ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Dozens of kids in Royal Oak are enjoying an alternative summer camp experience, free of bugs and camp fires.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne stopped by the Detroit School of Rock and Pop where students learn how to be part of a band.

The school’s owner Jason Gittinger said, for these kids, it’s all about the love of music.

Gittinger said he asks each student the same question: “Do you wanna have fun or do you wanna be famous? Because I can’t make the famous part happen.

Jason Gittinger and family. (credit: Cybelle Codish)

Jason Gittinger and family. (credit: Cybelle Codish)

“So, some wanna be Lady Gaga, some what to be an accountant, but we focus everybody on the same details no matter one or the other,” he said.

Gittinger said that means teaching individual musicians how to perform as a group.

“The toughest part about playing music for a lifetime is doing it well with other people; and that’s an art in and of itself,” he said. “And I figured out how to do it for myself, and I realized that I could help other people get to that space, too.”

He said it’s all about the kids’ desire. “If mom and dad are making them be here, it doesn’t work so well. But, if they wanna be here, this place is awesome.”

The campers, ages 12 to 18, learn music theory, how to produce a music video, and even go on tour.

Campers 14-year-old Megan Lareau and Chandler Yarnall said they picked up some life skills along the way.

Said Lareau, “I gained a lot of confidence last year, and it’s just fantastic.”

“It’s a cool way to experience, like,  how you can interact with people you don’t really know that well, and then how you can get to know them,” added Yarnall.

Cost for the three-week camp is about $1,500. Learn more HERE.


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