Riot, girls! Rock camp offering discounts, instrument loans

A rock camper on stage at MHOW in 2008

It’s sad that I’m too old to have ever gone to Willie Mae Rock Camp, a weeklong program where girls kickstart a rad band and perform at a BK venue other bands toil for years to play, and too young to have an 8-year-old kid that might attend the camp in my stead. For your kids, however, there’s no reason to be stuck between a rock (and roll) and a financial hard place: this Clinton Hill-based non-profit is expanding — and offering instrument loans and a need-based sliding-scale tuition.

The Willie Mae Rock Camp folks now conduct an after-school music lesson program that’s truly affordable for Brokelynites. Starting THIS WEEK, the organization will provide mentorship and music education to your lil Carrie Brownstein, Kathleen Hanna, or maybe even a wee(er) Marissa Paternoster, with discounted tuition available as needed (regular tuition runs $500).

Girls will perform in two recitals throughout the 14-week course and have the chance to join a girl rock-band by the end. On top of the new tuition rates, free instrument loan is now offered, granting students the opportunity to practice at home in between lessons.
Classes are taught by all female teachers at the Co-op School in Clinton Hill and begin Monday, Jan. 31. For students ages 8-18, drum classes are Monday and Tuesday afternoons, electric guitar classes are Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and band practices are held Friday afternoons.
If you’re an adult aspiring to live the dream of Ali Koehler or JD Samson, the organization is also conducting a 3-day “grown up” version of their summer camp Feb. 19-21, aptly named, Ladies Rock Camp. Tuition for the Ladies Rock Camp can be pricier since there’s no financial aid — $425 or $375 for a group rate — but the  money goes to support the kids’ summer program.
Visit the site or call 347-599-0716 for more details and to sign up.


  1. Bernie D. Richardson

    Scholarships are still available to those in need and we are committed to providing need-based assistance to any child with a desire to attend Rock Camp.

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