Q & A w/ 2016 Camp Director Michelle Marti

Michelle Marti, on left, and her band from GRI Camp 2015 - FX5 - Rosie Murphy, assistant band coach on right.

A Q&A with Michelle Marti

From touring Europe to playing bass for Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers) to singing in barbershop quartets in Indianapolis, our new Camp Director Michelle Marti is incredibly versatile. She recently took the time to answer some questions so we could get to know her better.

Read about our new Assistant Camp Director Cathy Hurt

Q: So you're the new camp director at Girls Rock! Indianapolis! What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

A: I am so excited to welcome all the girls to camp this year. Many of them will be returning and know how exciting camp can be, some will be there for the first time and may be a little nervous. I look forward to getting everyone in the camp spirit on the first day.

Q: What--or who--inspired you to start volunteering for Girls Rock! Indianapolis?

A: My daughter was a camper before I became a volunteer. I saw how much fun she was having that first year, and I met so many cool women who were volunteering at GRI that I decided I had to be part of it the following year.

Q: What is your favorite moment from camp?

A: I have so many wonderful memories of camp. I have loved teaching bass the last two years. I become very emotional when I'm teaching something new and the girls are responding, and "getting" it. I always love the showcase on the last day. But I think my favorite time is the last Friday afternoon of each session, when we do shout outs to those who have inspired, impressed, or helped us.

Q: You also lead Tiny Tots on the first Saturday of every month; how did you get started working with younger kids through music?

A: I have been a musician for as long as I can remember, but when I had my own children and my lifestyle changed, I needed to find a new musical outlet. I took classes in Early Childhood Education and Child Development, and learned how to work with young children. My favorite college course was "Music for Children", and through my professor in that class, I was able to find a position working in a music school. Later, when I moved to Indiana, I began developing my own curriculum.

Q: What genres, bands, and artists have you found yourself listening to recently?

A: I am a bit of a genre hopper, I love pop, rock, punk, jazz, blues, world music, etc… and I love listening to new music. One of my favorite things to do is to choose a band I like on Spotify, then click on one of the "related artists" links. I continue doing that until the related artist path leads me down a rabbit hole to bands I have never heard before. One of my new finds is Car Seat Headrest, an indie act that revolves around one young guy from Virginia. The most recent gig I attended was Metric at the Murat. Metric is a female-fronted band from Canada who craft wonderfully catchy alt-pop songs.

Q: Who are some women--famous or not--that you look up to and why?

A: A couple of my musical role models have been the two Kims, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, and Kim Deal of the Pixies. They were both rocking back when I was young, and rock music was a much more male-dominated arena. I also have a great deal of awe and respect for women who stand up for what they believe in, even while putting themselves in great danger. Women (and girls) like Malala Yousafzai, and Rosa Parks.

Q: What type of impact do you want to leave on the girls that will be attending camp this year?

I want the girls to leave camp feeling empowered and self-confident. I would be thrilled if they left feeling good about themselves and all they have achieved during camp week, and with the knowledge that they have the ability to overcome challenges in order to achieve their goals.

Here are some links to Michelle’s previous work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8km7SGFYPY (Rosa Mota single)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTeC3XeD2cI (Hugh Cornwell live recording)

https://myspace.com/wewerethehysterics/music/songs (Hysterics on MySpace)

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