Rock School

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ROCK SCHOOL SUMMER CAMPS

RS2014_logo_400x365When we learn to play an instrument we ultimately want to play in a band! Here are some of things we’ll cover in Rock School Camps this summer:

  • material selection (the difference between songs they want to play and the ones they can, sometimes requires a reality check)
  • intros
  • making a groove
  • endings – how to avoid the trainwreck
  • arrangements – some basic chart reading
  • dynamics
  • instrument sounds – amps, guitars, sticks,
  • singing and mic technique
  • non verbal communication
  • team building
  • We also work on the non technical part. I like to inspire the new kids to perform, to try not to do an impression of a statue. How to rock!
  • How to look cool in a photo session. Full Promo Pak included. Friday is photo day. We do some studio and location shots.

Rock School is a week long summer camp where we learn all the aspects of playing in a band. I take a group of players, either perfect strangers or friends–and the latter is a good place to start–we go through the song selection process, then get to work. We usually start with the rhythm section, and get the band playing the chords of the verse and chorus, then round the shape of the song. We get some instant gratification at this point–it’s fun. Then we get the singer to add their part. Once that’s all semi-groovy, we try it from the top. This is when we learn about intros and about non verbal communication. We sometimes get to the end but if we do, it’s a crash ending. Time to learn about endings.

Keenan McConkey

Keenan McConkey

Bands consist of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and singers. If you double on something else (violin, sax, accordion) that’s cool too.

The goal is 3 solid tunes. We choose the best ones for the concert in early November – this year it’s on the 3rd. See some footage from the last few years here.

Here are some shots from rehearsals in the weeks leading up to the final concert.

The goal for newbies is to learn the basic mechanics of playing in a band. For more experienced players, it’s the finer details of the art of ensemble playing. It’s supposed to be fun yet productive.

2013-11-10 Rock School-2352

The studio accommodates up to 6 players. We go hard for the 1st 90 mins, then take a break for lunch on the back deck. Then back to it for the rest of the day with maybe a 5 min break for air/water. We have a drum kit, PA system/mics, a bass guitar and some amps–guitar players and bass players are encouraged to bring their own amps. Bring a keyboard. Drummers can bring their special cymbals or kick pedal but it isn’t necessary.

Register:

Fill in the form – this will allow me to determine the instrument, age and experience so I can put kids together in similar age groups and skill level. A 17 year old speed metalhead and a 10 year old Green Day dude don’t want to be in the same band. If you’re signing up with a friend, let me know.

You’ll be in a band with 4 or 5 other people.

I try to accommodate everyone but I can’t always. It’s extremely difficult to match up ages, ability and holiday schedules. For this reason it helps if you’re signing up with a friend. I keep an online schedule so you can see how I’m managing the weeks.

Evaluations:

A few weeks before we start, we’ll arrange a time for you to come to my studio and show me where you’re at and we can discuss what you want to accomplish and how we can do that.

Rock School Camp:

11:00am to 3:00pm – bring a lunch. Sometimes there will be two bands in one day to accommodate everyone. In this case the morning starts at 9:30 until 12:30, then the afternoon session starts at 1:00. We’ll learn and practice 3 to 6 songs but we’ll likely do some jamming on other tunes and styles that you may or may not be familiar with. From time to time we’ll arrange to have a few local celeb/musicians drop in to provide some inspiration and sage wisdom. I also like to have drum teacher Rob Josephson drop in for rhythm check. Guaranteed fun!

This is a trailer for the upcoming Final Concert video.

Final Concert:

The performance is typically the first week-end in November. It’ll be November 10th in 2013 – 6:00pm. You’ll be required to sell between 6 and 10 tickets (depending on how many many bands enroll) to your friends and family. Last year there were close to 400 people at the concert.

We’ll record the experience on video and put it on YouTube for you to look back on when you’re a rock star.

Cost:

$240 for a 5 day, 3 hours/day camp.

Rock School Prep Week

Don’t know if you’re ready to rock? Not sure if you’re qualified?

It’s actually two weeks. I get many parents and kids contacting me about Rock School and I’m not certain of their ability because they either don’t take lessons from me or are on my wait-list. I’m encouraging any newbies to sign up for some power learning. I’ll evaluate and get you into shape by working on the songs we’re likely going to learn. I recommend 2 sessions per week. ($30 per)

Press

I’ve been very fortunate to get great support from both the Optimist and South Delta Leader. See this page. Delta Cable was present at our Final Concert in ’09 and Deneka Michauld did this nice little piece on us.

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