I am writing to thank you for the opportunity you provided my daughter, Lena Sutter, by including her in your Rock Camp this past June.
Lena has always been interested in music but unfortunately we live in a community that is unable to provide a rich arts and music environment through its public schools. On the other hand, we are fortunate to live in a community where the community itself steps up and fills gaps that the public sector cannot fill. In the Houghton area, we have a history of this type of community action. We are fortunate to have one of the oldest and most active Suzuki associations in the state and it is completely community based. My daughter was able to join Suzuki when she was in kindergarten and it helped provide a foundation in music that will be with her for life.
Now at age 14, she is understandably slightly less interested in Vivaldi and more so alternative rock. For her continued growth in music, she needs new mentors and opportunities to be challenged and learn. Your Rock Camp could not have come along at a better time in her life. Through the experience she had with you and the other professionals that so generously donated time, expertise, and equipment, her interest in music has been reinvigorated. She plays music every day and she has become keenly interested in recording. The recordings she has made using GarageBand are startling for their quality and so much of the techniques she is using she learned at Rock Camp. For Lena, music has always given her purpose and Rock Camp has strengthened that purpose.
Beyond music, there is so much more that Lena gained from Rock Camp, most notably confidence. For a teenager, even in a group, going in front of the “entire town” to perform a concert is a scary thought. But once the concert was completed, you could just see it in every member of the band. They just exuded that sense “I did it.” Pride and self-confidence was evident in the face of every child in the band, and pride was also evident on the face of every parent in the audience. The students can’t wait to do it again. Since Rock Camp Lena has had a couple other opportunities to perform and with each opportunity I see an incremental increase in self-esteem, her ability as a musician, and growth as a person with a life long desire to be involved with music. But it all really started this summer with your program. Another great thing your program did was bring together students that might otherwise not have met. Being a rural area, with small schools geographically separated, the students with similar interests in different schools probably would not have met. Now, connections have been made, friendships started, and I will guess a couple local rock bands will emerge. These are friendships for life that were fostered at Rock Camp.
So, again, thank you so much for your time, effort, and expense in creating the 2009 Rock Camp. It was a great success. I am anxious to assist in any way to build on that success and foster participation in music and arts in our community. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!
– Larry Sutter, Ph.D., Parent