Girls Inspired & Ready to Lead, Inc. (GIRL) planned for a group of 15 high school girls to attend its music production and engineering camp at the recording studio of a local Northern Virginia community college. For 10 years, through traditional STEM camps and workshops, GIRL had introduced middle and high school girls to professional fields where women, especially Black women, are underrepresented. But, this camp would be different – GIRL had never hosted a camp related to the “STEM side” of the music industry. The COVID-19 pandemic derailed the in-person camp, but when there’s a will, there’s a way, and GIRL pivoted to host the camp virtually through Zoom on June 18th and 19th, 2020.
The two-day Intro to Music Engineering and Production camp was sponsored by Verizon and led by Alissa Faratro, recording engineer & EQL resident at Spotify Secret Genius Studios. Faratro was 1 of only 3 women across the world selected for her highly coveted position. She introduced girls to the physics of recording, process for recording at home, and a suite of software tools for
recording. The girls even collaborated to create a song by using the online
On the second day, girls heard from a panel of women working in the recording industry about various career opportunities available to them in music production and engineering: Pamela Charbit, an A&R representative at Warner Music Group; Sophie Ackroyd, another Spotify EQL resident; and Kayla Waters, a chart-topping jazz recording artist, composer, producer, and music director. This accomplished group of women opened the girls’ eyes to the breadth of possibilities in production and engineering wings of the industry.
Here’s what the girls had to say about the workshops:
“I had a delightful time and learned how to use a new online composing software that I was unfamiliar with. I want to explore more pathways in the future that involve the engineering side in music. I can produce my own music by learning music engineering. The strong and powerful women who spoke to us really enlightened me with what music engineering is truly about. Although I was looking forward to a hands-on experience in this music engineering camp, the GIRL organization did a fantastic job of making up for it over a Zoom meeting. I found the conference insightful and inspiring.” – Dia B., aspiring recording artist
“I learned that there are other jobs besides an engineer and a producer. I plan to continue exploring what else I can do in the music industry because I truly do love music. I’ve already reached out to some of our guests from the workshop to ask for help on how to move forward with a music career.” – Nathaly J., aspiring music executive
The need for more females to be exposed to music production and engineering is undeniable. The Recording Academy reports that only 2% of music producers and engineers are female, and even fewer than that are women of color.
“It is my passion to expose girls to careers where women of color are currently
underrepresented, so the future of all industries is more diverse and
inclusive,” said GIRL Founder and Executive Director Danielle Craddock. “GIRL’s programs increase its participants’ awareness of career paths and help them navigate how to make their dreams a reality.”