Artist Interviews

Joining Liz Cirelli In Empowering Women In Music Production

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock

12.5.2020

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We recently had the pleasure of catching up with member Liz Cirelli, to talk about what she’s been up to. Read on to join us in learning all about Liz and her course that’s launching soon!

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What’s your role in the industry and where did your journey start?

Liz Cirelli School of Music

I’m an electronic music artist, producer, DJ, singer, songwriter and mentor. My journey started at the age of 11 when I began learning my first instrument, the flute. Around this time, I also went to performing arts school and took up singing lessons. Then at the age of 18, I was introduced to electronic music – and I totally fell in love with it! I started collecting electronic music releases and going to electronic music events. Then I developed a yearning to learn how to be a DJ. 

I sought out a teacher, began lessons, saved up for some decks, and started practising. It was like learning a new instrument for me. First, I learned how to scratch and beat juggle as well as beat match and mix. I used to spend two hours a day practising, then once I felt confident enough, I started playing gigs. I went on to DJ in London and internationally. 

This experience deepened my love affair with music and I felt drawn to learn even more. So, I furthered my skills in the world of music production and the music industry as a whole. I have focused all of these skills, and with continued commitment, have worked with many artists in varying genres, produced several albums, collaborated with world-renowned musicians, and composed music for film and advertising.

Can you tell us a bit about The Cirelli School of Music?

The Cirelli School Of Music logo

Since I have such a deep love for how music is conceived, created and produced and because I am passionate about guiding my fellow musicians by supporting and educating them on how to make music, building The Cirelli School of Music felt natural. It’s an inclusive place for music creatives, enthusiasts and people who want to learn more about music production; or simply to refine their studio skills.

We understand you’re launching a music production course very soon, can you give the readers some more information on this?

Yes, it’s a 6-month course, delivered in weekly, live 30-minute classes. We’ve created a format that’s easy to use and apply; we wanted the time spent with The Cirelli School of Music to be fortifying, encouraging and useful. My style of teaching is what sets us apart. Attention to detail and everyone is included no matter what level you are at.

We will cover topics such as how to program a beat, understanding chords, arranging, working with vocals, mixing and mastering with confidence. Plus, the beginnings of what it takes to stay in the business. I see in today’s world how essential it is to be able to market yourself by networking, creating social media content, being more of a business-minded person. It’s not just about art, though of course all of us want it to be. It’s very competitive out there and you also need to be vigilant about self-care. Part of that self-care is creating a team around you who supports your dreams and also knows about the business. I will be touching upon some of this in my course too. 

Live classes will start on Thursday 14th May. They will run at 7pm London, UK / 8pm Central Europe / 2pm New York / 11am Los Angeles and will take place every Thursday.

Each class will include homework specifically designed to enable students to consolidate and fully understand what was covered during the lesson. All classes will be followed by a live Q&A session, during which students will be able to have any questions about the class answered immediately.

If you can’t make it to the live classes, don’t fret as we will be capturing them and making them available online. However, I highly recommend the live classes as there will be added extras.

If you’re interested in joining Liz’ course, use the special code MGATE to get an additional 5% off the price of the full course!

Why did you decide to launch the course?

Woman on floor in red top is Liz Cirelli

Honestly, I love helping people. Along my journey, I’ve learned a lot and now I want to pay that forward and help others. The one thing I lacked when I was a young and a developing music artist was a good mentor. I made a lot of mistakes along the way! 

Now being a bit older, I am fortunate to have mentors around me and I’ve been blessed to mentor others. I want to continue mentoring as many people as possible to lessen the struggle, hence the birth of The Cirelli School of Music. I am also thankful to have a natural ability and skill for teaching and inspiring others. So, I’ve bundled all of these gifts and am honoured to open The Cirelli School of Music’s digital doors.

We really loved your message about empowering women to get more involved in music production. Why is this something you feel strongly about?

When I look around the music industry, whether it’s in the field of electronic music, or in general, it’s generally a sausage fest. Most of my favourite music artists and DJs are men and women and yet I wonder why it still feels more male-driven. I do see times changing with DJs such as Nina Kravitz, The Black Madonna and Peggy Gou… Yet there is a lack of female producers and creatives that deserve their day in the sun. There need to be more women situating themselves in this space of production and creativity; An equal amount of women killing it in the music industry as there are men. I know they are out there so I want to be one of the voices of encouragement. I want to do my part in changing the landscape and guiding as many female artists of today and tomorrow along their journey.

How do you hope that the course will help empower women and improve equality?

Woman with hands up in red top is Liz Cirelli

I think a lot of what holds women back is our social conditioning. As well as social paradigms that, even in this day and age, repress women. As well as getting into the nuts and bolts of how to produce music, I have also been very mindful to include information on how we can move beyond the often unconscious behavioural patterns we have adopted as a result of our social conditioning, that inevitably obstruct our progress.

I really do believe education is the key to empowerment; if enough female music artists start mentoring and therefore empowering other women within the music industry, it will eventually improve equality.

How did you get into music production yourself and how did you learn everything you know?

I actually started writing my first songs when I was 13. At 15, I learned how to play the piano, which by then was my third instrument. I used to sit at the piano with a pencil and a pad of manuscript paper and write the music to my songs out by hand. I did music A-level and was quite happy doing the singer-songwriter thing until my early twenties. Then, once I got introduced to electronic music and started DJing, I developed a real hunger to learn how to make the music I was playing and loved so much. 

I knew nothing about music production, so a friend suggested I enrol in a course with Point Blank College. I did and started laying down my first beats! It was a slow (and often frustrating!) process getting my head around the technological aspect of music-making! I then decided to study a Commercial Music degree at Westminster University, which helped me develop my music production skills a bit further. What really helped though, was spending hours being a fly on the wall in the studios of my friends who were producers. They taught me so much. I am forever grateful for their patience! 

A few years ago, I had the great fortune of studying with a mentor named Gary Gray, who himself had studied with Quincy Jones, Phil Ramone, Chick Corea and Phil Collins. This really was the icing on the cake for me in terms of learning what I know. Gary really helped me take my studio skills to the next level. He is a magnificent teacher and a beautiful human being. To this day we are still great friends.

What would be your top tip be to anyone out there interested in music production but not sure where to start?

Woman in all black on floor is Liz Cirelli school of music

I’d say: find a good mentor, one you can really trust, study with them and get really good at what you do. Shatter those glass ceilings. Nobody can argue with pure talent and skill. Develop a solid work ethic and learn how to be a great networker. If you know how to build solid foundations and develop the right mindset, you will be a force to be reckoned with – and a positive one at that!

Final Words

Thank you for caring so much as to ask me these questions and for sharing who I am. I look forward to hearing from any of you and hopefully seeing you in my upcoming course.

If you’re interested in joining Liz’ course, use the special code MGATE to get an additional 5% off the price of the full course!

We hope you enjoyed reading all about Liz Cirelli and The Cirelli School Of Music. Music Gateway is also here to help you so if you do decide to join Liz’s course, make sure to check back in with us afterwards! Find people to collaborate and work with in our global community, promote your music and even potentially get your music featured in film, tv, games, adverts and more! The best part is that you can try Music Gateway for free, no strings attached, just sign up below.

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