CBMF Bluegrass Kids Camp

Check back soon for 2018 dates!

A fun, 5-day music camp in Crested Butte that provides kids (ages 7-14) an amazing experience in bluegrass music education. Students learn to play in a bluegrass band with other students, write songs, and advance their individual skills through instrument break-out sessions. The day camp offers training for first-timers as well as intermediate players, provided by faculty from the esteemed Swallow Hill Music School in Denver. This camp is a collaboration between the Crested Butte Music Festival and Swallow Hill Music School.

Crested Butte, CO – One of the most beautiful towns in Colorado, Crested Butte (altitude ~9000 ft) is surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and hosts one of the country’s finest wildflower displays. Crested Butte is 30 minutes from Gunnison, 1 hour from Montrose, and 4 hours from Denver.

*CBMF Bluegrass Kids Camp in Crested Butte is a day camp from 9am-4pm daily. Housing is not provided for students or their families. For more information about housing options in the town of Crested Butte, please check out our Visiting CB page here.


Your tuition covers all instruction and camp activities over the 5-day camp plus a music starter pack for your child.

  • $299
  • Sample Schedule*
  • 9:00-10:00 am: Camp Check In/All Camp Activity
  • 10:00-11:00 am: Instrument Break-out Session 1/Snacks
  • 11:00-12:00 pm: Songwriting Session
  • 12:00-1:00 pm: Lunch/Outdoor Play
  • 1:00-2:00 pm: Instrument Break-out Session 2/Snacks
  • 2:00-3:00 pm: Bluegrass Band Session
  • 3:00-4:00 pm: Optional Early Pick Up/Extended Day
*Subject to change
Beginner Level:
  • Little to no experience on his/her instrument
  • Has never played in a group setting
Intermediate Level:
  • Has a knowledge of chords and basic technique on his/her instrument
  • Can read music, tablature, or chord charts
  • Has played in a group setting or has participated in the Swallow Hill Music Kids Camp in prior years
  • Has some knowledge of playing solos on his/her instrument
Bonnie Sims

Bonnie has been performing on stage for 15 years and started in the family band singing with her father while playing guitar and mandolin. Bonnie was awarded Best Female Bluegrass Vocalist in 2006 and 2007. Bonnie has played festivals from Rockygrass to the New West Fest. Currently, Bonnie fronts the six piece original band Bonnie & the Clydes with husband Taylor Sims.

Taylor Sims

Taylor Sims is the current guitarist and singer for the Colorado-based band, Bonnie & the Clydes and founded the bluegrass band, Spring Creek (2003-2012). He has toured nationally and has garnered a reputation as one of the top bluegrass singers guitar players and teachers in the Rocky Mountain Region. Sims teaches all level of bluegrass and flatpicking styles of acoustic guitar as well as ensemble and vocal classes.

Mike Jagel
Mike Jagel

Mike started playing banjo with his family folk band in Boston during the 1950’s and 1960’s folk music revival. Moving to Colorado in 1973, he joined many regional Bluegrass and Country bands. After earning degrees in voice and music education, he taught music in Jefferson County Schools for 23 years. Mike currently plays banjo, guitar, and mandolin in the Blue Moon Bluegrass Band and teaches private and class lessons on banjo and guitar.

Brian Nelson

A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Brian Nelson has also studied West African drum and dance at the Dagbe and Dagara Music Centers of Ghana, West Africa. In addition to touring in the United States and Jamaica as a working percussionist, he has accompanied dance at Boston University and University of Buffalo. Brian has taught percussion, ukelele and guitar to children of all ages, as well as served as a Swallow Hill Music’s Explore! Music camp head counselor.

Emily Lewis
Emily Lewis

Emily began her musical studies on the piano at five years old halfway around the world in Nagoya, Japan, but her true musical passion lies with the violin. She switched over at age nine, became a Suzuki-trained fiddler, and never looked back! High school brought her first experience teaching private lessons, which she has continued through to today. Emily graduated in 2006 from the University of Colorado with a Master of Music. Emily received her Bachelor of Music degree in music education in 2004 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying with Tyrone Grieve, and served as the UW Symphony concertmaster for two years. Emily currently plays with The Sphere Ensemble and with Denver folksinger, Jessie Manley.

CBMF education program participants receive 15-25% off when booking through our lodging partners at Crested Butte Lodging. Your registration confirmation email will include a booking link and coupon code.