Even though I started my blog this week, I started my plan last week. My first “new thing” was to attend a concert for a local nonprofit arts venture called Girls Rock Lab. Girls Rock Lab was founded by a very dear friend of mine about three years ago. Their mission is to give girls of all ages and abilities the chance to make music, specifically loud rock music. We are so conditioned as women to be quiet and meek, and this amazing project is doing its best to combat that. I wish it had been around and accessible to me when I was a young girl. All I wanted to do was make rock music. I was a concert pianist for many years, but that wasn’t where my heart was. I wanted to play a very loud electric guitar and sing about how I was going to crush the patriarchy. That never happened for me, but because of Girls Rock Lab, it can happen for girls in our community.
Each summer girls apply and are picked to attend a week-long day camp where they are mentored by local female musicians. The girls break into bands and write their own music. Some of the kids who attend the camp have never picked up an instrument in their lives, let alone written a song. The culmination of the camp is a concert held at the best small music venue in the city, The Bartlett. How cool would it be to pick up an instrument for the first time and be able to play in the same venue as the winner of the Tiny Desk Concert series?
Despite my affinity for this project and the fact that it was started by my best friend in the city, I had never attended the culminating concert. So what better way to kick of my new things project than by attending Girls Rock Lab Concert?
Guys, it was seriously great. The bands had such stellar names as Paranormal Piglets and The Amazing Blazing Bloomers. Most of the bands performed songs about smashing the patriarchy through things like dismantling sexist dress codes and unrealistic beauty standards. I’m not gonna lie, I totally teared up a few times. The energy in the room was just so amazing. I saw myself in each of those little girls, and I was hopeful, at least in that moment, that they were kicking down some of the doors that were shut to me.
Anyone who has been a musician or a performer or simply had to speak on a stage in front of a crowd of people knows how terrifying that can be. To watch girls as young as six get up in front of a standing-room only packed concert venue and play live music for the first time was empowering, even for an adult woman. It reminded me that you’re never too old (or young) to try something new, put yourself in a vulnerable position, and inspire others. I was certainly inspired, and I hope you are too.