For Those About To Rock: Band Camp!
It’s not “Whiplash,” and it’s not “School of Rock,” even though it’s an educational program for young musicians that emphasizes playing in a group, as a band.
The differences are 1) this is not a film, this is actually happening, in Cornwall, Conn.; and 2) the instructor of the program is not physically and emotionally abusive nor is he a lovable rascal who isn’t actually authorized to teach the students.
John Rubin is, in fact, quite the opposite of the so-called adults in those two feature films.
A professional drummer, he is also an experienced therapist/Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked with children for about two decades.
He is also an experienced music teacher and founder and owner with his wife, Mare Rubin, of Replay Music Studios in Manhattan.
Like so many, the Rubins and their three children moved full-time to the Northwest Corner last year during the pandemic — and like so many, they discovered that it’s pretty great up here, and they began to settle in.
Parents of teens who love music will be the beneficiaries of that this summer.
The Rubins are offering a Litchfield County version of their summer band camp, in two locations in the center of West Cornwall: the building known these days as The Union and the old Hughes Memorial Library on the shores of the Housatonic River.
The camp will run for one week, from July 19 to 23, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students will need to bring their own instruments and their own lunch.
There will be break time, especially for younger students who might like an opportunity mid session to run around, play some Whiffle ball, expend some energy.
Joining Rubin at the camp will be beloved area musician (guitar) and music teacher (Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Conn.) Ram Miles.
Ideally, the students will be broken up into two or more “bands,” with an appropriate number of different instruments in each band. Ideally, for example, there will not be seven drummers but no keyboard players.
Several students have already signed up; Rubin said that bass players are still needed; keyboard and guitar players are also always good to have. Drummers are not needed as much (Rubin himselfcan fill in on the drums if needed).
Students shouldn’t expect to get music lessons per se at the camp; the expectation is that each musician will have had at least a few months of training on their instrument. However, exceptions can be made; check with Rubin first.
The camp is for boys and girls ages 10 to 16. The cost for the week is $395 per student. The first few days will be somewhat organizational as the students get to know each other, and everyone figures out everyone’s skill levels and musical interests.
“Usually by Wednesday, everyone begins to gel,” Rubin said. On Friday, there will be a concert, probably on the lawn near the Hughes library.