Talent in Training

Studio West Offers Music Production Camps for Young Musicians


Studio West has been San Diego’s premier recording studio for over 40 years, but recently some new clients have been working there.

In 2015, owner Peter Dyson started a series of week-long music production camps for middle and high school students, largely due to his own children’s musical journey. “My daughter plays the harp and my son is a drummer. They both had amazing teachers and great experiences performing with various ensembles, but a recording studio is a different environment that helps musicians grow.”

The week-long camps involve instruction in songwriting, production and performance. Many students have a background in music theory and traditional instruments, but it’s not a requirement.

“A laptop is now a musical instrument, just like a piano or guitar, but to play it requires the same instruction, discipline, and hard work that’s required for more traditional instruments,” said Dyson.

Performing in a studio is intimidating, but students rise to the occasion. As the lead instructor, San Diego songwriter, performer, and father of two multi-instrumentalist preteen boys Shawn Rohlf explains it, “I’m amazed at the musicianship and work ethic of the kids. If they are this good now, where will they be in 10 years?”

At the end of the week, parents and students listen to the songs that students have written and produced over the week. The experience leaves many ready for more. As student Chrysta Hlavacek (17) puts it, “Making music with talented artists is my dream job, and going to Studio West helps me get there.”