Free Music-Tech Classes for Girls Come to Pasadena

By Scott Melesky


Girls play with music and technology in free Beats by Girlz classes. PHOTO COURTESY BEATS BY GIRLZ

In 2011, Erin Barra, an associate professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, began a music revolution by teaching music technology classes to elementary and middle school girls across the country. Beats by Girlz has reached young women in New York, Boston, Minneapolis and San Francisco – and Barra is now bringing the program to Pasadena.

“The creation of Beats by Girlz started back at a workshop the Lower Eastside Girls Club in NYC,” Barra says. “I was an audio production manager, and I saw how excited the girls were with the music and the computer technology. I wanted to give them a safe place to learn about music technology and to develop their own music using computer technology. I wanted to give them guidance, access, tools and knowledge to develop an interest and pursue it. I want them to have fun as they learn.”

Barra’s innovative and creative after-school classes are designed for ages 9-13, and the program’s goal is to bring and empower young girls in the music technology field.

“It has been a widely popular program,” Barra says. “I have seen a lot of talent from the girls in the other programs around the country.”

Barra says she wants to change a field that is traditionally dominated by men, and she has the working background to do it. Barra has collaborated with a multitude of Grammy Award-winning singers, artists and engineers including John Oates and Kathy Mattea. She is also a product specialist for music software company Ableton.

Beats by Girlz has partnered with Ableton, which will host the free classes at its Pasadena headquarters, 36 W. Colorado Blvd, Ste. 300. Classes will meet from4-6 p.m. Wednesdays, and the program begins Feb. 15.

Learn more about the program, which is licensed free to schools and community organizations that provide free or scholarship-based programming, at For information on enrollment, email

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