This isn't your average, ordinary summer camp for kids.
Instead of making s'mores by the campfire, sleeping in tents and playing games, the students of this summer camp will be playing good old-fashioned rock 'n roll five hours a day for five straight days at Howe Sound Secondary School, where young musicians wanting to improve their skills and develop a deeper knowledge of music will be taught by three music-industry professionals.
The three musicians, all members of the band called The Invaders, will work on skill development using a practical, hands-on approach.
"It's not something offered anywhere else," said instructor Mike Kennedy, who also holds a degree in jazz music. "It's an alternative to band camps and band programs in school. We want to teach kids the fundamentals of music and we want to incorporate what they want to do with what we're teaching."
The idea behind rock camp is to involve young guitarists, drummers, and bassists in rock, funk, and blues music. With an emphasis on performance, kids will learn instrumental technique, music theory, music history, proper practice and rehearsal techniques, ensemble skills, and performance and band dynamics from professional musicians. They aim to make the camp practical and fun, and believe that a hands-on approach is the best way to develop skills in blues and groove-based music.
"We started this because we all learned rock 'n roll tunes growing up and we want to share this with kids," said Kennedy. "The kids love it and we have a concert at the end of the week for family and friends. The main thing we stress is to have fun with it. We make it so that they're enthusiastic about wanting to practice and wanting to play music."
Each camp day has been divided into key areas: instructor clinics, instrumental labs, group rehearsal, and performance. The roles of guitar, bass, and drums will be looked at from the perspective of playing, listening, and performing.
The Invaders are Mike Kennedy (bass and vocals), Kristian Braathen (drums), Tom Hancock (guitar). The conception behind the band stemmed from a strong link between the musical background of the three individuals, all growing up with blues, rock, funk, and jazz.
Kennedy has over 10 years of professional experience, including three years playing the Vancouver jazz festival, and over five years teaching and working with kids. With a diploma from Selkirk College in music performance, he is now completing a BA at Capilano College.
Braathen recently completed his degree in Jazz Studies at Capilano, while simultaneously touring Canada and the U.S. with The Russell Jackson Band. He has played professionally for over ten years, and taught for eight years.
Hancock, the British Invader, brings ten years playing and teaching music professionally, as well as a funny accent and incredible guitar shredding powers. He has a Jazz Studies diploma from Capilano College, and plays in many great bands in Vancouver. Together, The Invaders are leading week long day camps July 12-16 and 26-30 at Howe Sound Secondary. For more information call 604-216-0544.