Why have a rock camp for girls?
Girls rock camps have spread across the United States and flourished abroad as well over the past two decades. These camps have as one of their primary missions improving girls’ confidence and assertiveness, as well as their creativity and collaboration with other girls, via musical engagement.
Girls rock camps aim to provide a safe place for girls to express themselves, to engage with musical instruments, to explore their creativity, to collaborate with each other, and to meet professional musicians, all while being supported by adult mentors in a fun and non-judgmental environment. Girl campers are encouraged to carry these practices confidently into other areas of their lives, and those who are interested in pursuing music education or a career in music get a glimpse of how their dreams can become a reality.
Erica Flores, Director of Girls Rock Camp in Austin, Texas, describes their mission as follows: “For us, the idea of Girls Rock Camp is less about the final product of the song and it’s more about mentorship,” Erica says. “It’s a self-efficacy, self-empowerment program. Music is our means of doing that, but it’s not our main goal.” She goes on to explain, “We want it to be a safe space. A lot of the kids are just looking for a place to be heard and validated . . . It’s more that they just need somebody to acknowledge that what they have to say is important and that their ideas are important.” To read more from Flores and to learn more about the benefits of girls’ rock camps, read the full article from Teen Vogue.
Since the 1970s, researchers have documented a significant loss in girls’ confidence with the onset of puberty in comparison to their male peers. Low self-esteem impacts girls in a variety of ways, including their happiness, assertiveness, creativity, and life ambitions. In one of the most significant studies, researchers working on behalf of the American Association of University Women noted the following in their “Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America” report:
As adolescent girls and boys age, their confidence in their abilities reflects a growing gender gap: The 10 percentage point difference between elementary school girls and boys becomes a 19-point difference between high school girls and boys.
As the gender gap in confidence grows between elementary school and high school, only 29 percent of high school girls describe as always true the statement “I’m happy the way I am.”
Girls are much more likely than boys to say they are “not smart enough” or “not good enough” for their dream careers.
Other researchers have documented similar tendencies among adolescent girls, while also noting the particular challenges they face in being creative, being assertive, and dealing with societal expectations about female beauty. For example:
70% of girls with low body-esteem aren’t assertive in stating their opinion. (Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report)
Only 19% of girls ages 11-16 say that being creative makes them feel good, where as 29% say that looking attractive makes them feel that way. (Girlguiding “Girls’ Attitudes Survey”)
At Girls Rock Michiana, we are committed to ensuring that all girls feel confident and creative so that they can be happy and healthy as well as achieve their dreams.
What is The Music Village?
The Music Village is a music school and community musical arts center, celebrating music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse local and global communities in the heart of downtown South Bend, Indiana.
The Music Village is a place that provides intimate opportunities for hands-on learning in a relaxed and informal setting, both in its classrooms and in its performance halls. It is a place where residents and visitors can discover their own creativity and unite to share the diverse cultural heritage of the greater South Bend area via the musical arts. Together, we create a thriving, vibrant community of thoughtful individuals with a unifying, positive connection to music.
The location of The Music Village expresses our commitment to restoring downtown vitality and vibrancy with its stabilizing presence. We strive to demonstrate this by teaching and presenting music that reflects the rich and varied cultural traditions of the South Bend area’s diverse communities.
Resources and activities focus on improving and expanding musical arts opportunities for people of all ages, interests, abilities, and backgrounds. At The Music Village, we provide the tools for people to make their own music and use dance to engage with the same. This is a place where young and old, beginners and advanced players, and people from various cultures and traditions come together to create music, experience dance and learn from each other.