Summer Camp Registration Is Open!

ROCK OUT this summer! Spend your summer in the spotlight at Rock to the Future

Applications are now open for 2018 summer camps.
GuitarStars (July 9-13) is open to students age 7-12 who want to play guitar, bass guitar, or piano.
Rock*a*Delphia (July 23-27) is open to teens age 13-17 who want to play guitar, bass guitar, piano, or drums.

Both camps are co-ed and with no experience necessary (beginner to advanced students are welcome!), and all instruments are provided. Camps take place from 9am-4pm at Rock to the Future’s Kensington location: 2139 E Cumberland St. Philadelphia, PA 19125. Late pickup and early drop off are available.



Rock to the Future summer camps use music to inspire kids and teens to find what they love and who they want to be. Students will form bands and spend a week playing and writing music, taking part in creative workshops, making new friends, singing in the choir, and meeting future mentors. Each day, students will enjoy performances from a variety of musicians. At the end of camp, students will perform live on stage for friends and family!

Rock to the Future believes that music education should be available for every student no matter their age, ability, or address. Full scholarships are provided for low-income Philadelphia youth, and the fee is only $250 for students who do not qualify for a scholarship – see details on our summer camp page.

Register for a Summer Camp!

Music education is a critical part of growing up, and our camps help students build skills to succeed on stage and off stage. Space is limited to 35 students on a first-come, first-served basis, so please apply today!

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The Wonder Years headline Peace & Noise 2018

Pop-punk legends and hometown heroes The Wonder Years headlined Boot & Saddle’s Peace & Noise 2018 concert on January 31st. All proceeds from ticket sales were donated to Rock to the Future, as were all sales of Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale drafts.

The Wonder Years | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Tickets sold out in under a minute, which ROCKS, and sales helped us reach a matching gift of $25,000 for our year end fundraiser. We love when musicians support music education! Read about more about the show on WXPN.

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2017 Winter Showcase

On Dec. 9th, RTTF’s talented student musicians braved Philly’s first snowstorm of the season to perform for their friends, families, and community at the 2017 Winter Showcase.

    Photographs by Abigail Townsend

    During the Winter Showcase, MusiCore students showed off their hard work learning original music, classic covers, and holiday favorites. Eight student bands performed this year – check out some highlights!

    Thanks for a wonderful year! See you in 2018.

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    Alexus Keeps On Shining

    You would never guess that when Alexus joined MusiCore five years ago, she was painfully shy. Now, you can find Alexus onstage with the RTTF House Band, singing center stage.

    Alexus was always interested in music. Hearing a variety of music as a child sparked a love of “all kinds of music” that Alexus still has today.

    Unfortunately, Alexus had a hard time developing that love – she didn’t have a music class in school. When her mom found Rock to the Future, she knew it would be a great fit and signed Alexus up for MusiCore. Now, Alexus looks forward to learning new songs after school. Her challenge piece for piano is Antidote by Faith Marie: “It’s a really nice song. It’s all piano, with complicated rhythms and time signature changes.”

    Alexus hasn’t just grown as a musician – the once-shy Alexus is now outgoing, confident, and irrepressible.

    “I’m most proud of how I’ve grown socially, and as a person… When I came to the program, I was very shy. I was very shy, and I was very quiet. I had a lot of trouble making friends, but being here helped me get over it. It helped me become more confident – I never would have performed on a stage! And I’ve made lots of friends.” Alexus

    Alexus wants to give other students the opportunities she had. The 12th grader is in the middle of college application season, and she’s applying to colleges that are known for their music education programs. “I know I love learning about music. I want to give music education to kids. I think it would help a lot of kids in the situation I was in – being shy and quiet, and not being able to open up. I think I would be a really good music teacher!”

    Alexus’s story is inspiring – she really is a RockStar! If you want to support students like Alexus, donate to RTTF and give the gift of music.

    Donate
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    Let’s Do This!

    On Giving Tuesday, people donate to the charities and nonprofits that are close to their hearts. This Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, our supporters went above and beyond for Rock to the Future! We’re already halfway to our year-end fundraising goal. We didn’t think we could get there so soon!

    With your help, we can reach our goal this year and give the gift of music to students in Philadelphia.

    This year, every donation will be matched up to $25,000 by a generous donor – that means your donation is doubled. Thank you for your support. You rock!

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    Ethan is a RockStar

    When Relapse Records approached RTTF about donating all proceeds from the 2017 Relapse Sampler, we were thrilled. And when they asked if the MusiCore students could learn a song from their roster of metal, punk, and industrial bands, Ethan immediately leapt to mind. Now, Ethan and the RTTF House Band are learning the song Bent Nail from the band Nothing.

    Ethan started at RTTF in 2011, when his only musical experience was playing The Beatles: Rock Band. But his mom suspected that “he had drums in his soul.” When she saw an ad for MusiCore, she knew it would be a great way to encourage Ethan’s creativity. Now, Ethan is an accomplished drummer and guitarist, and he has made lasting friendships with other students in the program. “Because of Rock to the Future, I know my son has a future filled with friends and music,” his mom said. “Rock to the Future has given Ethan tools to build a future.”

    Ethan has been in the RTTF House Band for the past five years. The House Band relies on teamwork, which Ethan says usually goes smoothly: “We work pretty well. There’s some days, but everything’s been going good so far.” Many of the students are multi-instrumentalists – Ethan places equal emphasis on  the drums and guitar. He says both instruments are actually similar, since “they’re both about speed and tempo.” Choosing what instrument each student will play on a song could be a source of conflict, but the students decide together by having a conversation, listening to each other, and working through any issues together. Since Ethan has been in the House Band the longest, he feels responsible for the group. He likes working with his bandmates on stage and off, since they all respect each other: “I know they like what I do.”

    Ethan isn’t just working with the House Band; he’s also working on his challenge piece for the Winter Showcase. He’s practicing Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade; “Me being me, I just looked them up. They’re catchy.” Along with his musical tastes, Ethan’s also pretty famous for his unique, hand-made jackets and vests. First, he looks for inspiration online, then he shops around for supplies. His motto? “Right vest, right patches, right bands.”

    Nothing and the RTTF House Band are still fine-tuning Bent Nail. They practiced together for the first time during the Teen Lounge Open House last Friday. Check them out!

    If you like their performance, why not download the Relapse Records 2017 Sampler? The sampler is a great overview of the bands on Relapse Records, and 100% of the proceeds from this year’s sampler will be donated to RTTF! Downloading the sampler is another great way to support young musicians like Ethan as they learn the value of dedication, trust, and hard work – on stage and in life!

    If you’d like to help us reach out year end fundraising goal, please donate through the link below. All donations made prior to 12/31 will be matched by a generous supporter!


    Donate
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    Give Shaun the Magic of Music

    Five days a week, a 9th-grader named Shaun travels an hour by bus from Germantown to meet his siblings Myriah and Jamaine at Rock to the Future (RTTF). This is Shaun’s second year attending the MusiCore after school program in North Philadelphia.

    Shaun comes to RTTF every day because he loves to play the drums. He starting playing drums when he was three: “Whatever I heard in my head, I started playing. I’d play on the table, on the floor.” Now, he looks forward to spending his afternoons “drumming and making friends.”

    Shaun struggles in school, but last year he improved his grades in all of his core classes. He has shown the RTTF staff how seriously he is trying to exceed the program’s academic expectations; now he’s focusing on his biology grades. He’s also working to meet his own musical goals. Shaun has set a personal goal of joining the RTTF student house band this year as a drummer. He recently mastered paradiddles, and he’s learning “Detroit” by Red Hot Chili Peppers to play in his upcoming recital.

    Every year, he looks forward to performing on stage: “They turn on all the concert lights on the stage. I liked how the lights were shining on me.”

    When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Shaun has lots of ideas; the possibilities now seem endless. As a RTTF student, Shaun is learning valuable skills that go beyond music, like teamwork, self-confidence, and how to set and achieve goals. With the life skills he’s learning at RTTF, Shaun will be ready for every stage.

    Thanks to our generous supporters, Rock to the Future is able to offer free programming and music education for hundreds of students like Shaun every year. By supporting RTTF, you help us:

    • Provide free music education programming for over 300 youth in 2017
    • Create an environment where kids of all ages and abilities feel confident, safe, and respected enough to share their voice
    • Provide pathways out of poverty using music. Since inception, 100% of our MusiCore after-school program graduates have gone on to college or trade school.

    At RTTF, we know that music can inspire and motivate kids and young adults to achieve. Your support of our year-end giving drive will help us to meet our $25,000 goal, which will be matched this year by a generous donor – that means that your donation is doubled!

    Will you give the magical gift of music this year to help kids like Shaun?

    Donate
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    Teen Music Lounge Starts September 29

    Join us on September 29th for our first session!

    Rock to the Future is proud to present our new free Teen Music Lounge! This weekly Friday program provides teens with a safe and positive space to learn music, create their own projects, collaborate with other teens, and opportunities for monthly exhibitions. Each month will feature a different guest music teacher and exciting workshops on hip-hop, songwriting, voice and vocal improvisation, instrumental instruction on guitar, bass, drums, and piano, recording, digital music and technology, the influence and power of music to make change, and more.

    If you’re a Philly teen between the ages of 13 to 17, come to our information session on September 29th, 4-6pm! We’re going to introduce the candidates for this year’s line-up of potential guest music teachers and ask you to help us pick the finalists. No prior musical experience is necessary and beginners are welcome. Food will be provided also.

    Let us know if you’re coming! The Teen Music Lounge is a drop-in program, so you don’t need to RSVP for our regular sessions (every Friday from 4 – 6pm), but we’d like to know in advance for this first event. Teen Music Lounge takes place at 2139 E Cumberland St, Phila, PA 19125. Contact Josh@RocktotheFuture.org or 215-302-9633 x710 for questions or concerns. 

    Please share this opportunity with Philly teens.Teen Music Lounge is supported by the Bartol Foundation.

    RSVP for Sept 29
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    Rock to the Future partners with the Philadelphia Eagles

    The Philadelphia Eagles are renowned for the philanthropic work they perform through their Eagles Care initiative. For the past three years, Philly’s NFL team has partnered with five local nonprofits around the city to positively impact the surrounding community. This year, Rock to the Future is one of them along with MANNA, After School Activities Partnerships, Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Summer Search.

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    • We’re incredibly excited for this opportunity! As a 2016-2017 Eagles Care partner, Rock to the Future will receive a generous grant, peer-to-peer networking, professional development from Eagles’ staff, access to events such as NFL games and various other benefits (hopefully an opportunity for our students to perform at the Linc!) We are proud to partner with the Eagles and look forward to spending the upcoming year with their winning team. We’ll have a lot of exciting announcements over the coming months–so stay tuned!
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