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Spacebomb Studio’s music camp offers kids in-studio experience

A person sits in a folding chair surrounded by musical instruments
Shaban Athuman
VPM News
Producer Cameron Ralston is photographed on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at Spacebomb Records in Richmond. Ralston said he's been thinking about opening a day camp for years. He used to give demonstrations to his kids' classes in school.

The local, weeklong day camps will teach 6- to 17-year-olds how to create, produce and record music.

With summer fast approaching, some families are thinking about where to send their kids to camp.

One choice could be Spacebomb Studio in Richmond’s Fan District. It’s the first time the local music-recording studio, which began in 2011, is offering a day camp for hopeful musicians.

“It's something I've been thinking about doing for years now,” said co-owner Cameron Ralston. “I've been teaching music privately for 20 years now, and it's something that I really like to do.”

Ralston said he used to give demonstrations to his kid’s school room classes.

“I love working with kids. I love working in a group setting,” Ralston said. “And I thought that Spacebomb offered a very unique opportunity and experience and perspective for kids of various ages to experience the creation of music from nothing to a finalized form. So, they have the feeling of coming in, there's nothing, and then somehow magically a seed of an idea appears. And then that blossoms out.”

Ralston, who’s worked with local artists like Natalie Prass and Angelica Garcia for the studio’s record label, said kids from 6–17 years old will create a band name and have access to dozens of the studio’s instruments — like synthesizers, drum machines and a lot of percussion instruments.

“We're going to create music, learn it, practice it. Throughout the week, it’s going to evolve,” said Ralston, who added that there’ll be time for games and discussions about music as well. “We're going to come home at the end of the week and have downloadable music that they can show to themselves, to their friends, to their parents.”

Besides learning the ins and outs of how a working studio functions, Ralston said campers will also have the chance to have their finished song inserted into a video or film.

“We have a big screen. So, we’ll be able to put the music to visual so the kids can kind of experience that,” said Ralston, who noted he’s still working on the logistics. “It would be really great for these for these kids to see their music applied to something like ‘Fantasia.’

The day camps, which cost $975 for five six-hour days, start in June and are broken down by age each week. At the end of camp, Ralston said the kids will be able to download their creation.

Ralston added there’s no previous musical experience required.

“It's going to be a very open, extremely judgment-free zone where the kids and myself are going to band together and make music and create something,” Ralston said.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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