NPR logo

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88186017/88189993" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Little Ladies Make Big Noise in 'Girls Rock!'

Little Ladies Make Big Noise in 'Girls Rock!'

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88186017/88189993" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Hear a Song: 'What If We Don't Want to Be Warm?'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88186017/88181523" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Don't let the pigtails fool you: The name says it all in Girls Rock! a spunky documentary about Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls. Nicole Weingart/Shadow Distribution hide caption

toggle caption
Nicole Weingart/Shadow Distribution

Meet Palace, an 8-year-old with a sweet smile, braided pigtails — and a mean heavy metal streak.

Palace and her bandmates at Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls are the subject of Girls Rock! a new documentary about music, empowerment, self-discovery and rockin' out.

"The first time I saw the students at the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls kicking out the jams on their guitars and drums I giggled happily," says co-director Arne Johnson, "and then was inexplicably moved to tears."

Since the camp was started seven years ago in Portland, the program has taken off; there are now camps scattered across the United States and as far away as Sweden and London.

The documentary's co-directors Johnson and Shane King chronicle the journey of the girls as they form bands, write songs and learn to command the stage during their performances. The filmmakers say that it was refreshing to find a place that allowed young women to express themselves through music confidently and loudly.

Marissa Anderson, artistic director and instructor at the camp, says she wishes that a similar program had been available when she was a girl.

"I needed a place to go where whatever I wanted to do musically was encouraged," she says. She describes the camp as a self-esteem program for girls that uses music as its means.

Johnson and Anderson talk with guest host Robert Smith.