We inspire our musicians to be life long learners and to gain the ability to fully express themselves through music. Whether one wishes to be a concert pianist, a rock guitarist, or someone who can entertain friends and family, our overall goal is the same. Music allows one to express himself or herself in a way that escapes words, and we aim to inspire that innate talent and interest in every student through ensemble playing and performances, lessons to master one's craft, songwriting, learning to read/write music, and much more.
Through the years I have found too many musicians in one of two camps. They were classically trained, and extremely comfortable reading music but were very uncomfortable without a chart of music. The second camp of musicians were those who learned by ear and had an amazing innate talent to play but were uncomfortable reading. At Rock Camp we train musicians to be as comfortable reading/writing music as they are with improvising/creating original music.
Our motto is, Inspire - Learn - Create. Students are inspired from our expert teaching staff, who regularly perform nationally and internationally - Lincoln Center, Blue Note, Monterey Jazz Festival, etc...and teach at area colleges and universities. Students are also inspired from each other, through friendships they will forge, and through their ensembles, lessons, masterclasses, and electives. Every young musician - whether a beginner or advanced - is challenged and nudged out of his or comfort zone so the he or she is learning at a brisk pace. In our Friday concert series, all of what the students created during the week (songs from every genre of rock, new student compositions, vocal arrangements, film scores, and much more), will be on display for parents, friends, and the public. The RC experience often inspires many of our beginner students to continue their studies in music throughout the year.
Reflections on Rock Camp
Last year I saw some students improve more in one week than I have seen others learn in one year of lessons (or more).
When I was a child, I remember fondly going to family get togethers for the holidays or over the summer. You would see grandparents, cousins, that crazy uncle, your eccentric aunt, and on and on. You interact and learn and grow from these experiences.
Rock Camp is a bit like these family get togethers. Students are surrounded by the most accomplished teachers in the NJ/NY area, all who have different tastes in music and approaches to teaching and making music. This inspires and drives students to new heights.
Having an amazing music teacher is extremely important, but it's not enough. At some point one needs to open the window and let fresh ideas flow in. To really grow one needs a variation of instructional approaches, to play with different ensembles and bands, hear live music, and be surrounded by a musical family that inspires you to see your music and the world from a variety of angles. We are all different and what connects with one student may be different from another. This is good because it allows us to nurture each student's individuality and creativity, and avoid group think.