This summer, we are taking some time to catch up with former students from the Rock On! band camp. “Rock On Workshop in the Berkshires is a summer rock music workshop for students and young adults. Our mission is to provide a platform for aspiring musicians to work with professionals in a supportive environment that promotes creativity, collaboration and performance.” We caught up with Yonaton Kaufman, a guitarist from the camp.
Yonaton is currently a junior at Umass Amherst and is studying mechanical engineering. This year he will be teaching DJ mixing during the second week of the Rock On camp!
Here are some of the questions that we asked Yonaton:
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are you up to?
This summer I’m working at Ramblewild, an aerial adventure park down in Lanesborough. In my free time I have been producing a lot of electronic music using Ableton Live and DJ-ing whenever the opportunity arises. Other than that I’ve just been hanging out, playing basketball with friends, or going on hikes!
What instrument(s) do you play?
I play the guitar but have picked up a little bit of keyboard as well.
What years did you attend Rock On?
I attended Rock On for three years as a student from 2010-2012. Another year after 2012, I became an intern helping out here and there.
What was your role(s) at Rock On?
My role at rock on was a guitar player. I also helped set up different practice rooms and helped mentor a band one year as well.
Are you currently in a band and/or working on any projects?
I currently have two projects. The first is a solo project called “Lowkey ish”. I recently just released my debut, self-titled EP on Bandcamp and Soundcloud with five original songs. Most of it is electronic, but I also incorporate a lot of live guitar and bass into every song as well. I perform as a DJ as well under that name. My other project is with my long time friend and music collaborator, Cam Burgess. Together we make the DJ duo Kosher Burgers. Our most notable gig was at this years sold out Umass Spring Concert.
What parts of camp did you enjoy the most?
My favorite part of camp was the workshops. Some of those workshops included songwriting and recording. It allowed me access to different aspects of music that I had never given any thought to.
Did you gain any new knowledge or skill?
I gained some valuable introductory information on recording from the Rock On recording workshop. It prepared my band and I to later know what to expect when we went into a real studio and recorded our first song.
What did you learn from your experience at Rock On?
Rock on taught me so many things beyond just playing guitar. I learned how to work with bandmates as a group and not as individuals, I learned how much work goes into setting up a concert, and so many other useful things that you would never think you would need to know about live music and performing.
What would advice would you give to any new students at Rock On?
My advice would be, stay open to all styles of music. It’s really the best way to become a good player because you learn so many techniques that you can apply anywhere. Also, learn from your peers! You are here to share knowledge and grow a community.
It was great catching up with Yonaton! Stay tuned to the Rock On workshop for more alumni profiles!