What is Girls Rock! Canberra?
Girls Rock! Canberra is an arts organisation that aims to increase the participation of young people of marginalised gender identities in the music industry, and foster the next generation of musicians and music industry workers through a mentorship program. Our Rock Camp! program aims to provide a safe environment for young people to express their creativity, take pride in their accomplishments and learn not to apologise for making some noise!
Over 5 days of ‘camp’, the participants (‘campers’) form their own band, learn an instrument, watch live music performances, attend creative and capacity-building workshops and write an original song to be performed at the end of the week.
Girls Rock! Canberra takes safety seriously, and we have made changes to ensure that we run a COVIDsafe program. If you have any questions about this, please get in touch via e-mail.
What happens at GR!C’s Rock Camp program?
Rock Camp involves instrument instruction, band formation, collaborative songwriting, and participation in various workshops such as music history, zine-making, screen-printing and more. Each program culminates in a live showcase performance, attended by friends and family.
Every day, campers go to instrument classes (guitar, bass, drums, vocals, or electronic music) and workshops. At lunchtime, there are performances by visiting bands and artists. On the first day, campers form bands, and the bands have practice time every afternoon. During band practice, the band members work together to write a song and practice playing together. At the end of the week, the bands perform at the showcase.
Each band is paired with two mentors (band manager and band coach) who model respectful, positive behaviour, strong self-confidence and promote healthy band dynamics. Through music lessons, workshops and live performances, Rock Camp shows young people of marginalised gender identities that their voices and actions are valued and not only can, but should, be heard. By pairing campers with mentors who are able to relate to the challenges facing people of marginalised genders in the music industry and engaging them in active, creative roles, Rock Camp encourages young people to speak up, express themselves and make some noise!
We are about breaking down stereotypes, providing a safe space for people of all backgrounds and creating positive social change in our community. We promote respect and do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or other discriminatory behaviour or expression.
Do you teach anything besides rock music?
Absolutely! The young people who come to our camp are encouraged to explore all genres and types of music that interest them, from country to rap to heavy metal and more. We are all about teaching young people of marginalised gender identities to creatively express themselves through music, and they are certainly not confined to only performing one style.
What is the age range for Rock Camp?
GR!C’s camp is open to young people of marginalised gender identities aged 10-17 years old.
What are marginalised gender identities?
Girls Rock! Canberra aims to increase the participation of young people of marginalised gender identities in music. Marginalised gender identities include women (cis and trans), gender diverse folk, and trans men. We recognise that gender is self-identified, and that there is a variety of language people may use to best express their experience of gender.
I don’t have any musical experience – can I attend?
Yes! No musical experience is necessary and we provide instruments for all campers. All you need is a desire to rock out!
What instruments do you teach?
Campers will have the choice of learning electric guitar, drums, vocals, bass or electronic music. We have instructors for all these instruments. Additionally, the campers will form their own bands and learn to write their own songs. They will perform these songs at a showcase scheduled at the end of their camp session.
There’s more than one instrument I’m interested in. I can’t decide which to pick!
We ask you to focus on one instrument for instruction for the week, but you don’t have to play that instrument in your band – you can study drums in your classes and play guitar in your band (if your bandmates are cool with that). Also, remember that camp is only one week long – you can start a band with other campers after camp, or with your friends from school, and play a completely different instrument.
Do I have to attend the entire week?
Yes. We ask all participants to commit to attending the entire week, as your band mates will be relying on you to perform with them at the Saturday showcase.
I don’t live in Canberra, can I attend?
Yes! We have had participants from all over Australia attend. However, this year, due to COVID-19 and changing border restrictions we will prioritise giving places to people from the ACT and surrounding regions (ie. Braidwood, Yass, Goulburn). Please be aware that we do not provide accommodation, so you will need to organise accommodation and travel yourself.
PARENT & GUARDIAN FAQ
My nine year old is interested in attending – can they be a part of the program?
Sorry, the program cut-off is strictly 10 years – they should apply next time!
My ten year old is interested in attending, but are they too young?
We welcome ten year olds – but please be aware that camp is self-directed. If you have any specific concerns about your child’s needs then please contact us about your application.
How much does the camp cost?
The 2021 session of our camp is $400. This includes daily morning tea, as well as all instrument use and workshop materials.
What if someone really wants to attend and can’t afford it?
They should still apply! Partial and full scholarships are offered on a needs basis, so please indicate this on your application and we will do our best to help. We encourage everyone who can afford tuition to pay it in full, as this assists us to be inclusive to those who cannot pay for the program.
My child would like to attend the program with their friend(s). Can they be in a band together?
A big part of the camp experience is learning to make new friends and collaborate with people whose perspectives and experiences may be different from your own. For many campers, this is a rare chance to socialise outside of their normal friendship groups. We believe that working in bands with new friends fosters important social skills and learning opportunities for our campers. Additionally, we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment to all our campers and strongly encourage them to engage with each other as much as possible.
Is this a sleep-over camp?
No, this is a day camp – 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, with a showcase on Saturday afternoon.
Who are your mentors?
Our mentors come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and are carefully selected based on their experience, skills and enthusiasm for our wider aims. Our mentors are musicians, music industry professionals, teachers, community arts workers etc. They are all passionate about encouraging young people of marginalised gender identities to participate, get creative and be themselves.
I am interested in becoming a mentor for Girls Rock! Canberra – how can I get involved?Applications for mentors are now open – you can find out more here. For future opportunities, sign up to our newsletter to be alerted of chances to get involved.