With the days getting longer and summer on the horizon, you may be wondering how to keep your family engaged in their musical development over the next few months. Although summer programs and lessons are a great option, not everyone can or wants to participate in formal music instruction during summer vacation. Here are a few tips for how to keep growing and engaging musically, whether you’re enrolled in formal summer music programs or not.

Attend Live Concerts

Summer is a fantastic time to take in some new live music in the Boston area—or on your summer travels! Many towns offer a free summer concert series, with these performances often taking place in the early evening on the town common. It’s also PorchFest season! In fact, on Saturday, June 8, WCMS is a site for Winchester PorchFest. There are lots of easy, local opportunities to take in free music when the weather starts to warm up. If you’re looking to travel into Boston, check out the summer Concerts in the Courtyard series at the Boston Public Library; the Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s free summer concert series at the Hatch Shell; or the Boston Pops’ Independence Day celebration on July 4. And of course, no column about summer music in Massachusetts would be complete without a mention of the Tanglewood concert series! Whether close to home or on your summer travels, supporting live music by attending concerts is a great way to discover new genres and artists, or just to delve deeper into your old favorites.

Jam with Friends

You don’t have to be in a formal group to have fun playing music with others! Summer is a great time to have a few relaxed jam sessions with friends. Meet in the backyard, on a porch, or even at the beach and see where the musical inspiration takes you! Maybe you’ll even form some new musical friendships to carry you into the coming school year.

Sign up for a summer program, or try a few lessons on a new instrument

Although many people like to take the summer off from structured training, summer is also a great time to try out a new instrument. This is because summer students can sign up for just a few lessons rather than committing to a whole semester. Have you been thinking about learning the guitar to go along with the skills learned in your voice lessons? Maybe your child plays the sax in school band and would like to branch out into clarinet or flute as well. Summer is the perfect opportunity to try it out and see if it’s a good fit for continued study. If you’d like to explore this option, please talk to your teacher or reach out to our Registrar to learn about summer lesson availability. And if you’re looking for summer group programming, check out our summer programs for elementary-aged kids such as Summer Music Exploration or Summer Percussion Exploration. For teens and adults, Summer Village Band or Summer Rock and Blues Band might be worth a look.

Whatever your summer plans are, we hope these tips gave you some helpful ideas for how to keep growing your love of music over the next few months! 

Written by WCMS Assistant Director Sara Schwindt, May 2024