2024 – July 13, 2024, July 14, 2024 – August 4, 2024; Four weeks: June 23, 2024 – July 20, 2024, July 7, 2024 – August 4, 2024; Six weeks: June 23, 2024 – August 4, 2024

Eligibility: Students in grades 3-12. Requires a video audition.


At the Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Program, whether your passion lies in music, dance, theater, film, creative writing, visual arts, or interdisciplinary arts, Interlochen offers a curriculum designed to enhance your talents. Music enthusiasts can delve into various genres, performance techniques, production, and theory. If dance is your calling, you can strengthen your skills in classical ballet or contemporary dance. Theater participants have the chance to nurture their acting, musical theater, or design and production skills. Film students bring stories to life through hands-on projects in film, animation, and new media, while creative writers find their voice across genres such as fiction, fantasy, poetry, and essays. Visual artists develop their craft through exposure to a variety of media, and those interested in interdisciplinary arts invent new ways to merge different art forms. Daily classes, enriching electives, and frequent performances will be part of your routine.


The Interlochen Arts Camp, renowned for its world-class summer arts program, offers a variety of opportunities to perform, showcase your work, and receive feedback from esteemed faculty and guest artists. An additional opportunity is the Interlochen Arts Academy, recognized as the nation’s premier arts boarding high school. The Academy boasts an impressive record of producing Presidential Scholars in the Arts.


Location: Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center

Cost: Free, not including the $30 application fee

Application deadline: January 28, 2024

Program dates: July 1, 2024 – July 29, 2024

Eligibility: ages 15-20. Requires two video auditions, two essay responses and one recommendation letter from a music teacher or conductor


The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute (SMI) is a comprehensive, tuition-free program designed to not only provide high- technical training and performance opportunities but also to equip students with tools and experiences that aim to train you as Citizen Artists. The program focuses on developing well-rounded musicians who possess a strong classical foundation, versatility across multiple genres, and the ability to make informed career decisions. Through private lessons, chamber music coaching, master classes, and seminars, as well as side-by-side rehearsals with the NSO, you will receive an educational experience that emphasizes health, longevity in music, leadership, and individual artistic expression.


Set against the backdrop of Washington, DC, from July 1 to July 29, 2024, the SMI allows you to participate in the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra and performance opportunities within the DC metropolitan area. You will have the chance to engage with internationally-renowned conductors, soloists, and musicians. The program supports you by offering scholarships that cover all activity, instruction, housing, and local transportation costs. For those in need of further assistance, the program provides financial aid, with the process initiated alongside the application. 


Location: Los Angeles, California at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Cost: $1,556

Application deadline: April 30, 2024

Camp dates: July 8, 2024 – July 12, 2024 and July 22, 2024 – July 26, 2024

Eligibility: ages 14-18 


At the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Summer Voice Intensive, you will partake in a week-long immersive program guided by an esteemed roster of instructors, including Professor of Voice Performance Juliana Gondek, Professor Michael Dean, Popular Styles Instructor and Voice Coach Melissa Lyons Caldretti, and Musicianship Instructor and Collaborative Pianist Zach Neufeld. The curriculum encompasses daily group and individual instruction focusing on vocal technique, repertoire development, body awareness and strengthening, vocal diction, and performance style and techniques. Additionally, ensemble work and college audition preparation are also available to you.


The UCLA Summer Voice Intensive will allow you to participate in masterclasses led by UCLA's distinguished voice faculty, offering you a platform to perform and receive personalized feedback. One of the highlights of the program is the creation of unique individual recordings with the guidance of instructors, allowing you to showcase your vocal talents. The program culminates in a live showcase of student performances at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, which will also be livestreamed.



One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to further enhance your applications by doing research in music, arts and related fields, you should also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. 


Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business! 


Image Source: NYU logo

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