For the past six years, Miami native Tiffany Miranda's local nonprofit organization, Girls Makes Beats (GMB), has trained and offered internships to 8- to 17-year-olds in music production, DJing, and audio engineering. Miranda has engineered for some of the biggest names in the game, from French Montana, Rick Ross, T.I., and DJ Khaled to Fat Joe. This summer, GMB is partnering with SAE Institute for a multi-city outreach tour at the school's campuses across the country. It offers young girls a five-day crash course on music production, DJ'ing, and audio engineering followed by a chance to perform and show off their new skills in front of an audience. This August, the tour is making its way to Miami to offer young girls the opportunity of a lifetime.
"I was probably close to 16 the first time I was exposed to any of the audio engineering programs and equipment. That was the age I was when I made my first beat," Miranda reminisces. She started out as a singer and was offered her first recording contract at age 15. She decided to get into audio engineering and music production to take creative control of her music.
When she turned 18, she started saving money to build a home studio. Eventually, she completed it and rented it out. "I also did internships because I wanted to attract a higher clientele list," she says. "Through my internship process, I found it was very male-dominated. There were a ton of challenges I faced just trying to get my foot in the door as a female audio engineer." Miranda adds, "That's what ultimately led me to create Girls Make Beats." The idea, she explains, was to expose girls to something they didn't see contemporaries doing and to provide a comfortable, diverse environment.
After much success with GMB's Miami chapter, Miranda expanded the organization to Los Angeles and enlisted Whitney Taber, the studio manager of the iconic Record Plant, to lead its city's chapter. The two met during GMB's first summer outreach tour last year when Miranda brought 11 young girls to tour the Plant.
Taber says, "I always understood that there were not many girls in music because I'm in it and I see it every single day. But when I took these little girls on this [studio] tour...I understood how this is needed." She adds, "We got to the end of the tour and I said, 'OK cool, let's just go and listen to music and head out,' and Tiffany said 'No, no, they need to see your office.' As soon as they walked into my office, their eyes lit up."
The tour, sponsored by Toyota, has already made stops in Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles, and is heading to Miami August 13 to 17. Girls are encouraged to apply for the free five-day workshop via girlsmakebeats.org/register.
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Tiffany Miranda says, "There're so many positive by-products [of Girls Make Beats]. It's teaching them technical and creative skills, but the most important part is building their confidence, inspiring them, also teaching them to work together."
Taber says, "They have an immediate support system for the rest of their lives with Girls Make Beats. This is like a sisterhood, this is a bond. They can turn around and change the world and the way that music is being made and the people we are celebrating."
Miranda shares her advice for young girls who want to pursue a career in music. "There's actually a motto that I live by: "Don't wait for an opportunity. Prepare for it and create it... Sometimes you're going to hear the word no, but keep working on your craft and don't let negativity bring you down or alter your path."
Girls Make Beats Summer Tour 2018. Monday, August 13, through Friday, August 17, at SAE Institute,16051 W. Dixie Hwy. #200, North Miami Beach; 305-944-7494; sae.edu. To apply for the workshop, visit girlsmakebeats.org/register.