You now have access to the exclusive Camp Electric magazine. Each year students receive this limited edition magazine and now you can download your own copy for free!
So you’ve just been to summer music camp where you learned a lot from experienced teachers, made a couple of breakthroughs with your instrument, and met some fellow musicians with whom you love playing. Whether you spent one, two, or six weeks at you music camp, you eventually have to come home. What’s the next step? This answer is easier for some rather than others. Before you get too bogged down with responsibilities, schoolwork, or relationships with friends and family, let’s look at a few ways in which you can take the next step in your musical journey.
Review What You’ve Learned
There’s nothing worse than spending hours cramming for a test only to go blank when you get to class the next day. Hopefully you’re the kind of student who understands the material and has excellent recall because your music camp won’t follow you home. We always suggest, and your music camp will likely do the same, that you take notes throughout the camp experience. In the classroom, during private lessons, or when practicing with a group, you’re going to want to remember all of the good information that is being exchanged. (If notebooks aren’t your thing, then maybe try the voice recorder on your phone.) After camp is over, put these notes in a place where you can find them without too much trouble. You might even want to leave the notebook out in the open for the first couple of weeks. This way you’ll consider popping the book open from time to time. When you get a free moment, or during a practice session, perhaps you can review a few of the things that you learned at music camp and incorporate that into whatever you are doing to keep your skills up to date.
Keep in Touch with New Friends
One of the best parts of attending a music camp is that you get to meet exciting new people who love music with the same level of passion as you. As you work together throughout the week(s), you learn to play together and communicate on a new level. Are you going to throw that all away now just because you’ve gone back home? We’re not saying you need to make a cross country trip to hang out and play with your fellow campers, but if someone happens to live in your same city that might work out. Closer to what we mean is for you to take advantage of the wifi-loving world we live in and connect with those friends using social media, Skype, or something similar. It’s amazing how much you can collaborate with someone without ever being in the same room. Even if you just want to send each other cat memes or inside jokes, it’s great to stay in touch.
Come Up With a Challenge
For many people, simply going to a music camp is a big step. Maybe a challenge for you was being brave enough to enter a classroom full of talented musicians or an instructor whom you admire. That’s a great step, but now that you’re home, it’s time to come up with a new challenge. Maybe that means you want to learn to play a new instrument, or perhaps it’s time for you to really get serious about your pursuits in music. A great challenge is being bold enough to play in front of a group for the first time. (For that one we suggest you start with a group of friends or family who can give you quality feedback in a kind manner.) We really want to make sure that you don’t waste the progress you made during camp by sitting around and getting lazy during the following months. Find something that excites you and will challenge you.
Enjoy Time Off From School
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This proverb has been around for centuries but it’s still just as useful today. For most who are just coming home from camp, there are still a few weeks left before school starts back up. Music camps are available for kids in elementary school and up, so the range of things you can do in the summer may depend on your age. It’s important to use this time to rest and refresh. While we want you to take advantage of your free time and work on your music, it’s hard to stay consistent in that area if you are burning the candle at both ends. Trust us, once your school days are over, you’re going to beg to have weeks on end where you lack responsibilities. Read a book, go to the park, or grab a meal with a friend. Your guitar or drums will be there when you get back.
Listen to New Musical Influences
As you enjoy your days of freedom, one way you can pass the time is to listen to some new music. If you mainly focus on classical music, check out jazz or rock’n’roll. If you mostly listen to pop and rock, find out what the blues have to offer. Just because you have a preference for one style of music, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from another form. Assuming you had some great teachers at your music camp, you may want to look up their favorites and influences as well. It’s great for a musician to understand the flow and structure of music across all genres. This will help you to better grasp what you’re learning and be more innovative in your songwriting.
Take What You’ve Learned at Music Camp and Share It
Part of the communal aspect of a hobby is sharing what you know with others. This idea can apply to anything from bird watching to pottery or even something like bowling. Music is wonderful as a solo project. It can be a fun challenge or a method for venting frustration. Going out on your own, though, robs you of the fun you experience when playing with others and trading information with one another. Don’t neglect the importance of gathering with other people who love what you love. Did you come back from your music camp with some valuable tools and ideas? Share those with your friends and maybe they’ll tell you about some things they figured out too.
So if you’re struggling with taking that next step after your music camp, look at some of the options on our list and see if something doesn’t just pop out at you. Perhaps not every little point connects with your unique situation, but there’s bound to be a good idea or two that will propel you forward in your musical journey.
At Camp Electric we want to help young people master their skills in guitar, drums, vocals, and more. We provide a great learning environment where professional musicians from some of today’s most popular Christian bands can come in and help students in a variety of age groups and skill levels. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking on the link below.