SOCAPA’s Music Camp for high school students & teens focuses on developing songwriting and musical performance skills. Vocalists and musicians all create their own original songs during the program, and are introduced to the professional workflow of music production— from song conception and developing their individual artistic sound, to writing and workshopping their lyrics and music, to music video production—and everything in between! All students then perform an original song that they’ve written and arranged at the end of camp during our Final Showcase. Core and Advanced Students also record their songs at a professional studio.
Studio writing and playing time is complemented by experiencing live performances, meeting accomplished musicians, and more, all in the heart of New York City or Los Angeles, home to Beck, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Eagles, No Doubt, the Black Eyed Peas, Tom Waits, Weezer, the Beach Boys, Van Halen . . . the list goes on and on.
Collaborate and work in a creative environment that encourages new ideas, first tries, and bold experiments.
"My son had an amazing experience in the Songwriting program at SOCAPA NYC in 2022! It exceeded his and our (already high) expectations. The teachers/counselors were mature, creative and inspiring; t... read on google"
"My son had an amazing experience in the Songwriting program at SOCAPA NYC in 2022! It exceeded his and our (already high) expectations. The teachers/counselors were mature, creative and inspiring; the other campers were friendly, artistic and mutually supportive; the leisure activities were exciting and well-supervised. He was thrilled to create, record and perform his original song live, and found it very cool to collaborate with SOCAPA Film campers to make his video. He will be returning to SOCAPA! Highly recommend if you are passionate about your chosen Art."
"Socapa was the best experience ever! I got to meet so many new friends and I got to learn more about music theary! I love how they do a mix of music, dance, acting, filmaking, and photography! I love ... read on google"
"Socapa was the best experience ever! I got to meet so many new friends and I got to learn more about music theary! I love how they do a mix of music, dance, acting, filmaking, and photography! I love Socapa and thats why im going back next year!"
"My teen had a life-changing experience at SOCAPA NYC in the Music/Songwriting program. Loved the counselors, the classes, and the kids. And came out with an amazing song and video.... read on google"
"My teen had a life-changing experience at SOCAPA NYC in the Music/Songwriting program. Loved the counselors, the classes, and the kids. And came out with an amazing song and video."
The Teen Singer-Songwriter Camp provides the tools and time needed to develop voice and style within the discipline of popular music. Instruction consists of group workshops and individual coaching in melody, harmony, arranging, lyric writing, and stage presence. Each student will have the opportunity to write and arrange an original song to be performed live.
While most students sing and accompany themselves on their original songs, students who do not play an instrument or who do not sing but who are interested in writing song lyrics and music are welcome to apply. All students in the music program will attend the same classes and produce the same outcomes (recordings, videos, etc). However, students who would like to focus on playing and not singing will play with the other students on their original songs during recording sessions and live performances. Session dates are limited depending on enrollment and needed instrumentation.
Record your song in a multi-million dollar recording studio!
Our SOCAPA New York City camps, record at the famous Dubway Studios where the likes of Alicia Keys, Adele, the White Stripes, Vampire Weekend, Beck, Bjork, Philip Glass, Mumford and Sons and many more have worked before you.
At our Los Angeles camp, students have laid down their tracks at Red Gate and Village Studios, following in the footsteps of Christina Aguilera, John Lennon, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Aerosmith to only name a few!
From NYU to Pace University, Occidental College, and Champlain College, all of SOCAPA’s camps are run directly on college campuses, using the classrooms, dormitories, and facilities of undergraduates. Residential SOCAPA students enjoy the emerging independence of dorm life together with roommates and floormates under the supervision of SOCAPA’s staff.
Attend SOCAPA as a day student and save on room & board.
All musicians dream of having their very own music video. Music videos are an undeniable part of our culture and an enormous accomplishment for any musician. Three-week musicians get the chance to work with students in the summer film camp to create a music video of their own original work. In addition to having written and recorded the song, musicians get to meet with their filmmakers to discuss their creative vision and are very much collaborators in the process. Music videos are uploaded to our server and are available for students to share with friends, family, or as an impressive part of an application to a school or job.
There are some necessary tools students must possess in order to be successful at SOCAPA Music.
A working knowledge of music theory is important in our fast-paced learning environment. While we mainly focus on written chord symbols, a basic knowledge of reading music notes is also helpful. Above all, a deep passion for music and an understanding of basic musicianship is imperative in the life of any aspiring musician.
Students may be self-taught, but we recommend at least one year of musical training. Vocalists should have an understanding of the voice as it relates to breath control and breath support and be able to carry harmonies and melodies. Vocalists should also be prepared to perform before an audience. Most singer-songwriters are also able to accompany themselves, though students may apply as singers only and collaborate on their songs with others.
We recommend at least two to three years of experience playing one or more instruments, and at least one year of formal musical training. Students should be familiar with playing ascending and descending major and minor scales, and be able to transition easily between different keys. They must also be able to play melodies and rhythms by ear on their respective instrument.
SOCAPA asks that all music students include a link to a sample of their musical work in the "registration details" section of our application. This can be a link to a video on YouTube, Vimeo, a personal website, or something similar. Please be prepared to share a video that:
We look forward to seeing and hearing your wonderful work!
Kelley McRae grew up in Mississippi but called Brooklyn home for years before teaming up with guitarist Matt Castelein in 2011, when the duo traded in their NYC apartment for a VW camper van and hit the road full time. Thousands of miles and hundreds of shows later, they have toured coast to coast in the US, played to packed rooms across Europe, sold-out the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and continue to build a passionate and dedicated following on the strength of their live performances.
Drawing comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch, the duo’s music is wide ranging – comprising haunting ballads, tender love songs, and energetic guitar driven songs full of hope. Paste Magazine’s 4 Star review raves “Kelley moves effortlessly from the mournful tones of the plantation to the celebratory swing of the saloon, from songs of loss and decay to hymns of love and grace.” Acclaimed film director Wim Wenders told the San Francisco Chronicle that Kelley’s songs move him to tears, and BBC Radio’s Bob Harris calls the songs ‘brilliant.’
Kelley's music has been featured in Lifetime’s Army Wives, MTV, commercials for American Airlines and Unicef, and numerous independent films. In 2015 Kelley released her latest album, EASY ON MY MIND.
Rebecca has been a professional songwriter for over 17 years. She has had three publishing deals, two major label record deals, and has released music independently. Rebecca has collaborated with John Legend, Busta Rhymes, Kelly Clarkson, Jerry Wonda, Phil Galdston, Barry Eastmond, Barrett Yeretsian, Matthew Wilder, Alice Smith, and many many more. Rebecca won the 2010 Abe Olman Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was a 2011 Independent Music Award Nominee for Best EP and an ASCAP Foundation Selection for the 2013 Kennedy Center Showcase of Contemporary Composers. Rebecca continues to write and produce original music.
Mary Bragg is a Nashville based songwriter with six albums to her name. Mary tours regularly, playing at festivals and music halls across the country. Mary's music has been praised by the likes of USA Today, NPR, Rolling Stone, and Billboard. Mary has been dubbed an "Americana Queen", her work has been critically acclaimed, and her Southern roots have been recognized both in her own songs and in praise for her work. Mary self-produced and self-engineered her latest album, VIOLETS AS CAMOUFLAGE, in her home recording studio, in Nashville, collaborating with an impressive array of talented musicians along the way.
Matt Castelein teamed up with Kelley McRae in 2011 as a guitarist and co-writer. The duo together has performed more than 500 shows worldwide in NYC, LA, London, Berlin, and Paris. Their latest release, The Wayside, debuted at #7 on the Euro-Americana charts and hit #4 on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Contemporary Folk chart.
Lucciana Costa has relentlessly pursued the enjoyment of life through music. She was seventeen when she returned to the piano and began her relationship with the instrument as a writer. Having cut her teeth on the Ann Arbor, Michigan music scene, she put together a crew of the area’s best to produce her first album, Last Chance For a Pony in 2009. She spent the next three years touring around the country and composing for short films, documentaries and animations. After releasing Locksmithing in the winter of 2012, a collection of songs she recorded in her living room, Lucciana hit the studio to record what is now her second LP, Structurally Sound. Highlighting her band “The Lucky Bastards” on most tracks, the album also features Nashville-produced cuts with Lindsay Jamieson (Ben Folds) and James Haggerty (The Autumn Defense). Now a Los Angeles resident, Lucciana continues to build a varied career based off of a sharp wit, a penchant for pounding the lower half of a piano, and an infectious enthusiasm for the world around her. More at luccianacosta.com
Jonathan Mann is a singer-songwriter who has been composing music since the age of 12. Jonathan has recorded music under the names Forty (or 40) Second Song, The Nympho Leprechauns, Novox the Robot, GameJew, The Mario Opera, and Jonathan Mann. He is best known for creating and publishing a new song and video each day since January 2009, under the YouTube channel "Song A Day." “Song A Day” received national attention after several songs went viral and Jonathan was interviewed by CNN in 2013. Because of his vast quantity of material and speed of composition, his songs often reference immediate current events and popular trends of the very day the video is uploaded. His biting satire and musical versatility have been referenced by Steve Jobs, Paul Krugman, Rachel Maddow and Steve Wozniak, among many others. Jonathan continues to write a song a day, from his home in Brooklyn, NY.
More at jonathanmann.com
Every evening, Monday through Friday, we plan an activity for the students, whether it be a barbecue on campus, a dinner in the city, a cool-off swim, a theater/musical performance, or a film screening. On the Saturday afternoons that are not devoted to shooting and performing, we organize a group excursion. This could include a trip to a museum, the beach or a show in the city. Past evening and Saturday excursions have included trips to Coney Island Amusement Park, live tapings of MTV's TRL, outdoor concerts (The Roots, OCMS, TV on the Radio, etc.), Universal Studios, Pilobolus Dance Group at the Joyce, Disco Bowling, Broadway Shows such as Spring Awakening, Hair, Rent and Avenue Q, Six Flags Amusement Park, Fourth of July Fireworks, Bryant Park Film Screenings, and off-Broadway hits such as Fuerza Bruta and Stomp, to name a few.
At least once per session, SOCAPA invites a top industry professional from the New York or Hollywood film or performing arts scene to come to campus and lead a master class for all students, regardless of focus. Some past guests include Academy Award-Winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Frozen River, 21 Grams), writer/director John Hamburg (I Love You Man, Along Came Polly, Safe Men, Zoolander, Meet the Fockers, Little Fockers), actor Luis Guzman (Traffic, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, Carlitbacko's Way, Anger Management), writer Hawk Ostby (Iron Man, Children of Men, Cowboys and Aliens), actor Brendan Sexton III (Empire Records, Welcome to the Dollhouse), the four lead characters from American Teen, filmmaker Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Raising Victor Vargas), actor Sarah Clarke (TV show 24, Thirteen) screenwriter Andrew Marlowe (Air Force One, End of Days, Hollow Man), director Morgan J. Freeman (Hurricane Streets), comedian Matt Walsh (The Daily Show, Bad Santa, Upright Citizens Brigade), and the cast of Hair and Spring Awakening on Broadway.