A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Girl Rock Nation is a clean and simple music-focused site that promotes an initiative by guitar manufacturer Fender. The goal is to motivate and inspire young women to rock in whatever they do in life. It’s intended to be a gathering place for aspiring female musicians who like to make, mix, or write music, and it features brief bios, photos, and music clips from female singers, songwriters, and bands. Although the site states that it’s intended for those over age 16, there’s nothing questionable or objectionable for girls slightly younger. Visitors can, however, follow links to outside sites to hear music from the featured girl groups and musicians, and the appropriateness of that content will vary. There are blogs, some contests, a handful of instructional videos (i.e., “guitar basics”), and an artists’ corner, which highlights a featured female musician or band. A calendar of events notes regional concerts and events, including rock and roll retreats, camps, and after-school programs geared to girls.
Is it any good?
Studies show that students who participate in high-quality music education programs perform better academically. Legendary guitar manufacturer Fender sings the praises of such studies and is setting its sights on getting more girls involved in music programs through its advocacy initiative, GIRL ROCK NATION. Girls who like guitars and music will find some you-go-girl inspiration from the interviews and music clips of the female musicians who are front and center on this site. Girls will find some inspiration from the Women Making History section, which lists such notable feats as the first female inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Although it’s a good place to stop and see stories from both successful and start-up musicians, there’s not a lot of muscle or meat behind the music. Like the girls it aims to mold and inspire, GirlRockNation.com is a work in progress that may have energy and spunk but still needs some substance.
Online interaction: Visitors can comment anonymously on blog posts.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how studies have shown that learning about and being involved in music (and educational music programs) has a positive influence on kids and contributes to their success in school. Why do you think there’s a link between music and school performance? How does music help you?
Families can also talk about why it’s important for girls and young women to find positive role models in areas that have historically been dominated by boys and men. Does a role model always have to be a celebrity? Who are your role models? What are some other industries or professions that are becoming more open to girls and women?
What are some of the ways you see subtle marketing messages from different brands? Even when a company creates a foundation, charitable entity, or initiative, do you think these efforts are still tied to their marketing plans?