The Roots of Rock Camp, the One of a Kind Music Camp in New Jersey and the Hamptons

This is our story.

Eleven years Rock Camp started as an idea in which for one week students, between ages 7 - 19, would learn music from performing musicians in a particular way. Rather than teach music classes in the way it is taught in school, students would learn in small groups and mentor with a variety of performing musicians and learn from their peers.

But the story actually starts earlier than this. Let’s rewind.

When I was a kid, I took piano lessons from a few different teachers. I loved music but I did not like the lessons. Rather than look at music as if one was exploring a new world, my early teachers had the view that I should learn nursery rhythms and little kid tunes, read simple notation, and then little by little progress to more challenging music. Sound logical. And yet even at an early age of 12 or 13 years old, I thought “why do I have to learn this little kid music and wait around for a couple years to get to the music I really want to play (at that time it was rock-n-roll)?” So I quit lessons with that teacher. Eventually I had a different teacher, but it was the same story. I quit again.

And then something happened, really be accident.

As I went through middle and high school, I was lucky to take an art class. The art teacher, Mr. Reed, has a beat up piano in his room (painted on the sides), all of the walls had student work, the ceiling too. This is where music came alive. He showed me and a group of other students how to play the music of Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Three Dog Night, and many many tunes in the rock and blues realm. We played duets. We played along with records. We later played in small groups, at school functions, at parties, at cafes, and we just kept learning. A new world opened up to all of us. Later, I was lucky enough to have Mr. Ellington as an inspiring band teacher. He would give us the keys to his room at lunch to practice, and introduced to the Beatles and groups like Yes.

So let’s fast forward years later. Every day that passes, I realize how lucky I was to have these great teachers in my life, and that’s the word - luck. So this is why Rock Camp exists. We want every student to have an inspiring experience, make friends, feel what it’s like to master something and perform it…….and if the music speaks to them, they can make music a part of their life as they grow up. Having a great music education, should not be a luck thing. It should be available to everyone.

At Rock Camp and Dance Intensive in New Jersey and the Hamptons, we bring the best and the brightest musicians and dancers to inspire students, whether they are beginners or have significant experience. All in the spirit of what happened in Mr. Reed’s art room.

Rock Camp and Dance Intensive, a Summer Camp Experience Like No Other in the Hamptons and New Jersey

What makes Rock Camp the premier music camp in New Jersey? What makes a week of Rock Camp and Dance Intensive stand out as such a unique and amazing week of summer camp in the Hamptons?

A few things come to mind:

  1. Faculty.

    We seek the best teachers and performers from NYC and from conservatories/colleges from around the country. Essentially we look for teachers who are mastering their craft (pushing the envelope to further their artistic careers) and who also love teaching. Every teacher at RC and DI has these two qualities.

  2. Creating a Fun and Social Environment.

    OK, it’s summer! After spending a year in classrooms, we want our students making friends, spending time outside, and having a great time making music and working on dance. Whether a student is a beginner or an advanced student, we make sure everyone is inspired to achieve an entirely new level in the music and dance abilities, while also having a great time along the way!

  3. It’s all About the Student.

    Every student is unique in his or her talent, and learns differently. This is why every day after camp lets out, we have a faculty meeting and speak about every student, making certain the student is getting what or she needs. Why don’t we have these students create a trio during lunch, and perform at the end of the end of the week? Does this student need extra attention in this area? How about choreographing a new piece this dance faculty member and these students? How can this student be inspired to achieve the next level in terms of repertoire, technique, artistic expression, and confidence? We are asking these type of questions and discussing solutions every day. We stay nimble during the day to make these mini-changes so every student is having an amazing experience at Rock Camp and Dance Intensive.

Upcoming Performance for Rock Camp and Dance Intensive Director, Stephen Hudson

Stephen will be joining David Freeman, drummer/composer/rock camp NYC faculty member, for a concert in Brooklyn on May 24th.  David will be releasing an album in the coming weeks called the "Overview Effect," featuring David (drums), Stephen (keyboards), Mustafa Bhagat (sitar), Jamie Reynolds (bass).  Bric Arts Media, 647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.  Seating is limited, RSVP suggested. Click here for details.

Barry Kerollis Joining Dance Intensive for an Afternoon Workshop

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Barry Kerollis will be joining our faculty at Dance Intensive in Bridgehampton, giving an afternoon workshop on Tuesday, July 17th.  Kerollis is an award-winning choreographer and renowned instructor, bringing a diverse background to share with students and professionals across the New York dance scene. His works have been performed from New York City to Los Angeles, and his career credits include working as Artistic Director of Alaska Dance Theatre, dancing with Pacific Northwest Ballet, and recognition as "an innovator using unique media to connect with audiences" by Dance Magazine.  Youtube.com