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A List of Music Summer Schools & Courses to Inspire You This Summer

Photo by Ezequiel Garrido / Unsplash

Who said summer wasn’t for learning? Getting new skills and knowledge aren't the only things learning implies, though. It’s also about inspiration and networking as summer programs bring together like-minded individuals who share a passion for music, forming musical connections that can last beyond summer.

As you can guess, there are so many schools and courses that provide summer workshops and classes that it’s merely impossible to cover them all in one piece. That's why we kept these criteria in mind when selecting them: Reputation and prestige of an institution, alumni, specialisation and focus, as well as duration of programs.

For those of you who never tire of learning or simply looking for some inspiration this summer, we’ve made this compilation of music courses and schools that offer intensive training programs in music theory, performance, composition, or production.

Music Summer Schools

Berklee College of Music Summer Programs

Source: Berklee

Berklee offers a range of summer programs for high school students, covering Music Performance, Music Production, Songwriting and Composition, Music Business, and Dance and Theatre. There are programs to anyone's taste—performance intensives, piano workshops, songwriting sessions, bass intensives, film, TV, and game scoring programs, EDM production classes, music business programs, and more.

The programs last from a week to two months, and the tuition fees start from $777.

Might be interesting: Berklee also has an online 4-week course on AI for Music and Audio where you'll learn the core principles of AI and its diverse applications in music and audio. You’ll gain experience with AI models and algorithms and have the opportunity to explore the range of AI-based apps and software available in the market.

NYU Steinhardt Summer Music Programs

Source: NYU Steinhardt

Located in the heart of New York City, NYU's summer programs allow students to explore music production, songwriting, jazz performance, and more under the guidance of experienced faculty and industry professionals. Among the staff are Grammy-nominated and award-winning musicians, songwriters and recording artists.

Some of the programs require a portfolio for enrolment.

Brevard Music Center Summer Institute

Brevard Music Center is located in the scenic mountains of North Carolina and offers comprehensive short programs focusing on classical music performance and composition, with opportunities to work closely with world-class faculty and guest artists. The price and enrolment requirements depend on the program.

Source: Brevard Music Center Summer Institute

Tanglewood Music Center

Affiliated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood provides a prestigious summer academy for advanced music students and pre-professionals, offering masterclasses, performances, and networking opportunities in a picturesque setting.

The music centre offers 2-week programs that include workshops for all orchestral and wind ensemble instruments, classical guitar, string quartet, woodwind quintet, electroacoustic composition, and composition fundamentals.

For young artists, it has 3-6 week programs in Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Voice, Piano, Composition, and Harp with masterclasses and guest lectures, as well as individual lessons and academic classes. You'll also be able to show your art through performance opportunities that are part of the program.

Catalyst Institute for Creative Arts & Technology

Source: Catalyst

Catalyst, which is located in Berlin, offers a few short summer courses that would last from June 17 to July 12. This summer, Catalyst's music, film, and acting schools are offering a diverse selection of focused short courses tailored to beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, accommodating varying interests and experience levels. All courses are conducted in English.

All these programs cost €2,250.

Guildhall School in London

Credit: Guildhall School in London

The school offers a diverse array of short courses and summer schools for individuals of all ages and skill levels, spanning music, drama, production arts, and other creative industry disciplines. Focusing specifically on the music-oriented courses, these include advanced music theory, aural skills, audition preparation, composition, songwriting, and music production in Logic Pro, among others.

All courses are led by experienced Guildhall School faculty and industry-renowned guest tutors, providing participants with a glimpse into Guildhall's world-class learning environment in an engaging and supportive setting.

Point Blank Music School in Greater London

The school offers a variety of summer schools and courses designed for both adults and teenagers, providing a gateway into the music industry for participants of all ages. Courses for adults last three months and start in July. This year, Point Blank Music School includes courses on Music Production with Logic Pro and Ableton Live and DJing.

Point Blank also offers summer courses for children ages 11-17 that’ll teach your kid DJing, singing, production in Ableton and/or Logic Pro, playing piano, guitar, or bass.

Random offline summer music workshops

And now, let's check the classes that caught our attention this year.

If what we’ve found isn’t to your liking, here are some additional resources to find a perfect summer program:
1) Musical Chairs provides info about schools, courses, and jobs in music teaching, performance as well as music competitions)
2) Summer Schools & Summer Courses UK Directory shares a knowledge base and lists of summer programs, including music and arts.
3) Music:Ed shares listings with courses, job opportunities, How-tos, news, competitions, festivals and many more things around music.

International Piano Summer School

The Piano Summer School offers an extensive program tailored for pianists aged 13 to 17 who seek to broaden their horizons and enhance their playing abilities.

This intensive course, running from August 4 to August 9, 2024, provides expert tuition. Designed for aspiring conservatoire, university, and professional-level students, as well as those simply wishing to refine their skills in a supportive and encouraging environment, the program includes individual coaching sessions, solo performances, and opportunities for practice and performance with a chamber music coach.

The all-inclusive residential course fee is £875, excluding travel, with funding available. The registration deadline is June 7, 2024. The program will be conducted in English.

Music and Sound in the Digital Age

This course, lasting from July 20 to August 17, will uncover the interplay between aesthetic trends and technological advancements, focusing on Berlin's unique cultural and economic environment, and examine the evolution and current state of techno, experimental electronica, and electronic dance music in Berlin, exploring why the city attracts not only club-goers but also DJs, musicians, producers, and developers.

Beyond Berlin, the course will touch on current production and consumption conditions, music performance, and distribution methods. Discussions will cover the effects of legal and illegal file sharing, streaming services, and the influence of sampling, remixing, mashups, and interactive music in video games. The course will also explore opposing trends and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on music production, distribution, and consumption, both in Berlin and globally.

The course fee is €1,300.

Cambridge Choral Summer Course, Cambridge, UK

The Cambridge Choral Summer Course (June 28 - July 6) offers an exclusive look into the vibrant choral life of Cambridge. This seminar-based program includes lectures, observations, singing sessions, and interactions with some of the world's leading conductors and choirs, with course members present while various collegiate and cathedral choirs remain in residence. Topics covered include conducting, vocal pedagogy, chant, and music history. Participants will attend rehearsals, observe demonstrations, and engage in interactive lectures with conductors and scholars.

The course also includes trips to London and Ely, with visits to St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the magnificent Ely Cathedral.

The course fee for 2024 is US$3,300 (or £2,650 GBP), covering instruction, day-trip travel, lodging, and meals (including some wine with meals).

Electronic Music Production in Nuremberg, Germany

This summer school course on electronic music offers an in-depth exploration of various facets of the genre, such as the history of electronic music genres, electronic sound synthesis, including subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, and FM synthesis, the structure and functionality of DAWs, digital effects such as chorus, phaser, flanger, distortion, and tremolo, the use of equalizers, techniques in beat making and song arrangement, and more.

Participants will have the chance to engage in a varied cultural and social program, interacting with participants from all courses offered within the Ohm International Summer School.


  • Academic Course Fee: EUR 640
  • Cultural and Social Programme Fee: EUR 210

Composing Film Music for Beginners

This two-week course (€950) will introduce participants to various aspects of film music composition. You will explore how to start composing film music, and learn compositional strategies and techniques. The course will cover scoring for different genres such as horror, comedy, TV commercials, documentaries, and animations. You'll also get hands-on assignments and film excerpt analysis to understand the interplay between visual and sound elements, learn about the media industry's structure and the specific role of music and composers in cinema, television, corporate identity, branding, online audiovisual content, and games.

Participants should bring their own laptop or desktop computer with DAW software (such as Logic, Cubase, Ableton, ProTools, Fruity Loops, etc.) that supports MIDI and/or audio recording with visuals. High-quality headphones are highly recommended.

This course is intended for individuals capable of creating music and interested in film music composition. No prior experience with film music is required.

For those seeking an online program in music production, we recommend this list of schools certified by Ableton, a world-renowned DAW. It contains trainers in 52 countries offering instructions in 40 languages that'll teach you DJing, sound engineering, music production, and more—whether during this summer or beyond!