that’s a wrap!

Now that I have basically gone the entire summer without writing, I guess it is time to explain what I have been up to in the City of Angels for the past few months (besides enjoying the beach and the glorious weather).

GRAMMY Camp. No, not a camp for grandmas.  GRAMMY – as in the GRAMMY Awards. As in music’s most recognized brand, the highest honor in music…those kind of GRAMMYs.

GRAMMY Camp is a music boot camp for extremely talented high school students.  Think of a much more realistic version of Disney’s  “Camp Rock”…. but multiply the quality by like … a million!   This is a music INDUSTRY camp that covers all facets including: Music Journalism, Concert Production, Audio Engineering, Instrumentation, Songwriting, Vocal Performance, and Electronic Music Production.  This is an opportunity to learn from the best of the best in the industry through nightly panel discussions, and daily instruction from professionals who have gone against the grain and made a successful career in the music world.

Students must audition to get in and for the first time this year, they had the opportunity to get into three different camps as we took over Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Below is a re-cap of Nashville’s camp. This awesome video was put together by my co-worker, but first and foremost my friend, Tiffany Lo.

As our director, David Sears, likes to say… “This is not fantasy camp.”  The days are long and grinding.  Hours are packed full of instruction, practicing, writing, singing, composing, collaborating, and performing. All of the hours of work culminate in an end of camp performance and recorded album, both of which are solely produced by the campers.  This is an incredible feat for some teenagers that met just 7-10 days earlier.  Listen to this song that came out of GRAMMY Camp Nashville this year:

These students are no joke.  They are some of the most hard-working, driven, creative, and goal-oriented people I have ever been around.  This is my third year working with the camp, and while every year is a completely different and unique experience, I am continually amazed and inspired by the students. Not only by  their talents, but by their passion for music, and the way they see the fire in others. Each student walks an entirely different life from the camper sitting next to them, however these strangers become family in a matter of days. And the GRAMMY Family is a great one to be a part of!

At a time when music education is fading away from the public school system, this program is more important than ever.  Some high school students don’t even have a class at school to meet peers who have the same love for music as them. Music speaks its own language, and to discover that there are kindred spirits searching for that same camaraderie, can be a life-changing experience.  Bonds are formed as they search out ways to navigate this ever-changing world.

This is the future of the music industry.

Are you listening?

Want to be a part of the movement? The GRAMMY Foundation is working to combat the disappearance of music education.  Please check them out to see what you can do to get involved.

Would you, or someone you know be perfect for GRAMMY Camp?! Visit GRAMMYintheschools.com to find out what programs the GRAMMY Foundation offers and how to apply. There is a Jazz Session in February, and the deadline to apply is October 22!

For now I will deal with my GRAMMY cRamps as we like to call them.  They are a result of extreme separation anxiety that comes with being away from the exhausting, exhilarating experience of GRAMMY Camp.

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