Frequently Asked Questions

  • Day Camp
  • Sleepaway Camp
What Sets SMMC Apart From Other Camps In The Area? Experts agree that playing music at a young age enhances aptitude for math, language, and social skills. At the Santa Monica Music Camp, children participate in a variety of fun and educational activities; they learn composition and theory skills in theory class, how to play and collaborate in chamber groups, and instrument specific knowledge that can help them improve even after camp. They also play fun games that improve their aural and rhythmic skills.

Who Are Your Camp Counselors? Our camp counselors are professional, working musicians and music teachers with years of experience. All are college educated, with degrees in music. They are highly skilled musicians and educators with a genuine love of teaching. All of our staff and faculty members are background-checked and TB-tested. They are also required to have a current CPR and First Aid certification.

Is SMMC a Safe Environment For My Children? Our location hosts children 12 months a year for camps and private music lessons. It is child proof, yet fun and modern. We always have an employee working the front desk by the main entrance, keeping an eye on who comes in and goes out. Our staff are vigilant and prepared for any medical, musical, or personal needs that may arise.

My Child Doesn’t Play Any Instruments. Can He/She Still Attend Camp? No previous experience in music is required to join the Beginning Music Camp. When campers arrive, their instructor evaluates them through the daily activities and groups them with students of similar ages and levels. Our staff has years of experience teaching advanced students and complete beginners. Children of all levels and skills will feel at home in one of our two camps.

What Are the Recommended Ages for Beginning and Advanced Camp? Our campers range from 5 to 14 years old. Beginning camp is recommended for elementary school kids, ranging from 5-10 years old. Complete beginners are welcome, as well as students with a few years of playing experience. Advanced camp is recommended for advanced middle schoolers and up. They should have a comfortable mastery of their instrument, including knowledge of all major and minor scales.

What Is the Cost of SMMC? A week-long session of Music Camp is $350 (5 days).

Our single-day rate is $70.

Aftercare (AM-PM) is $10/hr on the top of the hour.

Does My Child Need To Bring His/Her Own Instrument? The Santa Monica Conservatory of Music provides fifes and keyboards to students during camp hours. We also rent guitars, violins, and violas to camp students for $25 a week. If your child wants to join our camp but doesn’t own an instrument, please let us know ahead of time and we can reserve a rental instrument for them.

For any other options, there are local music shops where you can rent an instrument for the week or month. For string Instruments, we recommend Bennings Violins in Studio City. For Brass and other instruments, the Santa Monica Music Center at 1901 Santa Monica Blvd.

Can you accommodate early drop off or late pick up? Yes! We offer early care from 8am-9am, and after care from 3-6pm. Simply let us know which days you will require extra care and at what time. You can pay in person that day, or we can charge it to your credit card. It costs $10 for each hour.

Because of staff limitations, extra care does not include planned activities; it is a safe way to stay at school under adult supervision. We have some books, art supplies, and music games, but we recommend bringing books or other games to keep your child happy.

What if we need to cancel? Will I get a refund? If written cancellation  is received 30 days prior to start of camp (email is acceptable), all tuition minus $100.00/week cancellation fee will be refunded. No refunds will be offered for cancellations within 30 days of the first day of camp. If a dismissal or withdrawal occurs, for any reason, we will hold the balance of tuition minus ($100.00/week cancellation fee) as a credit for future WCEP services expiring on the last day of camp the following summer.

What is the Age Range of Campers? We recommend Sleepaway Camp for middle schoolers and High Schoolers. In special circumstances, we would accept mature elementary school students, especially if they are attending camp with an older sibling. For more information on this, please contact our front Desk at frontdesk@smcm.org

Who Are Your Staff, and What are Their Qualifications? Santa Monica Music Camp hires the best and brightest teachers, counselors, counselors in training (CITS), and administrative staff.

We have at least one head teacher per instrumental group (Voice, Winds, Brass, Violins and Violas, Cellos, etc). These teachers are assisted by counselors and CITs in ensemble and sectional rehearsals, who are young and talented musicians. Campers will have multiple rehearsals per day lead by their head teachers.

Each cabin is lead by one counselor and one CIT. Counselors are at least 18 years old, while CITS are mature high school students between the ages of 15-17. Together, the counselor and CIT provide supervision, support, and leadership to the group of up to ten campers in their cabin.

All of our staff are thoroughly background checked, checked for tb, and trained in CPR and first AID. There will also be a nurse or EMT on site at all times.

What If My Child Gets Homesick? Getting homesick is a normal experience for some campers on their first day (or days) of camp. Luckily, most campers start adjusting on their first day as they make friends and feel accomplished on their instruments. Should your child need some reassurance, all of our staff are trained to discreetly and respectfully handle any emotional issues campers may have. Students attend a meeting with their counselor and CIT in the first hour of camp, in which they learn about how camp works and are encouraged to speak publicly or privately with any and all staff about their experiences. If necessary, an encouraging talk with parents is just a phone call away.

Is Sleepaway Camp a Safe Place for My Child? Absolutely! We take the safety of our campers very seriously. We will have a certified EMT or nurse on staff and on location 24/7 whenever camp is in session. We have a great teacher/ camper ratio of 1:8, not including counselors and counselors in training (CITs).

What if we need to cancel? Will I get a refund? If written cancellation is received by May 1st (email is acceptable), all tuition minus $250.00/week cancellation fee will be refunded. No refunds will be offered after May 1. If a dismissal or withdrawal occurs after May 1, for any reason, we will hold the balance of tuition as a credit (minus $250.00/week cancellation fee) for future WCEP services expiring on the last day of camp the following summer.