A summer camp in Edmonton aims to fill a gap in teaching DJing skills and producing electronic dance music (EDM).

For the second year, Night Vision Music Academy has started its electronic dance music summer camp. The group welcomes young people aged 10 to 17 for a week at a time, teaching them how to DJ and produce EDM.

Instructors use their DJing and production experience to start with the basics and guide teens to create music and collaborate while getting used to playing.

A summer camp fills a gap in music education in Edmonton, teaching young people how to DJ and produce electronic dance music. 2:24

In the current session, the youngest student is 11 years old and has attended camp in previous years. The oldest of the five students is 16 years old.

Phoenix Campbell, 14, gave the camp a shot after a recommendation from her father, who is a professional DJ. But he said he wasn’t convinced he would like it until he started learning at summer camp.

“I DJ almost every night now. I’ve learned more this week than I think I have all school year,” Campbell said.

Jake Robertz, the camp’s production instructor, says the camp fills a gap in music education in Edmonton. He said many DJs and producers are self-taught and can pick up bad habits.

“There’s really nothing here like that. For DJing, I don’t think there’s anything like that. If you wanted to learn, you’d need to find another DJ,” Robertz said.

Two students from Night Vision Music Academy’s electronic dance music summer camp get a lesson from Jake Robertz in music production. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

He says enrollment is usually encouraged by parents of students who want to try a different type of music lesson, but students are often curious and interested in the media they consume.

“I know a lot of them really like gaming and there’s a lot of Twitch players that you watch and they like to put on music, which is usually electronic or DJ mixes,” Robertz said.

At the end of a weekly camp, students perform a DJ set and perform tracks in front of a live audience on the Twitch streaming platform.