The Aspen Music Festival and School offers a wide variety of kids and family programming meant to inspire and engage the next generation of classical music enthusiasts. Whether you're enjoying a family picnic at Music on the Mountain, being transported by story and song at Tunes & Tales, or gathering a multi-generational group to enjoy a Family or Community Concert, you're sure to experience the excitement of the Aspen Music Festival and School and create family memories that will last a lifetime. Also, explore our summer long educational programs — not just for kids! These programs give locals and summer residents the opportunity to grow their musical skills with lessons and musical activities throughout the summer.
Select a program of interest below to learn more.
Summer Educational Programs: Reserve Your Spot and Dig in Deeper for Personalized Musical Experiences with the AMFS!
Sing Play Move | P.A.L.S. (Passes and Lessons Scholarship) Program | Festival Lessons | Mariachi Workshop for Middle & High School Musicians
Festival for Kids
Family Concert and Kids Notes
Family Concert: CAROLINE SHAW: The Mountain that Loved a Bird
A lively, short concert that will introduce kids to the world of classical music. Author Alice McLerran's beloved children's story is set to original music by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw. Performed with narration, this captivating combination of music and storytelling is a family event not to miss!
On Tuesday, July 18, 2023, arrive early for Kids Notes at 4 PM on the David Karetsky Music Lawn (outside the Michael Klein Music Tent), and enjoy activities carefully designed to prepare kids for what they'll see and hear during the concert. The concert begins at 5 PM in Harris Concert Hall. Free; open to all ages, with an adult.
Easy parking for families in the Michael Klein Music Tent/Harris Concert Hall lot.
Community Concert: A Mariachi Celebration!
Denver-based Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra performs as the culminating event of the Mariachi Workshop for Middle & High School Musicians. Local music students and dancers from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s Folklórico ensemble join Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra on stage to highlight their hard work, build community, and celebrate Mexican culture.
On Wednesday, July 26, 2023, join us at 4 PM for a pre-concert fiesta, and stay for continued celebration after the concert! The concert begins at 5:30 PM in the Michael Klein Music Tent. Free; open to all ages, with an adult.
Easy parking for families in the Michael Klein Music Tent/Harris Concert Hall lot.
Presented with special thanks to lead sponsor, Querencia Private Golf & Beach Club, Los Cabos, Mexico.
Tunes & Tales
Description: In collaboration with the children’s librarians at the Pitkin County Library and the Basalt Regional Library, kids are treated to enchanting stories blended with music performed by AMFS students and local musicians. For ages 8 and under, with an adult.
Pitkin County Library:
Thursdays at 10:30 AM - July 6 & 20, August 3
Basalt Regional Library:
Wednesdays at 10:30 AM - July 12, 19 & 26, August 2
For more details, visit the AMFS Events page.
Summer Educational Programs
Description: An early childhood music education program for the youngest classical music fans! Sing Play Move’s curriculum is based in folk/world music, action and game songs, nursery rhymes, instrumental play, free/creative and guided movement, and simple composition. Children and parents alike will delight in thoughtful, engaging, and fun classes led by expert music educator Kate Klotz.
Register for an available spot OR join together with 3-5 other families to create your own private class pod. Summer 2023 registration information will be announced soon.
Schedule and Location:
June 26 - 30, 2023
30 minute class sessions, plus 5-10 minutes of music exploration time
Classes held at Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen's West End.
This is a subscription-based course that meets daily Monday-Friday. Curriculum is progressive within the week by day, and it is highly recommended to attend class daily for the entire week. Children attend class with a parent or caregiver to experience music-making together!
A summer program of private lessons, chamber music, music education activities, and exclusive access to the Aspen Music Festival and School's summer season.
For locals or full-time summer residents of the Roaring Fork Valley.
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 12:00 pm – Application Opens
Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 10:00pm – Application Deadline
All applicants will be notified of acceptance status by Saturday, May 27, 2023
The P.A.L.S. program is designed for local students (full-time or full-time summer residents of the Roaring Fork Valley) who are currently studying an instrument (including voice) and wish to devote serious focus to this instrument during the summer months. The P.A.L.S. program is not for beginning students, as you should already have at least one school year of experience on your instrument before applying to P.A.L.S.
High school and middle school students (entering grades 6-12 - P.A.L.S. division) receive a series of 5 one-hour private lessons, while students entering grades 1-5 (Little P.A.L.S. division) receive a series of 5 half-hour lessons.
Lessons with top AMFS students are available to all interested (part-time or full-time) residents of the Roaring Fork Valley each summer. Purchase a single lesson or a series. This opportunity is open to music enthusiasts of all ages, with or without prior music experience! $35 per half-hour lesson. Learn more.
If you would like to hire a musician for private lessons outside of the summer months, a courtesy listing is provided here of local musicians who frequently work with the AMFS and come highly recommended.
July 24 - 26, 2023
Mid-valley location to be determined
Performance in the Michael Klein Music Tent, Aspen
JOIN US FOR A FREE THREE-DAY WORKSHOP WITH EXPERT MARIACHI TEACHERS AND PERFORMERS!
No prior mariachi experience necessary!
For students with at least 1 year of experience on their instrument; Incoming 5th graders – High School (mature incoming 4th graders considered on a case-by-case basis)
Explore mariachi music with the AMFS, and perform alongside a professional mariachi ensemble! This three-day program includes:
- active full-group rehearsals and technique-building sessions on traditional mariachi instruments (vihuela, guitarrón, violin, guitar, trumpet, and voice) and non-mariachi instruments alike... Whatever instrument you play, you CAN participate!
- instructional breakouts with instrument specialists from across Colorado and local music educators
- keynote presentations on the tradition and historical evolution of mariachi folk music
- intergenerational learning opportunities
- a featured performance in Michael Klein Music Tent as part of the AMFS's "Community Concert: A Mariachi Celebration!" on July 26
- lots of fun, friendship, community building, and more!
Kids and Family Programs
Music on the Mountain
Description: AMFS music students play spirited chamber music with the stunning Elk Mountain Range as a backdrop. Perfect for the whole family — bring a picnic or purchase lunch at the Sundeck restaurant. (Gondola ticket or strenuous hike required to get to this event.)
Location: Top of Aspen Mountain
2023 Schedule: July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, & August 5, 12 at 1:00 pm
For more details, visit the AMFS Events page
The Festival encourages children to come to concerts to experience the joy of live music. Tickets for children ages 4–18 are just $5 for most regularly scheduled concerts.
Children's tickets for operas are $30.
Concerts are recommended for ages 6 and up; children under 4 are admitted only to children’s/family events.
For a classic family Festival experience, join us for free on the David Karetsky Music Lawn and in the Kaye Music Garden just outside the Michael Klein Music Tent. The Lawn and Garden are free and open at all times for those who wish to quietly listen to and enjoy the concert. Please note that the Lawn and Garden are not meant as spaces for loud play or socializing during concerts. Visit City of Aspen Parks and Open Space for a directory of Aspen parks for play.
To learn more, please contact AMFS Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.