Skip to Global Menu Skip to Page Content Skip to Footer

The Transformative Power of Summer Music Programs for High School Students

December 14, 2023

As a parent, you're always on the lookout for opportunities that can enrich your child's life, both academically and personally. If your high schooler has a passion for music, enrolling them in summer music programs can offer a multitude of benefits that go beyond mere entertainment. These programs can be game-changers in ways you may not have considered, offering everything from pre-professional training to better mental health. Here's why enrolling your teen in a summer music program could be one of the best decisions you make for their future.

Education and Career Benefits



Whether they involve singing or playing an instrument, summer music programs can help your high schooler to begin making plans for the future (and even jumpstart their career) in plenty of motivating ways — all without any lecturing from you.


Pre-Professional Training

Extracurricular music training events are incredibly valuable because they take the abilities and interests musically inclined teens already have and demonstrate how these connect with higher education degree programs and music careers in the real world. These programs often also provide rigorous skill-building that can take your high schooler’s capabilities to the next level. 


Summer music programs are typically led by experienced musicians and educators who provide valuable insights into technique, theory, and performance. This training can be well worth adding to your teen’s résumé and college applications, as it makes them a more attractive candidate for top university music programs.


Networking Opportunities

The music industry thrives on connections, and summer music programs offer a unique platform for networking. Your child will have the chance to interact with like-minded peers, instructors, and even professionals in the field. These contacts can lead to collaborative projects, mentorship opportunities, and even a path to a professional future. Regardless of the specific connections they make, networking events are an excellent way for your teen to build their professional people skills and learn about how the music industry works.


Exposure to Top University Music Programs

Many summer music programs are hosted by or affiliated with prestigious universities. This gives your child a sneak peek into the offerings available at universities with good music programs. Exposure to high-quality higher education programs not only gets teens thinking about the future, but helps them to gather information about specific options and begin forming a concrete list of schools they’re interested in attending.


Career Exploration

If your child is considering a career in music, summer programs can provide a realistic glimpse into the life of musicians, singers, composers, producers, educators, and other professionals. They'll learn about various career paths within the music industry, which can help them make informed decisions about their future career paths.


Enhanced General College and Job Readiness

Whether your teen is applying for one of their first jobs or admission to a school, having attended a focused summer program of almost any kind can help them stand out from the competition. That’s because completing extracurricular programs shows initiative and demonstrates that a job or college applicant is capable of setting goals and using their time constructively.   

Health Benefits

Regardless of what path your teen ultimately takes in life, attending a summer music program can have profound benefits for their physical, cognitive, and emotional wellness. At their most basic level, these programs can reduce anxiety and other forms of stress, boost mood, lower blood pressure, and support cognitive engagement. However, they offer many other benefits as well.


Building Confidence and Social Skills

Music programs are not just about notes and rhythms; they're also about teamwork, discipline, following directions, and communication. Participating in group performances or ensemble work can significantly improve your child's social skills. The experience of working together to create something beautiful can also boost their confidence, helping your teen become more outgoing and ready to collaborate with others. This confidence can be highly beneficial for their mental health, as it fosters a can-do attitude and motivates young people to try new things.


Exploring Personal and Professional Interests

Summer music programs offer a wide range of activities that allow your child to explore various genres and aspects of music. Whether they're interested in classical compositions or modern beats, these programs offer a safe space to explore these interests deeply. This exploration can be crucial in helping your child decide whether they want to pursue music as a career or keep it as a passionate hobby. Either way, taking time to explore their interests is also great for your teen’s mental health.


Grow Personally and Professionally With the Songbook Academy Summer Music Program



The Great American Songbook Foundation works to preserve the music and continue the legacy of the Great American Songbook, which is not literally a book, but a term describing a collection of enduring and influential songs that resonate across generations and serve as the foundation of modern popular music. We offer programs that educate and engage music lovers everywhere as well as unique opportunities for rising singers and musicians.


One of these is our Songbook Academy summer music program, a transformative summer music intensive that immerses high school singers in America’s musical heritage and fosters artistic identity through song.


At the Songbook Academy, we believe that every young singer has a unique story to tell through music. This eight-day experience is designed for high school students with a passion for singing who want to hone their vocal and performance skills with an emphasis on interpretation. Through access to top-tier mentors and a focus on the foundations of American popular music, we provide a safe space for young singers to explore musical styles, grow in their individual artistry, and take risks in a supportive pre-professional environment. 


This year’s Songbook Academy runs from July 13–20, 2024 and will take place at a world-class performance facility in Central Indiana. Click here for details on how to apply and join us for a life-changing experience!