Nothing moves us like music.
Music Mavens transports readers around the world (and beyond)—to a jazz performance in Genoa, an instrument lab in London, a Tokyo taiko dojo, a New York City beatbox battle, and even a film scoring session aboard the starship Enterprise, to name a few. Along the way, it spotlights artists whose work spans musical genres and industry roles, including composing and songwriting, performing and conducting, audio engineering, producing, and rock photography.
In Music Mavens, 15 extraordinary women reveal how they turned their passions into platforms and how they use their power to uplift others.
Their musical resumes will inspire, but the way each artist lives her life is the real story.
"An antidote to the erasure that can limit young people’s conceptions of what is possible...and expand the world of music." — Kirkus Reviews
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What an amazing resource for young people of any identifying gender to learn about the pathways and possibilities of the music industry. Representation abounds in Music Mavens: 15 Women of Note in the Music Industry. The trailblazers in this book come from such varied socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.
...The authors, Ashley Walker and Maureen Charles, take care to reveal each person's thought processes and life decisions that led them to where they are, digging beneath the surface and providing more points for readers to empathize, identify, and connect with their stories. Moreover, all aspects of the industry are embodied in these stories, revealing the nuance of the craft, reaching beyond the stories of fame we too often hear about in mainstream media.
. . . What a difference 'Music Mavens' would have made in my life had I read it in my formative years. “If you can see it, you can be it” is not just a platitude. Luckily for us, humanity has people whose imaginations are vivid enough to override the need to see someone exactly like them and say, “I want that. If he can do it, I can do it!”
. . . 'Music Mavens' is a tribute to creating possibilities for people. If something seems impossible, we humans just won’t pursue it. Giving “Music Mavens” to your musically inclined young friends as a gift has the potential to change their lives… and yours.
Role models for young people are vital. Music Mavens takes inspiring role models and blends their triumphs and challenges into pathways that set a musically interested young person on their journey with a sense of hope - and some very pragmatic life lessons along the way.
Super super honored to be a part of this project by Maureen Charles and Ashley Walker and to be surrounded on the page and between the covers of this book by these 14 bad-ass musicians. It’s no secret that the music biz is a boys club. These women are trailblazers and they are my heroes. If you know a girl who plays music — a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, a sister, a friend’s daughter — this is the book for them!
Writing The Biography Collection Music Mavens
by Ashley Walker & Maureen Charles
In this feature in the Women's Writers, Women's Books online magazine we discuss the challenges of writing about the vast music industry: "...We wanted to take readers on a journey from their comfortable corner of the music world to stages and studios they’ve never imagined, revealing unseen journeys to the big mics and mixing desks of the industry."
Read Music Mavens author interview featured on the Cynsations blog in its April 2022 series, on writing YA nonfiction where we discuss our collaboration and research processes.
Go to Girl Talk HQ for excerpts from Chapter 1
Maureen delivers talks tailored for Creative Writing Students, Performing Arts Students, and Youth Groups (age 12 and over) at schools, libraries, book festivals, and conferences. She is located in Southern California, willing to travel throughout the US., and can also deliver virtual presentations. Talks can be scaled from 20 to 90 minutes. Youth presentations focus on writing creative nonfiction or career pathways in the performing arts.