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Jazz, Pop, and Rock Band Camp:

Weekly Sessions:





SUMMER BREAK-- 2 sessions 


Our most popular camp at the studio! All ages, instruments, and skill levels welcome. Come join our band as we learn easy songs all week and jam together. Option to learn audio engineering and recording in our recording studio on site. Come collaborate with us, and maybe even try out a different instrument for a song or two. We also need singers!













Jazz Camp (Ages 8 & up) 

Jazz Camp Jr. (All ages)  

I got the idea to do a Jazz piano camp on a visit home in New Orleans.  I was walking through Louis Armstrong Park and I stopped and stood at Congo Square.  This Square is the historic site where slaves used to meet on Sundays to beat African drums and dance.  Eventually these musicians mixed their rhythms with elements of European music, and Congo Square became the birthplace of Jazz.  All of Louis Armstrong Park was erected around it in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans, the most musical neighborhood in the world.  Famous musicians of all genres throughout the years were born and raised there, from Louis Armstrong himself to some of today's hip-hop artists.  


As I stood in Congo Square, I was reminiscing about the time I spent living and performing in New Orleans before the hurricane, and about the musician friends I still have there who are doing wonderful things for the city's reputation. I go back four times a year to visit my family and friends, but also to participate in the music scene. As you know, one of those annual visits is always to perform at Jazz Fest, and the rest are either planned around other performances, or else I just go when it's been too long since I've seen my family, and on those visits I make time to be a spectator to some incredible music—it's all around!  


This last time I visited, I met with an old friend, a really talented boogie-woogie and R&B piano player who also teaches some, although he mostly makes his living performing full-time; and the flow of ideas was so inspiring! I had music on my brain the whole time, and came back to the West Coast feeling so very nostalgic, and mad at myself for not including more of my roots in my own curriculum with my group of talented students.  I realized it's so easy to get caught up in the week-to-week routine, following the classical method and the books we use, preparing for the recitals and the certifications, etc.  There just isn't enough time to lay the foundation for a non-classical approach when we've done so much by the book already—it really feels so all-or-nothing in the mad rush, like we only have time for one or the other.


But my students seem to have a good ear, and even good taste in music (a lot of that hopefully comes from their parents), and I would love the chance to work with them more, to give them some basic rag, jazz, boogie, and blues training, and get them together in a group to do some improvisation, some duets, and some composition, as well as a healthy dose of modern music appreciation!  I remember being a piano student in New Orleans, and I remember the moment that I finally felt like a pianist rather than a student: I was learning a new song for a performance (I think it was a wedding), and as I was sitting there experimenting with it, and drilling a difficult passage for smoothness, I realized I thought of it as playing the piano instead of practicing the piano.  I want my students to have that moment sooner rather than later!  For me, it never would have happened anywhere but in New Orleans, with the musicians'  joie de vivre all around me. And the musicians were brave; they experimented! But they were also good.  Music is everywhere there, and we learn it in the schools a lot more. People value that good music, and the innovation; if the musicians were talented, creative and bold, then you had as much fun listening to them play as they had playing.  And if the people weren't having fun, even in their lovely cathedral weddings, they weren't happy. I was lucky to grow up in that environment, but I think that love of music is universal, and natural in all children, and I want more of that here.


The rest of my motivation came from a few of my students themselves--some of my more experienced players who are so talented and motivated that they devour their regular material and want more, and they want to sample everything. They have loved the jazz and blues pieces that I had given them, and the performance tricks and tweaks I had shown them about the differences from classical music, and what you can “get away with” in each genre. Rounding out their curriculum has kept them interested, and motivated them more and more, and doing so took those students from good to great. I want everyone to have the opportunity to feel that inspiration, and the summer is the perfect time to focus on this "friendlier" side of piano. And one more important thing it will do is give your child the opportunity to work with other teachers, whose strengths are different from mine. And we've got a lot of talent at this studio to share.

Photo by Chris Tillman Photography

Photo by Chris Tillman Photography

Photo by Chris Tillman Photography

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