I founded NYC’s largest rock-and-roll summer camp back in 2008, when my own kids were small. (They are now 15, 19 and 21.)
Since then, some of our students have signed with major labels, or have become professional musicians or music teachers. But most simply enjoyed playing in bands, writing and arranging songs, performing shows and making friends as they grew up. Either route is awesome. Ultimately, we aren’t trying to help kids be musical stars; we’re trying to help them be their own sort of star.
That’s why our school mission is “Coaching Personal Greatness One Lesson At A Time.” We remind ourselves over and over that we don’t teach guitar…we teach people!
Our students want to grow musically. But they also want to grow socially and creatively, and in confidence and resilience. That kind of growth comes through progressive exposure to achievable challenges, like those found in music and performance groups.
Advancing music skill takes practice. Memorizing parts or lyrics takes time. Learning to listen to other instruments demands focus. It’s risky to voice your opinion in a group with different musical backgrounds or tastes. It’s scary to take the stage and expose yourself. Our students do it all, earning the pride and confidence that come with doing something hard, and the connection and adaptability that come from working with others.
It’s fun, too! Our programs have spawned dozens of independent bands and many deep friendships between kids from different schools and communities.