Piano Camp

students playing piano at Piano Camp

Since its creation 21 years ago, Gilmore Piano Camp has welcomed hundreds of young pianists to its natural outdoor setting at Sherman Lake for fun and study. The camp provides classical piano training, a wide range of music-related electives, and–of course–lots of traditional camp activities. Treasured as the Midwest’s only piano-specific summer music camp, Gilmore Piano Camp welcomes pianists of all levels of experience.

Auditions are required for all piano campers. See below.


Register early for the best pricing, and be sure to complete all three steps:


General Camp Information

Parents! Please read the highly informative parent information packets prepared by the Sherman Lake YMCA, which contain:

  • camper bus schedules and parent pick-up/drop off info
  • medical forms and medication procedures
  • what to pack
  • and LOTS more

Day Camp Parent Pack

Overnight Camp Parent Pack



Overnight Camp (Ages 8-16)

June 21 – 26, 2020

YMCA Member: $770
Nonmember: $795
Early bird discounts for members and nonmembers:
$40 if paid before December 31, 2019
$20 if paid between January 1 and March 15, 2020

Immerse yourself in music! Enjoy a piano lesson, a practice period, and up to two electives every day. Electives include Composition, Recording Arts, Jazz & Improvisation, and more!

Evenings feature recitals, campfires, and other classic YMCA camp activities. Perform pieces from elective classes at the Thursday Night Throw-down, and prepared pieces from your lessons in a final celebratory recital hosted by campers for their peers, friends, and family.

Day Piano Camp (Ages 7-12)

June 21 – 26, 2020

YMCA Member: $400
Nonmember: $450
Early bird discounts for members and nonmembers:
$20 if paid before December 31, 2019
$10 if paid between January 1 and March 15, 2020

Come and play! Enjoy daily small group piano lessons, exploration in technology and music-making with Jazzy Jams, plus hands-on art projects. Participate each afternoon in outdoor YMCA classic camp activities including the climbing tower, swimming, archery, and more. Perform in a final celebratory recital Friday at 1:00 PM.

Musical Preparation for all Campers

In the spirit of this year’s theme, PIANOLYMPICS, all piano campers are encouraged to prepare two pieces of music: one that represents the music of a different culture or nation, and one that poses a particular technical challenge such as crossing hands, scales, arpeggios, key changes, or triplets. Please note that the theme is for fun and is open to broad interpretation! If a student is preparing only one piece, they may choose between the two categories.

Students will get the most out of their camp experience if they have learned the notes, rhythms, and fingerings of their music in advance. At camp, their piano teacher will help them to dig deeper into the musicality of performance and other attributes that high-level instruction aims to address.


Opportunities are available both from Gilmore Piano Camp Scholarships and from the Sherman Lake YMCA to help make camp more affordable.

With help from Education for the Arts and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, merit scholarships are available to cover up to 50% of the cost of camp.

Sherman Lake YMCA also has a wonderful financial aid program for campers. Learn more here.

Questions About Education?

Please direct questions to Adam Schumaker, Director of Education, or Leslie Baron, Education and Community Engagement Manager. Telephone: 269.342.1166.

All content © 2020 Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival