Age range

BSB camp guitars at TUFL - CopyThe World-on-a-String summer camp was originally designed to accommodate campers aged 8 to 18 who play a bowed-string instrument.  These days we offer guitar and banjo too, we can accommodate mandolin and ukulele.  If someone under the age of 8 wants to register you are required to contact the director for consideration of an exemption to the age limit.

Students should be mature enough to focus and participate for the entire session—with ample breaks, of course! Parents are invited to attend sessions with younger children. Younger campers may expect to be with others their own age for most of the time, except during large group rehearsals and events. Adults may be mixed in with children if there are not enough adults present for a separate group.

We recommend that out-of-town children under age 12 be accompanied by a guardian, but since everyone has different maturity levels we are flexible with that requirement.  Parents know what their kids can and can’t handle, and we will respect your judgment on whether or not your child needs to be accompanied. (Please be aware that there are no refunds due to homesickness!)

Adult string teachers:

Adult string teachers who are interested in learning to teach alternate styles are also eligible to attend.  Check out this link: Teacher Training Info

Skill level for violin family players:

youth violin 2015 ChloeAny student at least 8 years old and with at least one year of playing experience should be able to participate fully in the World-on-a-String summer camp.  Sorry, but we can’t accommodate absolute beginners.  Get a year of playing under your belt and come next year!

Our curriculum is designed to benefit early players through very advanced students.  We firmly believe that everyone should be challenged—but not too much!

If you’re not sure you meet the minimum skill requirements, this list will help you get an idea.  You should be able to play something from this list at a reasonable speed without stopping.  If you are not familiar with any of these books please contact the director for more advice.

Suzuki Violin Book 1: Perpetual Motion

Essential Elements Book 1: The Banana Boat Song

Strictly Strings Book 1: Polly Wolly Doodle

String Explorer Book 1: Brandenburg Concerto #5

We keep more advanced students busy with challenging techniques, repertoire and improvisation instruction.

Skill level for Guitar:

  • Level 1: advanced beginner (know a few chords, able to keep a steady rhythm)
  • Level 2: intermediate-to-advanced (be able to play smoothly with other musicians in some style)

Skill level for Claw-hammer style 5-string banjo:

  • All students should be aged 12 to adult or have consent of instructor. If you’re a young banjo player who already knows some tunes, e-mail Tom for advice on whether you’re ready for camp.
  • All skill levels welcome–beginners and experienced players.

Music reading:

Participants would ideally be able to read music on a level appropriate to their skills on the instrument. We realize, however, that some players may need to work on reading, and are happy to help them during String Theory sessions.

Some of our sessions will focus on playing by ear—learning a tune without music! This is an important skill to develop if you want to play a variety of non-classical music. We know that some people will love this idea and others will fear it.  Don’t worry—we’ll pick easy tunes to start with until you get the hang of it!