What is Girls Rock! Canberra? Girls Rock! Canberra is a week-long music and mentorship program. We aim to empower girls, trans and non-binary youth ages 10-17 years, encouraging creativity, self-expression and teamwork through music.
Over 5 days of ‘camp’, the participants 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.
What happens at GR!C’s girls rock camp program?
The Girls Rock! program involves instrument instruction, band formation, collaborative songwriting, and participation in various workshops such as music history, self-defence, zine-making, screenprinting 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, keyboards, 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 at GR!C is paired with at least two mentors who will model respectful, positive behaviour, strong self-confidence and promote healthy band dynamics. Through music lessons, workshops and live performances, GR!C shows girls and gender non-conforming young people 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 women and gender non-conforming people in the music industry and engaging them in active, creative roles, GR!C 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. Girls Rock! Canberra values diversity of age, race, economic status, gender expression, size, physical ability, developmental ability, musical interests, learning styles, nationality, religion, thought, citizenship status, and sexual orientation. 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 Girls Rock! 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 girls to creatively express themselves with music, and they are certainly not confined to only performing one style.
What is the age range for Girls Rock! Canberra?
GR!C’s camp is open to girls, trans (regardless of identity) and non-binary youth aged 10-17 years old.
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 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. Please be aware that we do not provide accommodation, so you will need to organise accommodation and travel yourself.
There are also girls rock camps in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth so we encourage you get in touch with them if that’s closer to home!
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?
GR!C is $500 for the week. This includes daily morning and afternoon tea, as well as all workshop materials.
What if someone really wants to attend and can’t afford it?
They should still apply! Partial and full scholarships will be offered on a need 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 5pm, 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 girls and gender diverse youth to participate, get creative and be themselves.
I am interested in becoming a mentor for Girls Rock! Canberra – how can I get involved?
We will have future opportunities, so best to sign up to our newsletter to be alerted of chances to get involved in the future.
Why should my child make an Express Yourself piece?
We ask that all prospective campers take some time to communicate why they want to be a part of Girls Rock! by creating an ‘Express Yourself’ piece. It helps us get to know your child, and they will be shared with their assigned band mentors (band manager and band coach), so they can get to know the camper before.