According to Google Trends, searches for “piano lessons near me” hit a 10-year high in 2023. When you combine the interest in piano with an era of increased isolation via remote work, you get a perfect storm of demand for adult ongoing education in the arts. That trend does not appear to be dying down.
Furthermore, the NYT reports that orchestra attendance is on the rise and that Steinway sales improved during the pandemic. The arts are alive and well, and the young professional crowd is leading the charge.
So where do adult amateur musicians go to improve their skills and network with peers? Here are a few opportunities to escape the daily grind and improve your musical skills in Canada.
Lakefield Music Camp
Lakefield Music Camp, a one-week music experience for adults of all skill levels, is located in Toronto. Students gather for workshops on world music, jazz improvisation, composition, choral singing, and more, they enjoy rehearsing and performing music with like-minded individuals. Whether you take piano lessons in Mississauga or have a membership in the Toronto Community Orchestra, there are opportunities for you at Lakefield Music Camp.
Enrollment is open year-round, and the camp is usually held in early August. There are communal meals, open mic opportunities, and professional recitals throughout the week.
Cassa Musical Arts
If you are a pianist living in the Calgary area, consider the adult piano program at Cassa Musical Arts. This intensive festival features three days of music sharing, workshops with professional pianists, studies of composers and technique, and discussions of practice strategies. Truthfully, the greatest benefit is musical immersion alongside other advanced adult amateurs. You will leave inspired and ready to practice at home.
Camp Musical Père Lindsay
Located in Quebec, Camp Musical Père Lindsay offers several sessions each summer for adults:
- Music listening and repertoire discussion
- Cello and Double Bass Intensive
- Voice Intensive
- Piano Intensive (two sessions)
These sessions fill up quickly, so you will need to register your spot at least six months in advance. The Priscault Lake provides a relaxing getaway for you to focus on musical learning, and adults often leave these camps with new friends and greater knowledge of their instrument.
Cammac Music Center
Cammac Music Center, an institution in Harrington, Quebec, offers three-day adults only musical getaways at their stunning retreat location. Each year has a theme (for instance, 2024 will showcase Latin music), and there are opportunities for those taking voice lessons to join a choir, flutists to join a wind band, string players to join an orchestra, and all to take additional classes and talks on various musical subject matter. You can even take workshops on genre-specific material, like the blues, or join yoga sessions with a professional instructor.
International Music Camp
Located on the border of the US and Canada (just south of Manitoba) at the International Peace Garden, International Music Camp has a full suite of adults-only music programs. Sessions are either 3 or 5 days, and students can join a piano camp, vocal camp, instrumental camp, or participate in 3-day brass band or orchestra festivals. The ensemble-focused camps are particularly interesting, in that you will need to prepare a set of challenging band or symphonic music that you then rehearse with your peers on-site. The camp culminates in a live performance at the end.
Music Camps Aren’t Just For the Kids Anymore
In many ways, adults benefit from music camps and festivals more than teens and kids do. Kids have school, structured, rehearsals, and other planned activities on a regular basis. Adults who play music, on the other hand, may feel isolated from other members of the community.
After all, it’s not easy for pianists to make friends because of the solo nature of the instrument! These camps surround the adult amateur with other musicians who want to be there and share your passion for music. It’s a great way to get inspired and make friends that will last a lifetime.