I had failed my English GCSE and had no confidence when it came to writing. By the end of the Rockhaq project, I’d been made a student editor and fedback on all my classmates’ work. I can’t believe I came so far with Rockhaq.
– Ashton Bryan

Ashton Bryan’s Story


Ashton Bryan is an 19 year old Creative Media Production student at South Nottingham College who loves fashion and early 1990’s soul music, as well as contemporary rap and pop artists including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Madonna. Ashton has never passed her GCSE English exam, which affected her confidence when it came to writing. In fact, at the start of the project, Ashton believed that she could not write and had no real writing ability. Ashton joined the Rockhaq pilot with a number of her classmates to use it for a class assignment. At first Ashton thought that the Rockhaq pilot project was not for her and that she wouldn’t use it. The results have been outstanding.

Ashton decided to use The Rockhaq Community and Workshops as she believed it would be much more useful for her future career than other course options and she really wanted to learn how to blog and to get her work online. The pilot project equipped her with these basic skills – and so much more.



Ashton’s reviews

My Media Studies teacher said that I’d been transformed and my presentation and communication skills were now fantastic!
– Ashton Bryan

Her first music review was influenced by her passion for fashion, on OMG Girlz – Gucci This (Gucci That) and her second music review on Rihanna’s Talk That Talk album won Review of the Week. The standard of Ashton’s writing between her first and second reviews shows a huge improvement and she is now a regular Rockhaq music journalist, actively choosing to write music reviews in her own time nearly every week.

Ashton has gone on to write reviews on breakthrough underground artists like Yasmin, introducing her peers on The Rockhaq Community to new acts, and has also indulged her love for retro Soul music with her work on Monica, Rick Ross and Lil Kim. Ashton also wrote a live review after going to see Drake at Birmingham LG Arena in April 2012 and went on to win Review of the Week again for her efforts, as well as writing more music reviews on a Robin Thicke and L’il Wayne collaboration and hip-hop artist Miguel.



impact on music and literacy skills

How has Rockhaq made a difference?

Since using Rockhaq, Ashton has gained much more confidence in expressing her opinions in writing and verbally. These changes have been dramatic in her Media Co-Ordinator Yvonne Walker’s opinion. Ashton is currently in the Top Five on the Rockhaq Community Member Leaderboard, showing the dedicated contribution she has made to the community in a short space of time.

Outside the classroom, Ashton’s mum encouraged her to get the dictionary out and use it to help her to find more words to use in her Rockhaq reviews, which shows parental engagement and the reach that The Rockhaq Community and Workshops can have far beyond the traditional school environment.

Ashton has improved her writing skills so much that she is now working as a Rockhaq Student Editor for the Central Nottingham College student blog group. Ashton is very excited about being given this opportunity and she is very proud of the progress she has made.

I really enjoyed being a Rockhaq student editor and checking classmates work. I also scored tickets to see Nicki Minaj live!
– Ashton Bryan


the future and career paths

How often does Ashton use Rockhaq?



Ashton mainly writes on her Rockhaq blog in the evenings, and she has also been writing on it on her laptop in the sunshine during her spare time. Ashton also tweets her opinions on what she is writing. Ashton plans to go on to study Fashion at another college and wants to take her Rockhaq blog with her as she really wants to keep using it. Ashton is inspired to pursue a career in fashion journalism or fashion blogging thanks to her positive experience with Rockhaq.

Ashton won a Rockhaq music mission to see Nicki Minaj live in concert and she loved the experience! Team Rockhaq would like to thank Ashton for the hugely positive contribution she made to the community during its pilot project.