At Santa Monica Music Camp, children participate in a variety of fun and social music learning activities. They learn and practice music theory concepts, they play games that help them improve aural and rhythmic skills, and spend time being inspired by other children who are at the same and different levels of musical achievement
8:45-9:00am: Sign-in, drop-off, and registration for new students.
9-9:30am: Musical good morning.
In our first half hour “all-together” every day, campers get better acquainted with each other through playful introductions and musical games. These social and musical warmups are invaluable for a productive camp day. Among the dozen or so games, “Rhythm Master” is the all-time favorite.
9:30-10:15am: Instrument specific warm ups and method practice.
Teachers use many techniques, such as warm ups, scales, and sight-reading to understand and develop the levels of their students. They then select level-appropriate music, for individuals and groups, that gently challenges each skill level. In this rehearsal time, each aspect of this Friday concert music is approached from the instrument perspective.
10:15-10:25am: Snack break.
We provide healthy snacks, and campers are also allowed to enjoy their own snack from their lunch bag. Registration forms are sent out the week before camp and we ask any allergy information be provided there.
10:25-11:10am: Group rehearsals.
Early in the week, we divide the students into performance groups with their primary teachers. The campers get to work on music within their instrumental groups. In this rehearsal time, each aspect of this Friday concert music is approached from the ensemble perspective. We use this time to prepare for the concert they will put on at the end of the camp session on Friday afternoon.
11:10-11:45am: Music Theory
Next, we divide the campers by age and experience into one of three fun and engaging theory classes (beginning, intermediate, and advanced) for a better understanding of music written on the page. If a teacher observes that a child is struggling or bored, they can move to another theory class.
11:45am-12:45pm: Lunch and outdoor play at Memorial Park.
Teachers wearing safety vests and carrying STOP signs carefully instruct and line up campers for a safe walk to the park. Attendance is taken before leaving, again at the park, again leaving the park, and once again upon return. At the park we eat together at picnic tables, and afterwards those who wish can play in the jungle gym under staff supervision. Most campers choose to play group games like tag, soccer, or frisbee, but those who prefer can relax on the benches and chat with other campers and staff.
12:45–1:30pm: Movie time.
We offer 3 different movies (G, PG, and PG-13) for relaxation and cool-down after lunch at the park. Some camp movie favorites have been Up, The Incredibles, How to Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Kids delight in fresh popcorn every day at movie time. Students will need written parent permission to watch PG-13 movies if they are under the age of 13. This can be provided on Registration Forms or on a clipboard we provide during Camp Drop-Off.
1:30–2:15pm: Group rehearsals
We round off the day with one more sectional rehearsal. Campers practice their concert pieces together, and when ready, start mock performances on stage. This is an invaluable learning tool for students and teachers, and further acclimates our young performers to the stage and the bright lights.
2:15-3:00pm: Group Song
Finally, we bring all campers together to sing a group song accompanied by one of teachers. Each week a new song is picked which we think will best suit the campers of that week. Some favorites have been “What a Wonderful World”, “Over the Rainbow”, and “Fireworks”.
As Director John Redfield always says, “Music in the air is the language of the heart and soul, but on paper, it’s math!”
3:00-3:15pm: Camper sign-out and pick-up.