SOCAPA’s Music Program 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.
Required Experience And Audition Guidelines
Refine your craft through daily lessons in song writing and composition as a Singer/Songwriter, or riff it as a member of the House Band in collaboration with your peers.
Want to improve your chops as a Singer/Songwriter? Write multiple songs in a single week, with help from professional lessons in song conception, arranging and lyric composition, in this fast-paced SOCAPA music intensive.
Return singer-songwriters! Hone your songwriting skills while taking master classes and crafting your performance techniques.
Students in the music program take classes in music history, theory, business, and recording in the morning. In the afternoon, they receive private and group instruction, as well as attend master classes and workshops in a variety of topics such as: improvisation, starting your band, stage presence, and more. Attendees write/arrange at least one song per week of attendance and students in our Core two or three-week program record at least one originally written/arranged song during the program. Students in the three-week program will also shoot a music video for one of their songs. Field trips to see live music and local hallmarks of the music industry are planned as well.
There are some necessary tools students must possess in order to be successful at SOCAPA.
An intermediate knowledge of music theory as it relates to major and minor scales, key signatures, and time signatures 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 sing harmonies and melodies independently. 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 must be able to play ascending and descending major and minor scales, and 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 your wonderful work!
SOCAPA offers small classes and an accomplished teaching staff comprised of industry professionals with recent and ongoing experience as musicians, performers and educators.
Music Program Director, New York City
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.
More at kelleymcrae.com
House Band & Singer/Songwriter, New York City
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. 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 continue to write and produce original music in Brooklyn, NY.
More at rebeccajordansmith.com
House Band & Singer/Songwriter, Los Angeles
Ted is the lead singer, songwriter, and guitar player for the band Mansions On The Moon. When not touring he also composes, engineers, and produces music to be used in television, radio, and films.
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 www.jonathanmann.com
We are incredibly proud of the work our students create at SOCAPA. Check out some sample recordings and music videos below or explore an actual Student Music Portfolio!
"We are so happy that our son found SOCAPA. He just did his third summer and had an amazing, wonderful time. He has grown into a fine, talented musician thanks to his music teachers at SOCAPA. Looking forward to next summer."
Selvi R., New York
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