Girls Rock London

London, United Kingdom

  • Arts Council England
  • Bell Music
  • Fender
  • WeDriveYou
  • National Foundation for Youth Music
  • Novation


'Girls Rock: the all-female music camp taking a stand against sexism' - The Guardian

'Feature: Girls Rock London' - The Girls Are

'A rock school is opening in London' - Dazed

'Women Rock London announce all-female summer camp' - Crack

Girls Rock London: Challenging the under-representation of women in music head on, by increasing opportunity and boosting self esteem - Sound Connections


  • 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)

  • 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. 



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.

Posted In  AdvocacyOutreach and  Vocal/instrumental learning/teaching

Violin Girls Athens © Angel Ballesteros

Sistema England

England, United Kingdom

  • Sistema England comprises 3,300 musicians aged 0-18 from more than 80 schools.
  • Globally, Sistema-inspired programmes serve an estimated one million people in at least sixty countries. 
  • Between October 2015 and August 2016, the Sistema England Young Leaders membership grew from 35 to 60 musicians.
  • Upwards of 2,000 young musicians and music tutors were able to participate in SMEEC in 2015 thanks to a €200,000 matched funding provision by the EU Culture Programme.


  • 'The energy and the vibe that we get off each other during the camp just energises us and motivates us to keep going, no matter what the challenges are. That’s what’s great about Sistema England.' Simi, Cellist, In Harmony Lambeth, Sistema England Young Leader
  • 'The summer camp was an amazing experience for all our new and current Young Leaders. Throughout the week the kids were able to go beyond the normal expectations of them.' Teacher
  • 'I flew to Sweden with ten children – somehow I managed to lose them all! Luckily, the parents of those children seemed thrilled that I brought back ten mature, responsible and inspired young adults in their place! How is it possible for a group of children to become confident, empowered, broad minded and musically progressed in just one week? El Sistema… Achieving huge things alongside new friends, being given the space to make the right decisions and not be held back by the usual restraints in their day to day lives.' Steve Copley, Music Director, Sistema in Norwich

Sistema England aims within five years to be a recognised leader in the global 'music for change' field through enabling both high 'Musical Return on Investment' and high Social Return on Investment (SROI) for children and young people. Its aims are:

  • To empower children and young people to become agents of their futures and global citizens
  • To enable children and young people to make great music and art together
  • To increase the workforce of engaging and effective teaching artists
  • To strengthen the community of 'music change makers' to spread best practices

Sistema England aims to transform the lives of children, young people and their communities through the power of music-making.

Sistema England’s objectives are:

  • To build a Youth Company that provides high-quality musical progression and life-skills development for the most committed young musicians on Sistema programmes
  • To deliver high-quality teacher training, investing in future leaders of ‘music for change’ work
  • To run innovation labs and action research for music professionals
  • To provide instruments for young musicians in England where otherwise unaffordable

Sistema England organises several projects aimed at both young and experienced practitioners, including:

  • Sistema England Young Leaders – a nationwide orchestra comprising the most skilled members from  In Harmony LambethIn Harmony LiverpoolIn Harmony NewcastleIn Harmony TelfordSistema in Norwich and The Nucleo Project.
  • Youth Music Spotlighting – a project bringing together music teachers from Sistema-inspired programmes in England to learn and share effective practices with each other and subsequently with the wider music education workforce.
  • The Sistema-inspired Music Education and Exchange with Canada (SMEEC) – a European Union Culture Programme funded project allowing children, young people and teachers from In Harmony Lambeth, In Harmony Liverpool, In Harmony Telford & Stoke and Sistema in Norwich to travel and perform outside England.

‘Our young musicians want to make music that is so powerful it influences change – for themselves, together, for others. We are excited to welcome a highly motivational teaching team that can help them achieve this. Each year we get closer to a way of working with young people that leads to electrifying performances, individual empowerment and stronger community. By improving our own practice we want to help others seeking to enable positive change through the arts.’ Fiona Cunningham, CEO of Sistema England.

Posted In  AdvocacyEducation and  Outreach