I’m with the band

Music camps foster teamwork in youth

Andrea Neville | Boulder Weekly

What if you could send your child to a music camp and have them come back with a more helpful attitude? Countless studies have been done on the benefits of musical teachings for children, but one of the most important advantages is the improvement in teamwork skills. When children are a part of a band, they try harder to succeed so they don’t let the group down. Plus, every child gets to feel included. Luckily, Boulder County offers amazing music camps for local youngsters.

At Rocky Ridge Music Center, students and instructors all live together in a community. Students have to work together to keep the camp clean and organized.

“Everybody volunteers at the camp, even the instructors,” says Karen Dusek, operations manager for Rocky Ridge.

Recently, Dusek says, a former student’s father came up and praised the camp for helping his daughter become more responsible and helpful.

At the Boulder School of Rock Performance Camp, students work together to create a song, band logo and t-shirt in a variety of different camp themes, from general “boot camps” to specialized camps, such as Beatles Boot Camp.

“We view every camp as an opportunity for students to develop teamwork and cooperation skills,” says Chris Shepherd, head music director for the Boulder School of Rock. “The whole week is designed for everyone to work together. It is truly inspiring to see how much is achieved in one week’s time.”

Mojo’s Music Rock n’ Roll Camp allows students to perform at real music festivals such as the Rhythm on the River festival. They receive specialized instruction, learning their part of the song privately, then the band comes together as a team. Students learn the history of various music genres and then perform songs from different eras. This year’s theme at Mojo’s is “Rock of Ages.”

“The kids have to use teamwork and consideration when choosing the songs they want to play,” says Jessica Rogalski, co-owner of Mojo’s Music Rock n’ Roll Camp. “They also need to work together to write a song, choose a band name and decide the song list for the show.”

While most camps end with a performance, the “Rock Camp” at Guitars Etc. finale is a concert performed with all the works: fog machines, professional lighting and spotlights.

“Before their rock concert they have a photo shoot, and an autograph signing session after the concert,” says Todd Skaw, owner of Guitars Etc.

Teamwork is a big part of the camp experience. Students work together to create new songs and perform music as a band. The group dynamic offered by these camps allows kids to see that teamwork is essential for everyone’s success.

“They’re not playing as individuals anymore, they are playing as a band,” Skaw says.

“They have to work together to get music as the final product.”