What is RiverTunes?

Welcome to RiverTunes
Roots Music & Creativity Camp

The Cravens
Hattie, Pamella & Joe Craven


RiverTunes is a small community-based volunteer assisted Music Camp, whose purpose is to validate, encourage and promote the creative music abilities of all people with informally learned American Roots Music.

From anyone never having “given it a go” with learning music, those having previously experienced genuine struggles or negative experiences learning music, and from never before beginners to folks wishing to progress to the next level, RiverTunes provides a really fun opportunity for anyone with a desire to explore learn and grow musically in a supportive and safe environment.

We are three and a half days of acoustic music instruction, performance opportunities, evening activities, jamming, and more in a breathtaking outdoor setting at Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School on California’s beautiful Central Coast just 6 miles from Morro Bay to the west and 6 miles from San Luis Obispo to the east. It’s an opportunity to study with a variety of string, voice, percussion and keyboard-based instruments in a variety of genre. Traditional and Contemporary Folk and Americana, Blues, Pop, Hawaiian, Tin Pan Alley, Bluegrass, Old Time and Swing are just some of the styles delved into. Improvisation, Rhythm, Songwriting, Theory, Performance Craft and Jamming are other popular topics.

Camping out under the stars, making new friends and reuniting with friends of RiverTunes past, eating delicious/nutritious catered food, tons of laughter, very little sleep, enjoying the platypus races, feeding the elephants, and so much more…make for one of the highlights of your year.


RiverTunes is now based on the Central Coast at Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School, just west of San Luis Obispo, California.


RiverTunes is guided by the principle that anybody can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat and make music confidently with other people. We honor and nourish learning with instructors skilled at helping everyone find their own musical path. It’s what drives us and why we strive to bring it to you! 


$595. for adults 18 years and over; $375. for youth aged 8 – 17. Students 17 and under must be accompanied by their parent or a legal guardian. All classes, full meal plan and camping are included in one reasonable price. If you have acute food restrictions and need to opt out of the meal plan, a $100.00 reduction in tuition may be applied. Please contact us in advance of your on-line registration as we’ll need to process you differently. You will be asked to pay by check.

The meal plan includes a Monday welcome dinner, three meals per day Tuesday through Thursday, and farewell breakfast on Friday morning. Questions are welcome via email at rivertunescamp@gmail.com.

Our Vision & Intention…

RiverTunes ~ Roots Music & Creativity Camp ~ honors traditions and celebrates innovations in Acoustic Roots Music and Creative Living through individual growth and community spirit. Whether you aspire to perform, want to jam with friends, or simply and comfortably share songs with a loved one, our mission and passion is to help you do it while having fun along the way!

Our Philosophy

“We Believe…

    • Everyone has a story; a unique story that no one else has. And that means EVERYONE’S story has value that can be revealed through creativity and the art of music.
    • Anybody can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat and make music confidently with other people.
    • We can help you build your confidence in yourself, increase your musical skills and help you celebrate the value of artful living whether you are just getting started or are already playing.
    • There are many road maps to learning music; listening, looking, imitation, improvisation, and/or transposing and translating music ideas from a written form. They all have value and serve in the quest.
    • Our goal is not a formula for learning music-making but rather an agenda in music-making to informally and flexibly learn information while celebrating, through discovery, what you already have inside you.
    • A community of diverse people can come together to celebrate creative expression in music through playing tunes, singing, writing, painting/drawing and dance. We do so by fostering a community within RiverTunes to then be carried forward and shared with others throughout our lives.”

~ Joe Craven, Director and RiverTunes Cheerleader

Our Promise To You… You will have the opportunity to explore informally learned music in a safe, supportive and encouraging environment. Our staff and Faculty are here for you with every step of your journey.

And above all else, our goal is for you to grow and have a lot of FUN while doing it!

“There’s no place like home… unless you’re at RiverTunes.”
~ The RiverTunes CampQuarters Staff

Register now!

“Follow these easy steps and “poof” you’re in! RiverTunes has a history of filling up quicker than folks realize, so don’t wait.”