Musical kids in the STL can express their talents and learn their craft at a variety of local institutions that match their talents and interests. From opera to rock ‘n’ roll, and from birth to age 22, there is a program for every little musician or singer in this city. Here are five of the highlights.
Young Years/Kindermusik Academy
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119
(800) 981-9801

Webster U has a great reputation in the area for its fine arts and community music programs, and it’s community music program for children is right in line. The joint program between the university’s Community Music School and the Kindermusic Academy offers a wide variety of classes at locations in Webster Groves, University City, Des Peres, and Chesterfield. The classes are designed to build on children’s natural musicality. Little ones naturally love to sing, dance, and drum, and this program guides those impulses for kids from newborn to age seven. Songs, movement, and instruments keep things dynamic so the kids are having fun while their brains benefit from the rhythm, patterns, and stimulation of music.

St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra
St. Louis Symphony
718 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 533-2500

As musical kids in St. Louis grow older, they dream of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. The Youth Orchestra features about 100 young musicians from age 12 to 22, drawn from more than three dozen schools in the bi-state area. Membership in the Youth Orchestra is by audition only, and members are seriously mentored and trained at a master level. Leonard Slatkin founded the program in 1970 to provide high-level musical education to talented young musicians, and seven members of the St. Louis Symphony today are former Youth Orchestra members. Kids with musical aspirations might be inspired by attending one of the Youth Orchestra’s three annual concerts at Powell Hall.

Dave Simon’s Rock School
1305 Baur Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132
(314) 692-7625

Music doesn’t have to be classical to be a valuable part of a child’s education. Dave Simon’s Rock School “combines rock ‘n’ roll fun and creativity with high academic standards.” Kids age 4 through 12 can learn guitar, drums, piano, bass, and voice at the Rock School. The school’s summer camp, method books, and band programs are now internationally licensed and acclaimed, but only St. Louis is home to the original Dave Simon’s Rock School.

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Opera Camp For Kids
Opera Theatre of St. Louis
210 Hazel Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 961-0644

Opera Theatre of St. Louis offers a day camp program for kids entering grades 4-7 every year. The kids learn everything about crafting an opera production for the stage. Students spend the whole week singing, dancing, writing music and lyrics, making instruments, and learning about set design, lighting, makeup and costuming. Kids love hanging out backstage with OTSL pros — and they get to see a performance by the pros as well.

St. Louis Children’s Choirs
2842 N. Ballas Road
St. Louis, MO 63131
(314) 993-9626

For kids who love to sing, there’s The St. Louis Children’s Choirs, which includes 450 kids age 6–18 from more than 200 schools in the bi-state area. The kids apply their vocal talents to contemporary, sacred, classical, and world music. The program prides itself on an outstanding faculty that trains kids in six ensemble levels grouped by abilities. In addition to rigorous training, the kids receive character education and enjoy world-class performance opportunities.

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Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Visit her blog at