Rockhaq is brilliant – I use it nearly every day and I love being able to write about bands and music, and letting others know what I think about music from different moments in history. I’ve won Review of the Week several times and Rockhaq Music Missions to complete too.
– Josh Tolley

Josh Tolley’s Story


Josh Tolley is a 20 year old Music Technology student at South Nottingham College who has a very mature taste in music for his age and a real enthusiasm for sharing his opinions. Josh began the college year with a major need to improve his writing and literacy skills, as identified by his learning co-ordinator. Although it may not be immediately obvious to his peers, Josh also has learning difficulties which impact on his ability to engage and learn at the same pace as his classmates. Josh joined the Rockhaq pilot with a number of his classmates to use it for a class assignment. The results have been eye-opening.

Josh was one of our first Rockhaq Community evangelists, and he sparked the interest of his fellow South Nottingham College student and friend Mark Wong in joining the Community too, after being rewarded with The Mars Volta’s Noctourniquet album to review as a result of how great his initial reviews were. Mark heard about Josh being rewarded with this Rockhaq Music Mission and joined too.


Josh’s reviews

My music teacher has also said that he’s noticed my speaking and writing skills have improved a lot already, which I think must be down to me writing on The Community.
– Josh Tolley

Josh’s first music review on Enter Shikari’s A Flash Flood of Colour album won Review of the Week and he also took the title again with his second review on Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas album. The standard of Josh’s writing for his ability level was already quite high but now his vocabulary has increased and Josh has very quickly turned into a committed and active Rockhaq music journalist, writing music reviews in his own time every three evenings in an average week.

Josh became engaged and inspired to write music reviews on The Community very quickly, and his enthusiasm and constant engagement rapidly developed his communication skills. After the first 3 months, his tutor noticed a marked impact and noted how positive the experience was in building his confidence.

Josh has written music reviews on artists like Sigur Ros, Bruce Springsteen and Civil Twilight, showing his Rockhaq Community peers his diverse and mature taste and highlighting new acts that others may not know about. Josh has gone on to write over thirty reviews on The Rockhaq Community and has improved his writing and literacy skills at the same time. Josh was also awarded a Rockhaq Music Mission and was given The Mars Volta’s Noctourniquet album on release to review and keep.



impact on music and literacy skills

How has Rockhaq made a difference?


Since using The Rockhaq Community and Workshops, Josh has really widened his vocabulary, improved his understanding of grammar and has increased confidence in expressing his opinions, both in writing and verbally. These changes have all been noted by his Music Co-Ordinator Ed Whiteley. Josh is currently in our Top Five on the Rockhaq Member Leaderboard, showing the dedicated contribution he has made to the Community in a very short space of time.

Josh has been very vocal about his high opinion of Rockhaq and in doing so has encouraged other students at his college to join, such as Mark Wong. Josh’s parents are also aware of his involvement in Rockhaq and have offered to look over his work before he sends it, which shows parental engagement and the reach that Rockhaq can have far beyond the traditional school environment. Josh, being incredibly enthusiastic to get his reviews published, rarely takes them up on this offer!

I’ve won Music Missions like The Mars Volta album to review. I hope that I’ll always be able to use Rockhaq as it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in school.
– Josh Tolley

the future and career paths

How often does Josh use Rockhaq?



Josh writes in his Rockhaq blog during most evenings and weekends; he is one of our most active and engaged community members and regularly shares and talks about what he is writing on Facebook. Josh will continue onto the Level 3 BTEC in Music Technology next year and is desperate to keep contributing to his Rockhaq reviews and hopefully get an opportunity to see his favourite band, Muse!

Writing on The Rockhaq Community has given Josh the confidence to explore future career options and further education. He now sees going on to University as a genuine goal that he can reach.

Josh won several Rockhaq Music Missions during the course of the Rockhaq student pilot and improved his literacy skills immensely. He is one of our proudest success stories and Team Rockhaq would like to thank Josh for his wonderfully enthusiastic and dedicated approach to contributing to the Community during the Rockhaq pilot project. Well done, Josh!