A new musical opportunity is setting up camp in Waterloo Region over March Break.
Bandology, based in Oakville, is a band camp experience and music advocacy group started by a group of parents who noticed kids involved in music typically performed really well in other areas of life including their academics.
Now, the organization is expanding and starting a March Break camp in Waterloo Region in partnership with the Beckett School at Wilfrid Laurier University.
“I’m a Laurier alumni, and I also went to Beckett when I was a kid, when it was in a different location. And it’s really exciting for me personally,” said Sandy Wright, the education manager and head of programs for Bandology. “It’s really cool that I get to sort of go back and do the thing that I wish that I had had an opportunity to have as a kid and provide it for the same kind of community that I came from.”
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“I know that from growing up here, and being in the music industry here (Waterloo Region), the stuff that we provide in Oakville isn’t something that we have a ton of in this area in this particular stream. So I’ve been wanting to bring the stuff that we’re able to provide to the community that I care most about and grew up with,” he said.
Last summer, Lydia and Nathan Sweet, both age 10, went to Bandology’s Junior Band summer camp for the first time.
Brian Sweet, their dad, heard about Bandology from Lydia’s piano teacher. “I grew up with a lot of music enrichment and it was great to see a program like this for kids. They love music and the camp setting was perfect for them to experiment with new things,” he said.
What was the best part of the Bandology camp? “Playing the bucket drums and making up my own song,” said Lydia. Nathan liked the body percussion and singing, and listening to older kids at the camp play.
Nathan’s favourite moment? “I learned how to snap [my fingers] there!”
Both kids have future music-related goals. Lydia says she wants to be able to play the piano really well like her dad.
“I want to play all the instruments,” said Nathan. Specifically, the trumpet and the accordion.
The camp is for kids ages 7 to 10, and costs $295 per child for the week. The camp takes place at the Beckett School in Waterloo. Campers will need to bring a packed lunch and indoor shoes.
It’s designed to be accessible to any kid, with any level of experience, even no experience. At the camp, kids will focus on percussion and vocals. They will take a trip to Laurier to experience a class and take in a concert. They’ll be trying new instruments and doing crafts.
“We work really hard to make it really fun and really engaging and interesting to the kids so they feel like they really accomplished something. And they come out of that week feeling proud of themselves and also feeling excited about the things they got to do,” said Wright.
By the end of the week, the kids will gain enough experience to put on a mini concert for the parents.
“Music makes a huge difference in kids’ lives. It makes them better leaders, it improves their academics, it improves their development skills, and helps their mental health. And it’s a wonderful thing to have in your life, regardless of all those things, and a very enriching experience. And so it’s really valuable to get started doing that stuff when we’re young,” said Wright.
Both Nathan and Lydia recommend Bandology camps.
“It’s fun, everyone is nice so don’t be scared,” said Lydia.
“If you like music, fun and games, you’ll like it,” said Nathan.
For more information visit bandology.ca.