Piano Summer Program for High School Students

If you are a serious high school pianist, the three- or six-week Piano summer program for high school students is excellent preparation for training at the college, university, or conservatory level. During your time here, you will develop a great breadth of knowledge and elevate your solo and collaborative skills, guided by an experienced and supportive faculty.

Program length: 3 weeks
Program dates:
June 26, 2021 to July 17, 2021
July 18, 2021 to August 8, 2021
Tuition: $6,250
Age range: Students currently in grades 9-12
Priority deadline: 
January 14, 2021

We’re currently finalizing Interlochen Arts Camp 2021 programs. Please check back soon or contact Admission at admission@interlochen.org.

The high school Piano summer program is an intense and immersive experience. You will live and learn with fellow students from around the world who share your passion for music. We are pleased to announce our revised 2020 curriculum, with many new offerings, including:

Twice-weekly private lessons with a member of the piano faculty. All of our high school faculty members have graduate degrees in music and teach at the collegiate level.

Three-week or six-week options. Students may attend one or both of our three-week sessions. Each session has a different curriculum that does not repeat.

Master classes with distinguished guest artists. Previous guest clinicians include Olga Kern, Conrad Tao, Andre Watts, James Giles, Jon Nakamatsu, Awadagin Pratt, Sarah Cahill, Robert Weirich, Alan Chow, and Nelita True, among others.

A featured composer for each session. Students are encouraged to bring pieces by the featured composer to study and perform.

  • Session I featured composer: Beethoven 
  • Session II featured composer: Chopin

Performance opportunities include studio classes, masterclasses, and recitals throughout each session.

Topics seminars: Each week, you will explore a different performance topic in a seminar that takes place daily. Topics will include: 

  • The Art of Practicing
  • The Art of Performing
  • The Art of Collaborative Playing
  • Piano Wellness 
  • Piano Literature
  • College Audition Prep

Music theory: All piano students will have the opportunity to take a music theory class at the appropriate level.

Piano electives: in-depth classes, including Piano Ensemble, The Art of Teaching, Piano Tuning and Maintenance, Beginning Jazz Piano, Harpsichord Improvisation, and other topics.

Students may optionally take once-weekly organ lessons, in addition to their twice-weekly piano lessons. Organ lessons include participation in a daily organ seminar.

Reserved practice time on the 240 pianos throughout Interlochen’s scenic campus.

With the focused nature of this program, the high school piano students do not take electives outside the music curriculum. However, Interlochen offers many opportunities to enjoy student, faculty, and guest artists presentations in a variety of art forms. 


Performance Venues and Opportunities

Performance venues include the 3,900-seat Kresge Auditorium, the 950-seat Corson Auditorium, the open-air historic Interlochen Bowl, and the beautiful Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall. Kresge Auditorium was recently named one of the ten best outdoor performance venues in the nation by USA Today.

Each large ensemble performs six concerts throughout the summer. There are also numerous quartet, chamber and solo recitals. Students may compete for the opportunity to perform a concerto with one of the high school division's full orchestras or wind symphony. Learn more about the concerto competition.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the artistic diversity here at Interlochen, and enjoy presentations in theatre, music, dance, visual art, creative writing, and film. And each summer, we present an impressive lineup of world-renowned classical, jazz, and popular guest artists.

Audition Requirements

Please submit two video recordings, each containing a memorized classical work for solo piano. The submitted selections must represent two of the following style periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, 20th/21st Century.

When you arrive at Camp: There will be a brief placement audition, where you will be asked to play one solo piece of your choosing and sight-read a short selection for the piano faculty. You will also take a theory placement test to be placed into one of three levels.

Additional Opportunities

Serious pianists in grades 9-12 who are looking for a shorter, immersive masterclass experience are encouraged to apply for the one-week high school Piano Intensive, which precedes the high school summer Piano sessions. 

Jazz pianists who are interested in focusing on jazz study instead of piano are encouraged to apply to the three-week high school Jazz Performance & Improvisation program

Organists or pianists who are interested in focusing on organ study instead of piano are encouraged to apply to the three-week High School Organ Summer Program. Inexperienced organists with a strong piano background are welcome to apply.

Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers an Academy Piano Major for grades 9-12.

Concerto Competition

Students who attend for six weeks may compete for the opportunity to perform a concerto with one of the High School Division's full orchestras or wind symphonies. Learn more about the concerto competition.

What our students say

  • “I love my teacher and I’m inspired by her a lot after every lesson. I practiced much more than I did at home without any requirement from any factor, like my family or teacher.”
  • “I really enjoyed getting quality, one-on-one feedback opportunities in both masterclasses and studio classes.”
  • “I loved having so many opportunities to perform because it helps me learn better than simply practicing.”
  • “I learned so much this summer and can’t wait to come back next year! It was so inspiring to be surrounded by other people who share my passion for piano.”
  • “My private instructor was very kind and always helped me with any troubles that I ran into when practicing independently.”
  • “[My teacher] is absolutely amazing. I loved taking lessons with him. I always learn something new, and am constantly inspired by him.”


Dr. Erin Bennett

Instructor of Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Associate Professor, Piano and Piano Pedagogy, University of North Florida

Dr. Kate Boyd

Piano Area Coordinator, Interlochen Arts Camp

Professor of Piano, Butler University

Dr. Michael Coonrod

Instructor of Piano, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Faculty, Interlochen Piano Institute

Dr. Kaju Lee

Instructor of High School Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Dr. Naomi Niskala

Instructor of Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Associate Professor of Music - Piano, Susquehanna University

Dr. Nnenna Ogwo

Instructor of Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Teaching Artist, Piano Faculty, Third Street Music School

Dr. Stephen Pierce

Instructor of Intermediate Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Associate Professor of Keyboard Studies, University of Southern California

Dr. Robert Satterlee

Instructor of Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Professor of Piano, Bowling Green State University

Dr. Shuai Wang

Instructor of Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Faculty of Piano, Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland State University

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