Diary Of A Girls Rock Camp Counselor

Ed. Note: Houston musician and now Art Attack blogger Meghan Hendley spent this past week as a counselor at the first-ever Girls Rock Camp Houston. Here's how it went.

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Girls Rock Camp Houston started as a conversation after Anna Garza viewed the indie documentary Girls Rock a few years ago. Inspired by her own musical background and the desire to share the love of music with youth, Anna collected a group of joyful female musicians and music lovers to help her cultivate a week-long camp emulating the one in the film.

At the Moore School of Music on the University of Houston campus, Girls Rock Camp came to fruition this past week. When I arrived on the first day of camp, the halls where I formerly studied music were now filled with giggles, screaming guitars and punk drumbeats. Shirts with pink skulls, hippie scarves and sparkly Converse flashed through the halls. A collection of enthusiastic and talented women were already singing and dancing together during the orientation hour.

My role this week was "Band Coach," a creative aid and conductor of young musical dreams. Adriana Perez and Katie Mitchell both aided me in rehearsal, steering creative ideas, madly scribbling surprisingly profound lyrics, and providing claps and voices turning our roles into human metronomes keeping the beat.

"There wasn't a program like this when I was a kid, and I think that it's really great that we can instill the message of girl power and self empowerment." Adriana told me.

On the first day, as we began to cultivate ideas for our song, the girls in our band immediately expressed interest in composing a song that would soar with ideas of hope, joy, and girl power.

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Photos by Natalie Hebert/ See here for more
Wishful Moon's publicity photo
We spoke about how songs can convey emotions and colors. During this brainstorming session, Maggie the vocalist and Katelyn, one of two keyboard players in the band, talked about how they were nervous yet excited, scared yet joyful to be at the camp. Inspired by one my former band names, the girls abandoned the idea of having an animal band name for something more sophisticated and inspired by nature.

Harper, our pint-sized drummer, shouted out "Sky!" Isabella, our bass player (whose favorite new riff is from Deep Purple) exclaimed "Moon!" Our keyboardist Tayva then proudly proclaimed "Wishful Moon." The band erupted in cheerful approval. We had our name.

Inspired by a spooky Twilight Zone-style keyboard patch, the girls decided to open the song with a David Bowie/Indian Jewelry-type texture describing the fear of the darkness at night:

Dark clouds at night No stars in sight No planes at flight. Gives me a fright!
As the drum patterns increased, so did optimism telling of the light that lie ahead:
See something in the sky, Stars are shining bright Kiss all my fears goodbye The morning's future in my mind
After a mean drum solo, the girls united their voices and the music shifted into a major key, proclaiming:
Wishful moon, Dreams come true. Wishful moon, Hope comes through

Pretty catchy, right? Also, did I mention that these girls are only eight and nine, and they've never written a song before?


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