ROCK MUSIC PROGRAM
Our rock music program is stellar. We have great facilities, top-notch staff, and a non-competitive, individual-choice philosophy that meets every young musician at his or her own level. Our rock campers have space and time to refine their skills, explore new instruments and styles, and learn about new music from friends and share the music they love. Many of our campers write songs or song lyrics, and camper bands are constantly forming to arrange, refine, and record camper-written material.
Experienced guitarists, drummers, and bass players wanting to work with a staff-coached band towards a performance in a band night, and participate in daily rock workshops, will be most interested in our 2-week Rock Farm sessions. Campers work daily on several songs with their primary band, can form secondary bands with their friends, and learn a song in common with every other rock camper during their session. Band rehearsals start the second day of camp, and bands get really tight by the end of the two weeks. Daily workshops cover a wider range of topics, including improvisation, songwriting, rock history, technology, music theory, and more.
Campers in all sessions, and of all experience levels, can take lessons in our rock program, form rock bands with other campers, and perform in weekly camper cabarets and daily “5:00 specials.” Campers from all sessions are invited to be vocalists, keyboard players, and instrumentalists for our band night performances.
We’ve had decades to refine our rock curriculum, and we offer what many young rockers consider the perfect balance of freedom and structure in our two-week Rock Farm program.
After informal auditions shortly after campers arrive, staff-coached bands begin playing together on the first full day of camp. Band meetings are not just rehearsals: they are an opportunity to work on many aspects of rock musicianship: listening, collaboration, and improvisation; stage presence and performativity; arrangement, style, and dynamic range. Bands work on several songs suggested by the coaches and the campers themselves, including a song that every camper learns in common during the two weeks. Campers are usually involved in several bands, both staff-coached and camper-organized. Staff-coached bands perform in a spectacular band night at the end of each two-week session. Camper-organized bands perform in nighttime “Camper Cabarets,” and at the “5:00 Specials” which are impromptu performances held each day before dinner.
Rock Farm days begin with rock workshops covering a wide range of topics and always having a practical take-away that kids can begin to use in their songwriting and playing right away.
THE COMMON SONG
Every two weeks our staff choose a song for all campers to learn in common. Each band makes their own arrangement of the common song, which showcases the personality of each band, and highlights the many moods and textures that can be coaxed from a single tune. Jam sessions start more easily since there is always at least one song that every musician in a group knows in common. And many other activities branch out from the common song: massive rock orchestras playing together, mashups that combine elements of the common song and other songs, and others.
Campers receive lessons on their primary instrument, and can opt for lessons on other rock instruments as well. Through the instrumental and vocal music department, rock campers can also take voice, keyboard, woodwind, and brass lessons.
The rest of campers’ time is self-directed: they can dedicate their entire day to rock: forming more bands and projects, participating in impromptu jam sessions, practicing, recording, composing; whatever direction their creative vision takes them! They are also free to get involved with one or several other camp programs: theater, art, music, dance, and film are all available to every camper.