Emma Roberts of Sandy plays a riff.
Justin Bieber? Forget about it. The kids rocking out at MusicGarage.Org, established by Steve Auerbach in 2009, would rather play riffs from David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust or Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. “I had a 10-year-old who wanted to play Pearl Jam,” Auerbach says. “Some kids are music geeks—those are my kids.” Auerbach opened MusicGarage.Org, which is sponsored by the Utah Arts Alliance, after launching outposts of the national School of Rock here in Utah. The after-school band program runs year round, with kids meeting for three hours each week in the studio to jam with their bandmates as they build up to quarterly concerts, which have been played at the Gallivan Center, the Deer Valley Amphitheater and the Utah State Fair. But if your kid isn’t quite ready to commit to the longer sessions, summer camp at MusicGarage.Org delivers all the hard rock action—minus the groupies—in one jammin’ week. Coaches include Auerbach and an impressive line-up of jazz and rock pros, including Terence Hansen, who has been on the bill with the likes of Robert Palmer and Bon Jovi bassist Hugh McDonald. The 4,000-square-foot facility features a large rehearsal room and a few smaller practice rooms, along with a 18x15 foot stage equipped with professional quality lighting, sound, drums, amps and keyboards. By the end of the week, kids will have learned all the key dynamics of working with a band, from stagecraft and audiology to song analysis and rehearsal basic. And they’ll put on a concert at MusicGarage.Org headquarters, performing songs by Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Strokes, among others. That’s something to sing about.
Registration: Open now, ages 10-18
Dates: Weekly sessions, June 10–Aug. 12
Cost: $300 for Rock Band Camp
Location: Music Garage, 389 W. 1700 South, Ste. E, Salt Lake City
Contact: Steve Auerbach, 801-577-2263, musicgarage.org
Three more note-worthy camps
The Big Apple
Send them to NYC for the Julliard Broadway Showcase Camp to see Broadway shows, meet the pros and perform. Or save by sending your kid to the 4th of July Choir Camp, which is close to home and ends with a concert. NYC Camp: June 10–19, ages 9–25, $2,799; 4th of July Camp: July 1–4, ages 9–25, $299. Utah Conservatory, Park City, 435-649-6292, utahconservatory.com
At Music Discovery Camps, kids focus on rhythms, theory and music history, so they’ll not only play classical music, but appreciate it, too. June 17–July 19, ages 4–12, $100 per session (two possible sessions for each kid). Run by Gifted Music School Preparatory Division, Salt Lake Recital Hall, SLC, 801-948-0678, giftedmusicschool.org
Loud in Provo
BYU’s Young Musicians’ SummerFestival is one of the best camps for teen vocalists as well as classical, big band, jazz and blues musicians. June 16–22, ages 14–18,, $440 (tuition) $235 (housing), BYU Harris Fine Arts Center, Provo, 877-221-6716, ce.byu.edu/cw/yms