They may be young but they know how to rock — this year's Waikato contestants took the stage on Monday in this year's regional Rockshop Bandquest, the nationwide music competition for intermediate and primary students.

Bandquest works as a platform for the next generation of contemporary musicians to step on stage and perform, and this year in Waikato attracted 16 keen bands who competed at Clarence St Theatre.

The programme is powered by NZ Rockshop. Spokesperson Hamish Jackson says for many of the kids entering Bandquest is the biggest musical moment of their lives.

"This programme is giving kids the opportunity to put a band together and get up on a professional stage, which gives them more than just musical skills," he said.

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"It develops their teamwork, leadership, communication and creative skills, all while building their confidence."

The Waikato results are:

• First: winning $400 credit with Rockshop NZ for their school, Twisted , Taupo Intermediate School
• Second: $200 credit, Freeze Point, Te Pahu Primary
• Third: $100 credit, Reckless, Cambridge Middle School
• Best original song: $100 cash for their school: Monsters, by 6 minute noodle, Te Awamutu Intermediate School
• Best female vocalist: Madi and Shevaun of Reckless, Cambridge Middle School
• Musicianship award: Skylah, Pania and Nikah (vocals) of Paradox, Melville Intermediate School
• Rockstar Styles award: Emerson of Freeze Point, Te Pahu Primary
• 'Killer' guitarist award: Asher of Impact, Fairfield Intermediate School
• Rock-solid bassist award: Anya of Freeze Point, Te Pahu Primary
• Rocking drummer award: Ninke of 6 minute noodle, Te Awamutu Intermediate
• Best Keyboard Player: Otis of Dymanic, Berkley Normal Middle School

There is an online national final with results announced on Friday 6 September.