With the success of interactive video games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that kids around the country and coming together to play, compete, improve their skills and even form whole bands.

But an entire camp session devoted to teaching kids how to form digital bands and use their interactive games and teaching them skills for their video-game experience? Crazy. Well, maybe not so much.

Power Chord Academy is a young musician’s camp based out of Los Angeles that specializes in teaching teens the keys to a successful band, performance, music video, and more. Programs range from about $300 to over $1000, and last anywhere from one to seven days.

Power Chord Academy admissions director Dave Wood said the camp gets all sorts of teen musicians coming from all different musical backgrounds, each with different levels of experience. “The one common thread is that they’re all committed to learning, and to collaborating with other musicians.”

While the program is based in Los Angeles, there are programs all over the country, including one just outside of Boston at Stonehill College, said Wood. With the popularity of young musician bands, like the Jonas Brothers in Camp Rock, the interest in attending rock camps has grown.

“[It] is an excellent spot.‚  The facilities there are perfect for us, and it is a beautiful, peaceful environment – extremely conducive to inspiring great music!”

The program started about 10 years ago, Wood said, out of “the product of the need for solid modern music instruction for teens.”

However, this year the camp has added four new programs in addition to the original seven-day program. Each of the programs minus the one-day program includes play in a band, play concerts, and a mystery performance from a signed touring band/artist. Past mystery guests have included Rise Against, Yellowcard, Andrew W.K., Devo, All-American Rejects and more.

The one and three-day programs influenced by music-gaming programs have students playing songs on either Guitar Hero or Rock Band, recording sessions and Battle of the Bands.

But in seeing that the economic climate has affected application rates, Wood explained the camp’s introducti of ‚ one-day and three-day programs, “to make the programs accessible for many more musicians,” he said.

“Never before has a program been offered so critically vital to the inherent success of developing musicians,” said Woods.

So if you’re looking for a cool new place to send your sibling, cousin or child this summer, start cheking Power Chord Academy.

About The Author

Christine Cassis is a student at Boston University studying journalism and American studies. Her work has appeared in the Daily Free Press and the Patriot Ledger newspapers as well as the New York Times college section. She is also the editor of The Daily Free Press' arts and entertainment section, The MUSE.

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