I was wondering what it was like to be a participant at this year’s Kids’ Trad Music Day Camp at the Community Music School of Santa Cruz.

So I grabbed a mic and did some mini-interviews – after all, who better to ask than the experts?

fiddles on carousel

Describing Kid Camp…

“It’s a really fun camp where you get to improve your skills on whatever instrument you play, have fun with your friends, learn how to be together playing, and by yourself and independent, and mainly just have so much fun with playing your instrument. Also I’d say that all the teachers are amazingly awesome and really smart.” (A, age 11)

“It’s a perfect place for making friends, because I barely knew anyone here, and now I know almost everyone.” (A, age 9)

“When you walk into the gate, you’re right by the pool, and there’s this brick walkway you go up and there’s a chapel. And you go up, and there’s a slide and there’s swing and there’s a castle to your right. And if you keep walking there’s a merry-go-round, and right past that is where we play for orchestra. And there’s lots of redwood trees.” (L, age 10)

“The teachers find really fun ways to explain the music. They do note-by-note, and my first year I was really bad at music and so I had a TA help me everyday, and I got a lot better.” (J, age 12)

“It’s very fun and you get to learn music. The pool makes it fun. There’s a waterfall thing.” (R, age 7)

My Favorite Part of Kid Camp Is…

“My favorite thing about kid camp is probably that, not only do we get to work on improving our instrument and playing with a group, which in keyboards you don’t get to do as much, I also like being in a beautiful nature place and with a lot of fun things all around. It’s full of redwood trees that if you look up, you can see the sky in between the branches. And there’s a castle and catacombs. And in the catacombs there’s these crazy things where, if you shine the flashlight up on the ceiling, you can sometimes find these really cool light skeletons of spiders.” (A, age 9)

“My favorite part of kid camp is getting to meet new people and learning new songs.” (K, age 11)

“The castle is fun because there are a lot of secret doors and secret passageways that are really fun to go through and explore. You can play a lot of fun games in the castle.” (K, age 11)

orchestra w harp laying down

“I’ve come to Kid Camp about 5 years now. I like going in the castle and exploring the trap doors and memorizing it. And I like to go on the merry-go-round every year to see how much faster I am. It’s really fun. The first time you come, you’d better be prepared for how fast the merry-go-round goes.” (C, age 10)

“I really like being able to play guitar with everybody and getting to hear the different instruments when we play in orchestra.” (L, age 10)

“I’ve been coming to Kid Camp for 3 years. I come back because I mostly like playing with an orchestra, because I never get to do that, really. It feels like you have a team that you feel committed to only some parts of it, but it all falls into order. I feel committed mostly to my instrument because I know that everybody else feels the same way, and so if they just play their instrument, it’ll all come together.” (D, age 10) (me: “Like, if you play your instrument well, and everyone makes that same commitment to each other?” -“Yeah.”)

“It feels like you’re hanging out with the same kind of people, so it kind of feels like it’s your group. It’s not a mix of people, it’s more like just your kind of group of people. Like, music people, but more Celtic than rock. I like the flow of Celtic music. I like how it can be sad and happy at the same time, because not a lot of music can do that.” (D, age 10)


“Try not to be nervous about making new friends and meeting new people. And be prepared for the cold water in the pool.” (K, age 11)

“Don’t be scared of playing with other people. And also, make sure to bring a binder and music stand.” (L, age 12)

“I would tell them that the harp teacher is really nice.” (J, age 7)

visit from Orange“Be prepared for Boom to make loud announcements on his intercom.” (D, age 10)

“Probably the less shy you are, the more opportunities you get, and the more fun you can have. That’s what I’ve learned here.” (A, age 9)

“Don’t be afraid to say hi to people. Almost everyone I know here is really, really nice. It’s a fun place. During break time they allow you to go in the castle or the merry-go-round, and there’s a slide as well. And the merry-go-round is really fun, because you can push it really fast, especially if the TAs push it.” (J, age 12)

Favorite Memories

“The first time I came here, I remember that I would play a lot of harp but I started out not very good at it. But then I improved so much over just two weeks because we played so much. I just felt really grateful about that.” (A, age 11)

“I really liked when my friend showed me around inside the castle. That was really fun. I remember one time we were scaring people in the dungeon, and I was rattling chains, and BOO! That was really fun.” (L, age 10)

“I don’t know what my favorite memories of Kid Camp will be this year. Maybe the lunch circle. So at lunch, usually, the flute teacher and everybody, it was just a few of us at first but now there’s a lot of us. We usually talk about something that’s the matter at the moment. So yesterday we were talking about the specific noises that whales make. And the day before that, we were talking about Percy Jackson and other books. And the Friday before that, we were talking about different instruments.” (L, age 12)

“My favorite memories are meeting a lot of the kids and becoming friends with them. I know almost everybody here.” (J, age 12)