Personal Empowerment Through Music Production

Posted: May 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

As mentioned in class.

The past five years have seen an explosion in popularity of dance music festivals, in particular in the US. Go to any festival, however, and you’re likely to notice a heavy bias towards male performers. Drawing from her experience as a female electronic and pop musician, New York-based Erin Barra started Beats by Girlz, a series of production and recording classes for women, offered at the Lower Eastside Girls Club. We spoke to Erin about the project, and how it relates to her own music and experiences.

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  1. Nick Coleman says:

    This is what music is all about! Allowing young women that come from tough backgrounds to learn and create music–I can’t imagine anything more empowering for them. Is Erin trying to expand the program across the country, or is the project based exclusively in New York?

    • I think Erin would like to expand the program. But it’s a lot of work and takes a lot of funding. And, as you know, right now there is very little government funding of the arts. Heck, the current administration is even downgrading the quality of school lunches. Apparently, childhood nutrition is just a big a waste of money as is arts eduction. Fortunately, organizations around the country are doing the best they can to create similar programs. I’ve participated in Rock ‘n’ Roll Summer Camp For Girls, run by my friend Hilary here in Salt Lake. As was the case in the video of Erin and her students, it was very easy to see the spontaneous enthusiasm which arose within the girls when they saw they could make their own music. It’s very encouraging and inspiring to see to see a young brain suddenly spark to life, perhaps for the very first time. As I said in class, even an adult such an experience was a surprising and thrilling gain-changer for me, and I have enjoyed plenty of privileges in my life. Imagine what it must do for young girls from underserved communities. I sincerely hope this sort of program expands far and wide.

  2. Nick Coleman says:

    But Brian, haven’t you listened to Sec. Purdue’s explanation for his decision? The Obama administration’s school lunches are “wasteful” because they are too healthy, and the children don’t like the taste…as if that doesn’t indicate an underlying issue in our society. Regardless, I think that about 20 minutes into the video, that is when one sees how excited these girls get about the music they’re creating. Even though I am not a “trained musician,” it would be fascinating to get involved with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp. Thank you for turning my attention to that!

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