Loughborough College is inspiring the next generation of female music producers – hoping to help boost numbers in an area where women currently make up only five per cent of the industry.
Almost 40 per cent of music students at the College are female and every learner is given the opportunity to use its state of the art facilities to study audio engineering as well as to perform.
Although women have been increasingly visible across electronic music in recent years, behind the scenes - in audio production and in engineering studios - they continue to be significantly under-represented. Loughborough College hopes that offering music students the chance to develop technical skills will contribute to vital efforts towards creating a gender shift in the industry.
“When I joined Loughborough College I saw myself as a guitarist and keyboard player but being given the chance to make and produce music using sound engineering as part of my course has been so enjoyable that I have started to re-think my career path,” said Connie Tomkins, 18, who is in the second year of her level 3 music course.
“It’s really cool to work with software like Logic, it definitely expands my creativity. I love working on acoustic music but having the tech skills adds a whole new level.
“It is a shame that when I watch producers on You Tube there are hardly any females. If you can’t see role models it makes it more difficult to feel confident about taking that pathway. It is shocking that the number of women working in audio engineering is so low – the industry is missing out because if they had more diversity there would be a greater range of creativity. But hopefully that is changing.”
Loughborough College music degree student Megan English, 20, agrees: “It is crazy that only five per cent of people working in that area of the industry are female. I am sure confidence is an issue. That is why studying music at the College has been so great. I did my level 3 course and now I am in the final year of my degree and the males and females all study the same things. Over five years I’ve had so much support and encouragement from our tutors in all the areas we have studied that I feel really positive about my skills in audio engineering and producing.
“I spent time in a recording studio for work experience and I’ve also done a lot of producing with Ableton for live performances. It’s been amazing for me to have the opportunity to develop my skills across the board. I’ve found that having the practical abilities on the technical side has helped me feel much more capable over all.”
Loughborough College music tutor Matt Toole added: “On all of our music courses we offer a broad curriculum, where all students get the opportunity to work as performing musicians and as audio engineers. As a consequence our male and female students try out skills that they were maybe not initially drawn towards. Many develop a love for audio engineering, even if at the start of their course they would have classified themselves as a performer. We believe our approach makes our students far more employable – and certainly hope our highly skilled female graduates will help to buck the industry trend.”
Pictured: Loughborough College says its music courses offer students like Megan English (left) and Connie Tomkins the opportunity to buck the industry trend and become producers
Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant:
Tel: 07515 852690