Terry Stapleton is a great ambassador for Camp Creative and the instrument he loves to teach - the ukulele.
This month he had a feature interview in Bellbottom magazine.
TERRY STAPLETON’s business card says it all. “Songs sung. Jokes told. People happied. Fun Ukulele workshops.”
His Ukulele Fun for Beginner’s workshop is one of over 80 courses offered at Camp Creative – Bellingen’s five-day summer school, retreat and creative community that springs up every January.
After eight years of offering his workshop, Terry says being part of Camp Creative is easily the highlight of his year.
“I love it. It’s the people you meet, the music, the singing. You just end up with a huge boost after the week.”
And what a week it is with courses on offer ranging from flash mob dancing, acting, and writing your life story, to beekeeping, photography and nature play for kids.
The mastery of a new creative skill that is possible with a five-day intensive course is hugely satisfying for participants, not least for Terry’s beginner ukulele students.
“When people start at 9 o’clock on a Monday morning they usually say they’ll never be able to play an instrument. And a lot say ‘look when I was 10 years old I was told I can’t sing.’”
“The first song they do is one chord, C chord, so one finger on one string, the song Row Row Your Boat. By fourteen seconds past 9am they are playing and singing their first song and they are just amazed.”
The group goes onto learn classics like You Are My Sunshine, and Don’t Worry be Happy and by the end of the week have absolutely proven, as the Village People say, you can’t stop the
music, nobody can stop the music.
“Those same people who believed they couldn’t make music are standing in front of an audience of 500 people singing and playing by Friday night.”
Terry says the camaraderie and community generated in just one week is a big part of the Camp Creative experience.
“The people doing my course always mix with the ones that have done the vocal harmonies workshop and they sing and play together at lunch time and after hours in the campground.”
“But it’s the people from all the different courses showing us what they’ve done. Your mind just opens up to creativity and possibility the whole week – it’s beautiful.”