The Bluegrass Kids Camp is 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.
*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 lodging options in the town of Crested Butte and in Gunnison, please check out our Visit page.
Your tuition covers all instruction and camp activities over the 5-day camp plus a music starter pack for your child.
- Sample Schedule*
- 9:00-10:00 am: Camp Check In/All Camp Activity
- 10:00-11:00 am: Instrument Break-out Session 1
- 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
- 2:00-3:00 pm: Bluegrass Band Session
- 3:00-4:00 pm: Optional Early Pick Up/Extended Day
*Subject to change. Full schedule information will be provided in the welcome packet.
- Little to no experience on his/her instrument
- Has never played in a group setting
- 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 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 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.
Lindsay Taylor, originally from Delaware, grew up the daughter of an old-time musician. She has worked with thousands of students, teaching theater, Spanish, folk dance and music. Whether in public schools or summer camps, she loves watching kids explore their own talents and possibilities. She has been a member of the Crested Butte Bluegrass Camp faculty since 2014.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Brian Nelson has studied a variety of instruments and musical styles for over 25 years. From West African drum and dance to ukulele sing alongs to guitar lessons for all ages, Nelson takes his passion for music in to every endeavor. After teaching full time at Swallow Hill Music for nearly four years, he has taken up a new position as editor and content developer at the online music publication Rootfire. He currently resides in Santa Fe, NM.
When K.C. Groves was a young musician she was mentored by bluegrass and acoustic music greats such as Sally Van Meter, Charles Sawtelle, and Laurie Lewis. She has since become a driving force in her own right, passing on that spark and pure joy of playing music. A multi-faceted musician, spirited bandleader and inspiring mentor, K.C.’s energy, tenacity, and creativity seem to be boundless. But she’s simply, “paying it forward,” as she puts it, answering the call to keep the music she loves a living experience.
An accomplished instrumentalist (mandolin, guitar, bass), vocalist and songwriter, K.C. Groves has been at the heart of many celebrated projects. As the creative center and bandleader of Uncle Earl for over a decade, K.C. helped bring old-time music to a wider audience. The "g’Earls" played major festival stages in the United States and toured extensively abroad, gaining fans and musical cohorts such as Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, who produced their 2007 album Waterloo, Tennessee. In addition to Uncle Earl, K.C. has released two solo albums of original material and was a Telluride Troubadour contest finalist and a Detroit Music Award winner. She has teamed up with countless notable musicians, including old-time musician and craftsman Riley Baugus and Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman.
In addition to teaching private lessons and workshops as a certified Wernick Method instructor, KC has taught mandy week-long music camps including: Rockygrass Kid's Camp in Lyons, Colorado, The Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins West Virginia, McCall Mountain Music Camp for Kids in McCall, Idaho, Nimble Fingers Bluegrass and Old Time Music Workshop in BC, Canada, and The Northern Light Music Camp, Saskatchewan, Canada.
About The Festival
In its 22nd season, CBMF is a summer music festival that serves the communities on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains. Performances feature a diverse range of genres including symphony, opera, chamber, bluegrass, gypsy jazz, and dance from leading artists throughout the world. A multitude of educational programs provide hands-on experiences for students of all ages and abilities.
About Crested Butte
Host to one of the country’s finest wildflower displays in the summer and a rich tradition of local, unique culture, Crested Butte sits at an elevation of 8,909 feet and is nestled at a confluence of stunning mountain ranges. Access to ample backcountry makes Crested Butte a leading outdoor destination for mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, wildflower viewing, and, in winter, challenging skiing at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Crested Butte is approximately 30 minutes from Gunnison, 1 ½ hours from Montrose, and just over 4 hours from Denver.
Check out our visit page for more information about transportation, lodging, and activities in the Gunnison Valley.