Research Uncovered—Fostering ‘the gift of confidence’ for women in the electronic music scene

Book a place!

What: Fostering ‘the gift of confidence’ for women in the electronic music scene

Who: Amy V Beeston and Liz Dobson

When: 13:00—14:00, Friday 12 May 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking is required

Women are seriously underrepresented as composers, engineers, scholars and creators. In academia, for instance, 90% of applicants for undergraduate music technology courses were reported to be male (Born & Devine, 2015). Indeed, similar figures persist throughout all quarters of the music industry, as seen for instance at the Proms where over 90% of composers programmed are typically male (Women in Music, 2016).

Our talk explains how all-women spaces provide a possibility for change. We introduce socioculturally-framed research on collaborative learning (e.g., Claxton & Wells, 2002) and collaborative creativity (e.g., John-Steiner & Mahn, 2002), and relate stories of community orientated interventions for confidence building, risk taking and learning which led to the creation of the Yorkshire Sound Women Network in 2015. We subsequently outline the measurable achievements, narratives and insights gained from an all-women approach as a meaningful portal for change.


  • Born, G and Devine, K (2015). Music Technology, gender and Class: Digitization, Educational and Social Change in Britain, Twentieth-Century Music, 12(2), pp 135-172
  • Claxton, G., & Wells, G. (2002). Introduction: Sociocultural Perspectives on the Future of Education in G Claxton & G Wells (Eds.), Learning for life in the 21st century. (pp 1-18). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • John-Steiner, V., & Mahn, H. (2002). The Gift of Confidence: A Vygotskian View of Emotions. In ibid.
  • Women in Music (2016). BBC Proms Survey 2016.

Dr Amy V Beeston

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield, working in the ‘Speech and Hearing’ and ‘Music Mind Machine’ research groups. I develop tools to extract meaningful data from audio signals, and am particularly interested in using principles of human audition to improve the performance of machine listeners in everyday environments.

Dr Liz Dobson

I am a senior lecturer in music technology at the University of Huddersfield with an OU PhD in education and social psychology. My academic work examines relationships between community, learning and creative practice in music technology, leading me to create informal communities for knowledge sharing. 

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