All About Camp


CCMC’s main event is the annual camp in July—two independent week-long sessions. You can register for either or both sessions. Both weeks have classes for students of all levels, in a variety of styles and for a variety of acoustic instruments. (For information about other CCMC activities, see Year-Round Events.)

2024 Dates:
Week 1: July 13–19
Week 2: July 20–26

Camp registration opens in February.


These are the options:

  • A cabin with up to 3 people. All cabins have electricity. Each cabin has 1 queen bed and 2 twin beds.
  • Your own tent (limited space).
  • Your own small RV (spots are limited). RVs must be a maximum of 21 feet long; there are no hookups.
  • A bed in a house with a common-area living room and kitchen (very limited number; these are not private rooms).

Bath houses with toilets and showers are a short walk for anyone in a cabin, tent, or RV.

When you register, choose your top two lodging choices. We will contact you with your lodging assignment before camp.

A group of cabins


For 2024, the base price of camp is $1440 per person per session. This price includes all meals and either a bed in a cabin with a total of 3 people, a tent, or an RV.

If you request and are assigned one of the following options, there is a surcharge:

  • A bed in one of the houses ($400 extra).
  • A cabin by yourself ($500) or with only one other person ($250 per person).
  • An RV ($100 per RV).

You’ll be notified of your housing assignment approximately three weeks before the start of each session. If you owe a surcharge, you’ll pay it at that time.

Sample Schedule​

8:00–8:45 a.m.Breakfast
9:00–10:15 a.m. First class
10:35–11:50 a.m.Second class
12:10–12:50 p.m.Lunch
1:05–2:20 p.m.Third class
4:00–5:00 p.m.Workshops
6:00–6:45 p.m.Dinner
7:30 p.m.Evening activity

​Scholarships are available—see Scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are three class periods per day. After the last class, there’s free time until dinner; you can take a workshop (or offer your own), jam, practice, swim, hike, or take a nap—it’s up to you. Evening activities include song circles, a teacher concert, the student concert, jamming (lots of jamming), coffee houses (basically an open mic without the mic), and a dance.

No. First-time campers make up a quarter to a third of each week’s enrollment. There are a couple of new-camper orientations, and the first few days of activities and classes will help you find people with similar musical interests. Returning campers are eager to make music with new friends.

No. Many are from California, but CCMC alumni come from all over the U.S., including Hawaii. We’ve had campers from Great Britain, France, Japan, New Zealand, and other countries.

No. Everyone is welcome regardless of experience or playing ability. CCMC tries to offer classes at all skill levels.

No. Most classes emphasize listening and hands-on instruction. Reading tablature is helpful because some instructors provide charts, but it’s not necessary.

Check the class listings and you’ll see lots of classes each week with “beginning” in the title, for players and singers alike. The beginning classes are often among the most popular, attended by people just starting out on an instrument or returning to an old one.

They are professional musicians—composers, performing artists, and music teachers who are chosen not only for their talent, but also for their teaching skills and accessibility to students at all proficiency levels. ​We always ask for student feedback and consider it seriously in our annual decisions on who is invited to join the faculty. See the Classes and Teachers pages for more information.

Each week, one or two teachers are assigned the role of instigator. An instigator helps campers with similar interests connect with one another.

One or two teachers are dedicated to providing instrumental and stylistic support on a variety of instruments for classes, jams, and other musical events at camp.

CCMC attracts a wide variety of students, from the absolute beginner to advanced players, from people who play only for their cats to those who perform in public regularly. If you’re ready to dust off your instrument or start singing again, you’ll find opportunities that match your musical interests and skill.

No. Band classes in many genres—swing, Latin, blues, and other styles—always welcome other instruments. We have regular campers who play saxophone or other horns, or sing but play no instruments. Their music stands out on dance night and during the student and faculty concerts, and they add dimension to any jam session. Bring your sousaphone, flugelhorn, trombone, congas, bassoon, or vibes and join the fun!

While there is usually a strong folk music contingent at CCMC, classes span a wide variety of musical genres. Visit the Classes and Teachers pages to see what styles are offered this year.

No. You’ll receive a class schedule when you arrive at camp; you can attend whatever classes you like and change your mind at any time. To help you decide what classes to go to, the first evening, instructors introduce themselves, briefly demonstrate the skills they’ll be teaching, and answer any questions you have.

CCMC is held at a retreat facility in Monterey County, about 1.5 hours south of San Jose. The 115-acre site is in an oak forest and has:

  • Mostly flat terrain
  • Plenty of parking
  • Large swimming pool with bathhouse
  • Medical help (EMS) no more than 10 minutes away

Camp tuition includes three meals a day, plus evening snacks. We attempt to meet the needs of vegetarians and other special diets. If you have highly specialized food needs, you may want to bring those items with you. Some shared refrigerator and cabinet space is available for storing food and beverages. (We don’t want to feed the wildlife, so please be very careful about storing food, or anything that smells like food, in your tent or cabin.)

Your options are:

  1. Tent: Bring your own tent and camp in the woods. There are communal bathrooms and shower facilities nearby. You can bring tables, chairs, and other camping amenities.
  2. Cabin: All the cabins have electricity. A nearby bathroom/shower house also has plenty of electrical outlets to charge up all your devices. There are price differences depending on the number of folks in a cabin. All cabins have 1 queen bed and 2 twins with decent mattresses. Bring your own bedding or rent it from the facility for about $45.
  3. House: There is limited space in two houses with shared kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms (where late-night jams are bound to happen). Requesting a bed in a house does not guarantee a private room.​ Bedding is provided.
  4. RV: There is some space for small campers or vans (21 feet long max). There are no hookups.

Yes, either a sleeping bag, or sheets and a blanket, and a pillow, and towels. (If you stay in one of the houses, bedding is provided.)

CCMC does not allow or provide any off-premises options.

Yes, camp has a few refrigerators for camper use.

Camp is held at a retreat location in Monterey County, about a 1.5 hour drive south of San Jose. Maps and driving directions will be sent to all registered campers about a month before camp begins. We encourage carpooling and can help you find a ride or riders. If you’ll be flying in, the San Jose Airport (SJC) is about 1.5 hours away. Monterey Airport (MRY) is about 20 minutes from camp. Some folks fly in to San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK). Let us know your arrival times and we’ll try to arrange a ride to camp for you.

There are three ways to register:

  • Register online and pay with PayPal.
  • Register online and mail us a check.
  • Print out a registration form and mail it with a check.

Registration typically opens in February, at which point instructions for each method are posted on the Registration page.

Prices and other details for the current year are posted on the Registration page as soon as they become available (typically in February). ​Camp tuition includes all meals. 

CCMC is an acoustic music camp. We don’t allow amplifiers for classes or jamming. There are a few exceptions: If your instrument is a solid-body electric upright bass, you can bring a small portable amp for classes and jams (some class and jam sites have no electricity), as long as you keep the sound levels comparable to acoustic basses. Other amplified instruments usually show up on dance night.

The camp store sells some basic items—picks, strings, batteries, and so on, as well as other merchandise, such as CCMC swag and instructor materials. You can pay as you go or run a tab until the end of the week. We accept cash, check, or Venmo (no credit cards).

If you forget your toothbrush or a similar item, CCMC might have an extra. If you forget something essential, let us know and we might be able to get it for you in town. You won’t want to miss anything, so try to bring everything you need with you; see our Suggested Packing List.

Yes. However, we ask that you drink alcohol from an opaque container, such as a travel mug. (A flask is not considered an opaque container, nor is a paper bag.) Why? Respect for others. Some campers cannot or choose not to use alcohol. An opaque container helps those who don’t want alcohol “in their face,” without infringing on your freedom to enjoy the beverage of your choice.

Many cell phone plans work at camp, and free Wi-Fi (for email or Skype) is available at several locations around the site. When you register for camp, you’ll be given the camp’s emergency-only landline number, which you can provide to friends and family. You will also be given the CCMC director’s cell phone, which works great at camp.

There will be a medical professional at camp, but you are responsible for your own medical care and needs. If you have particular issues or concerns you wish for us to know about in case of an emergency, you can provide health information to the CCMC director. Forms will be provided and kept confidential. There is a small medical clinic about 10 miles away, and a hospital about 20 miles away. Emergency medical services are no more than 10 minutes away.