Updated: Dec 14, 2019
So what's the difference between Girls Rock Charlotte and Pachyderm Music Lab?
In many people's eyes the line is blurred between the two of us. I wanted to explain the difference so you have a better understanding of me (Krystle Baller) and the things I participate in and offer.
Girls Rock Charlotte is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 by feminist powerhouse Kelly Finley. I joined up with them the first year and became the Music Director. Girls Rock uses music
and the arts to teach girls and gender diverse youth to find their voice. Girls Rock offers Kids Rock Camp, Teen Rock Camp, Film Camp, a year-round House Band program, A spring and fall Women Rock Retreat (run similarly to Lady Rockstars, but it happens with original songs in a weekend and all the proceeds to go Girls Rock Charlotte) and free Amplify Workshops (we do them 2 Saturdays a month). We also do community projects and concerts that bring focus equality-centered issues. Girls Rock started a fire in me and helped me find my own personal mission and purpose.
Pachyderm Music Lab is my own for-profit business. Talking with volunteers after the first Girls Rock Camp in 2014, I started Lady Rockstars, a way that adults can have a similar experience the youth do with summer camp. After the first one, people asked me when the next one was... then the next one. At that time camper families also asked if I did private lessons so I started teaching in-home bass and guitar instruction. In February 2016 our local NPR station did a story on Lady Rockstars and registration blew up.
In 2016 I opened my first brick and mortar location in Indian Trail, named Pachyderm Music Lab. I taught private lessons there and did more Lady Rockstars group classes and various workshops. In that space while my daughter was a toddler, I also created babyPUNK! It's a class where I play covers of rock songs in a kid-friendly way. Kids get tattoos, participate in baby mosh pits, crowd surfing and see a woman playing all of the instruments kicking gender stereotypes to the curb. Pachyderm Music Lab has served as a incubator for Girls Rock Charlotte volunteers to help us run our summer camps. In 2018 I became the Volunteer Director as well as the Music Director.
In 2019 our dreams came true when Girls Rock Charlotte and Pachyderm Music Lab moved into a shared space in NoDa we call Rock on 22nd. Now two awesome organizations in the same space are leveling up together. Often PML clients become volunteers, GRC campers become PML students. We are two different organizations but very much one big happy diverse family! I hope you will join us in some capacity or be our cheerleader and spread the word!
This Saturday youth can participate in painting the killer mural that's on the side of our house at 423 east 22nd street. Adults can volunteer to supervise as well! woman/girl/non-binary-identifying folks can rsvp here. It's at our house, Rock on 22nd not OSO Skate Park where we originally planned. A huge thank you to the Arts and Science Counsel for funding part of the mural created and painted by local artist superstar, Sharon Dowell.