Youth Academy

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Great Lakes Music Youth Academy

A one-day immersion experience (SATURDAY OCTOBER 7, 2023) in American Roots Music for students as part of the Great Lakes Music Camp. We provide a unique, tailored experience with award-winning instructors in a beautiful setting on Lake Michigan at Camp Blodgett Loeks Retreat Center (West Olive, MI). This string-focused program is designed for orchestra students and mandolin, banjo, and guitar players who meet a few basic requirements. Additional questions or request for a call, email:

Eligible students will:

  • Have a minimum of two years playing experience
  • Be in grades 8-12 as of the time of the camp.
  • Be able to function independently all day. (If this is a problem medically or for any other reason, a parent/guardian must be present.)
  • Play violin, viola, cello, double bass*, guitar, mandolin, or banjo.

Please note – if the student does NOT meet these requirements, they are still encouraged to attend the regular Great Lakes Music Camp (all ages, all levels of experience). For information on our Youth Scholarships click HERE.

Students will experience a variety of fiddling styles from the Bluegrass, Blues, Old-time, Irish, and Scottish traditions culminating in an evening performance for parents and friends. The principal instructors will be nationally renowned string teacher and eclectic styles expert, Bob Phillips, and mandolin virtuoso and director of the Michigan Academy of Folk Music, Nate Roberts. Guest clinicians from the Great Lakes Music Camp will include a variety of famous players and artist teachers.

Academy Details

  • Limited Registration – maximum of 30 students. Payment of $75 is due by Sept. 23.
  • Bring: instrument, music stand, printed copies of camp music, any other music for the concert, extra strings, bug spray, clothespins, lunch, and snacks. The music to print will be available online following registration.
  • Dress for the day and concert is casual. Remember it can be colder at the lakeshore than inland.
  • Check-in is between 8 – 9 AM at Camp Blodgett Meeting Hall. Classes start at 9AM.
  • Water and soft drinks will be provided all day.
  • Students should bring their own sack lunch and snacks.
  • Pizza and drinks will be provided for dinner. If students have special dietary needs, they will need to provide their own dinner.
  • Students will be supervised in classes but on their own during breaks.
  • Parents/guardians are welcome to stay and watch.
  • If a student has a serious medical condition, a parent/guardian must be present the entire time.
  • If students and/or guardians wish to stay for the 8pm Faculty Concert, you can purchase concert tickets ($20) when the student checks in. Cash, Check, Credit Card acceptable.


  • Classes will begin at 9am and conclude at 7pm. Official schedule to be posted right here in September.


    • Students will be taught by ear, by note, and by tab with a combination of reading and playing by ear depending on their comfort level. All music and tablature will be posted online and available when you register.
    • Group classes will explore a variety of American Roots styles and pieces in preparation for an evening performance. Students do not need previous experience with American Roots styles.
    • Instrument-specific workshops will be taught by experts on each instrument.
    • The creative musicianship class will prepare students to write and create their own solos.

Interactive/conversational performances by faculty from the Great Lakes Music Camp.

  • The final event will be the student concert showcasing the tunes learned that day for parents and friends. 


& Staff

In addition to our dedicated team of instructors, students will have surprise guest artists/instructors throughout the day


Camp Blodgett Loeks Retreat Center
10451 Lakeshore Dr., West Olive MI


When we receive your completed registration we will email you a link to pay the $75 via paypal or credit card


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