When I was a kid I took piano lessons for a couple of months. I didn’t like it. I loved music and I wanted to play an instrument, but I wasn’t really sure which one was right for me. Looking back I wish I had had the chance to try out different instruments.
The wonderful thing about camp is that kids have the opportunity to try a variety of things they wouldn’t normally be able to. Where else can you try archery, horseback riding and sailing? Wouldn’t it be great to also try out a wide selection of instruments. You don’t need staff that can play the instruments. Just let the campers gently play around with them. If you really want to give them instruction you can find plenty of how-to videos online.
I am a fan of drum circles – actually I like percussion instruments in general – but maybe you want more variety. Purchasing instruments can be quite expensive. I included affiliate links to Amazon. Many of the instruments are very reasonable as some are kid’s versions. Other ways to keep costs manageable include:
- Checking on Craigslist
- Checking on Ebay
- Asking parents to donate old instruments
- Working out a sponsorship with a music store or company
- Contacting a local university for used instruments
So here is a list of the instruments I would like to see in a camp music room. I stayed away from wind instruments. I mean, who really wants to constantly clean mouthpieces. I did include harmonicas though since these can be purchased for under $5 each. You can buy a bunch and at the end of the day toss them in a sink of soapy water.
- Taiko Drums
- Practice Taiko Drum
- Drum Set
- Steel Drum
- Percussion Extras
- Upright String Bass
- Bell Kit
If you are able to create a music room add some music posters, paint the walls a cool color (or put carpeting on the walls – groovy, baby!), add some comfortable chairs or beanbags, and put in light that can be dimmed for a change of ambiance.
Before letting the campers have their way with the instruments I suggest showing them some videos of how cool these instruments can be in the right hands. Here are some videos they may enjoy…
Upright String Bass