The photo you see is my backyard. My husband, Kent, and I bought this house when our daughter, Nikki, was 3 1/2 because of the views and the dead end street. I wanted a home where she could just stare out the window and let her imagination run free. This is CampZuke.
Growing up, my mom used to tell me stories about Isadora Duncan, the "Mother of Modern Dance." Isadora was very organic with her teaching methods and encouraged creativity to flow out of her students. She started teaching out of her home when she was quite young and later her students were referred to as Isadorables. I can't claim to be the visionary Isadora was by a long shot, but I try to follow my own instincts when working with my students. They are bursting with creative energy that is begging to be released. They just need encouragement and guidance and courage to let go. I say to them "don't be afraid to go over the cliff...I won't let you crash and will do what I can to keep you flying." Watching their growth and progress is what drives my own creativity.
My friend, Amanda Homi, was the first one to coin the phrase CampZuke when she would come and visit and attend recitals I hosted for my students. When the weather is nice, I invite my kids (all of my students are my kids!) to come and perform in the backyard and parents and friends can hang out and listen to great music. There's no need to be all formal and rent out a location to present the students in my opinion. Kids need to be kids and play and have fun! It's really no different than sports. You can play ball in the backyard, or you can play instruments and sing.
Of course there are other interpretations of CampZuke. My dear friend and associate, Craig Deuchar, whom I affectionately call "my gay son" wanted to know if I called it CampZuke as in Camp David or because I, Zuke, am the campy one. He suspected it was the latter, and I won't argue with him on that! Craig can make me laugh harder than anyone else and laughter is so important to keep us healthy and alive. So, for Craig, CampZuke is all about humor and having fun.
This is Craig in the photo. Seriously, who is the campy one here??!!
I decided recently to have some informal chat sessions here with music pros where my students can engage freely in conversation. The CampZuke Chat Sessions are run on Google+ Hang Outs and then edited and posted on YouTube. Check out the first CampZuke Chat Session with E. Michael Harrington!
What does CampZuke mean to you? Please share your thoughts and comments!