According to ‘Counting the Music Industry‘, a study conducted by Vick Bain published recently in Music Week,  just over 14% of writers currently signed to publishers and just under 20% of  acts signed to labels are female. This large gap is indicative of widespread discrimination against women in the music industry – and a very real problem.  A similar study conducted by Women In Ctrl found that just 19% of female songwriters are among the top 100 played songs on the radio in 2020*, while female producers make up just 3% of this.

Bain, former BASCA CEO now freelance music industry consultant and director of the board of Parents & Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA), hopes her study will be a “wake up call” for the industry. Her experience on on the UK Music board, the UK Music Research Group and the UK Music Rights Committee, as well as the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, has cultivated her expertise and passion for equality in the sector and is one of many women in the industry today fighting for a greater sense of equal opportunity.

Empowerment and Employability

Our short course (taking place over 2 weekends, 3-11 October) will be led by two formidable women in music and AMS colleagues, Melisa Kelly and Karlyn King, and is aimed at female identifying students and women in the industry. While laying bare these deep-rooted problems, the class sets out to be an empowering experience that will provide women in music with the tools and knowledge of gender dynamics in the industry, and hopefully inspire an upcoming generation will the vision to create a more balanced sector.

From feedback of Women In Music courses been-and-gone, we found that one of the most important and valuable things students took away from class was the incredible sense of community and support found within the class – even though it was delivered online for the first time this summer! It was a great chance for students to network and connect with other women in the industry and develop a solid sense of community and uplift.

Throughout the week-long course, attendees will cover everything from getting a background of gender and representation in the industry, to creative CV and mock interview skills, an introduction into music management, and a songwriting/performance masterclass. Day 1 and 3 will be hosted by Karlyn, while day 2 and 4 is to be hosted by Melisa. Take a look below for a day to day outline of the course.

There’s certainly a long way to go before equal representation and opportunity is achieved. These gaps are of course far more prevalent for women of colour and other marginalised groups in the industry too. While opportunities for women in music are much more varied and appreciated than they used to be, it’s still a long road ahead. As a male dominated sector, feeling empowered and valued as a woman within it is a vital step to changing the status-quo. Our WIM short course not only aims to share knowledge of the gender gaps and disparities in music, but to empower and build a sense of community between female and female-identifying producers and creatives.

Women In Music Short Course: 3-11 October

The course will take place over two Weekends, starting on October 3rd and ending on October 11th.

Day 1:  We will cover why the course is necessary and start to  reflect on what valuable skills and experience we already have and want to gain.

Day 2: Refine your creative CV and mock interview skills.

Day 3: Learn how to deal with challenging work situations and get an introduction to music management.

Day 4: Songwriting and performance masterclass with Melisa Kelly (professional singer and songwriter and academic).

You will gain info on what other areas there are available to work in music, and how to gain access to them whether its performance or business, writing – how to monetize is a big focus.



Check out some of Melisa Kelly and Karlyn King’s work…

Melisa is a successful performing artist and music tutor, perhaps best known for her leading role in the group, Melisa Kelly and the Smokin’ Crows.

Karlyn is a prolific academic, who specialised in music business and the vinyl record industry.