For new parents just settling into town, here's a phrase you will hear often: Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World. No humble brag here. It’s a declaration that's pretty right on. There are places to see music every night of the week, festivals abound, and many music venues are smart enough to be kid-friendly. So what to do with this windfall of musical inspiration? Get your kids in on music classes, of course.
Just as there are endless possibilities of where to see music in town, there are limitless choices for where to learn an instrument as well. Here are a few of our favorite local spots offering music lessons for kids.
Armstrong Community Music School
Armstrong Community Music School (ACMS) exemplifies the healing power of music. In addition to offering a comprehensive variety of classes in classical, jazz, blues, folk, and world music, ACMS offers year-round scholarships, classes for kids receiving assistance from SafePlace, lessons for the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center, and support for We Are the Chorus, a choir for adults with developmental disabilities.
There's still time to sign up for the second round of early childhood summer programs like Rock All Ages, or you can register your budding young vocalist for the Youth Chamber Singers (7-10 years).
Girls Rock Austin
Girls Rock Austin is the perfect place for the little lead guitarist in your life, or maybe you know a drummer girl who wants to make some noise! Whatever their predilection for noise-making, this School of Rock will guide them in the right direction while empowering them to follow their heart and trust their gut. Summer Girls Rock Camp is offered to girls, gender fluid/nonbinary, and trans youth ages 8 to 17. Instructors teach campers guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, or vocals. No prior musical experience is required.
If your wee music makers are still at home with you, Heartsong Music offers classes to inspire all age groups. Music Together mixed-age classes (birth to 5), babies classes (8 months and younger), and intergenerational classes (birth to 5) take place at assisted-living facilities. Founder Carrie Youngblood, a certified Montessori teacher of 40 years, saw a need for classes and geared them towards preschool learners. From nursery rhymes to fun chants, rhythm play to scarves and shakers, Heartsong will get your little ones moving and grooving, all while learning the basics of music.
Suzuki Strings of Austin
Suzuki Strings of Austin (SSOA) teaches the Suzuki Method of instruction through mindfulness, perseverance, and experiencing success. With a focus on classical music, SSOA believes every child can learn an instrument, encouraging creativity and self-expression along the way. The entire family gets involved in the learning process at SSOA, which has fostered a tight-knit community. Violin, viola, and cello lessons start for kids as young as 3 years old.