Girls Rock London (GRL!) is a music project for girls and women in London, part of a movement of rock camps that take place all over the world.
GRL! is united by a desire to achieve gender equality in the music industry and to ensure that all girls and women get the chance to make music. The aims of the project are to empower girls and women – regardless of previous musical experience – to write and perform music, and to build self-confidence.
The programme is a mixture of musical/technical tuition and workshops, which together help to build participants’ self-esteem and confidence, and provide a platform for girls and women to find and develop their voices. Rock Camp is all about trying new things, working together and making lots of NOISE…
GRL! welcomes applicants who self-identify as girls, women, trans* and/or gender non-conforming.
To improve the confidence and self-esteem of young women and girls. One in four girls aged 14 is depressed, and twice as many 14 and 15 year old girls than boys are unhappy with their appearance. Hospital admissions because of self-harm among girls has risen by 68% in the past decade.
To increase the number of women and girls making music. Over the past decade, a reported 95% of Reading and Leeds festival line-ups have been dominated by male acts.
To date, Girls Rock London has run four successful rock camps, where it has seen real impact in terms of continued music-making, and increased self-esteem and confidence levels of participants.
Participant surveys measure self-esteem, confidence, resilience and body image before and after the camp. At the 2017 camp, there was a 13% overall rise in scores across the group, and a 46% change in specific areas including improved body image.
Participants reported leaving with new friendships and a positive experience of working with people from different backgrounds to their own.
‘I came to camp thinking I was going to learn more about an instrument; what I really learned was how much potential I had as a musician and how it increased through collaboration.’ (participant)
‘It was the most exhilarating and inspiring weekend of my life. I never want this feeling to end. I just want to keep creating and performing music.’ (participant)
‘I have struggled to find the words to express how grateful and inspired I am by the Girls Rock London team and how much the experience meant to me. If I was an economist I’d lay out the investment and return as unparalleled. I have never been in an environment as supportive, encouraging and uplifting as that at GRL. I think I’ve learnt more about music and creativity than any music or art class in the formal education system. Every member of the team blew me away with their approachability, friendliness, knowledge and skill, encouragement and guidance. (participant)
I have seen first-hand the lasting impact that positive encouragement can have on people and how, with enough determination and teamwork, we can create the change we want to see in the world. Thank you, GRL! (volunteer)
‘Girls Rock: the all-female music camp taking a stand against sexism’ – The Guardian
Arts Council England
National Foundation for Youth Music