Front And Center: Creator of Raghouse Records and Rag House Mag, April Duran

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Creator of Raghouse Records and Rag House Mag, April Duran

By Myki Angeline

April Duran is living proof that it is never too late to chase your dreams. She is the founder and creator of Raghouse Records, Raghouse Mag, and an on air personality Saturday nights on Hot 103.9. All of this accomplished over the past three years, and she is just getting warmed up.

But before her newfound success in the music industry, Duran worked as a single mom while going to night school. Upon graduation, she applied to music corporations for entry level positions, working her way through the ranks. All while in her 40s.

Duran took time out of her insanely busy schedule to share with us her never ending passion for music, and she has in store for 2018.

WiMN: Give us a little background on your career in music, and what inspired you to follow this path.

AD: I always thought I was the typical teenager into music, although after high school it was obvious that it was something I was completely interested in—more than my friends. I was hitting festivals, researching and looking for bands before they made it big, and heading to the small dive bars to look for new music.

My path to work in music didn’t move forward until I was middle aged. I realized I was working jobs I was not passionate about, so I finally went for it and enrolled in Musicians Institute’s music business program. Located in Hollywood, MI is about 40 miles away from me and a 1 1/2 hour commute in good traffic. I completed with a certificate after one year of night school, working during the day and as a single mom.

I then applied at the Irvine Amp/Live Nation for an ushering position knowing it was minimum wage, but that I had to start somewhere since I was entering a new career. The interview went so well that they created a position for me as a VIP Supervisor. From there I have worked as an assistant for the general manager of a large venue, production manager, booker, and product manager.

I created my own brand in 2014—Rag House Records/Radio/RagMag to empower women in music, sports and entertainment. I created my own online radio segment, created an online magazine and caught the attention of a program director at an FM station! I am now an on air radio host of FM HOT103.9 on Saturdays. I am also the creator, producer, programmer and host of Sunday night’s Local Artist Spotlight, promoting unsigned artists/bands from Southern California.

WiMN: Can you share your story that led up to the creation of Raghouse Records/Rag Mag? What is the mission of the company and magazine?

AD: Founded and created in 2014, Raghouse Records and Rag Mag’s mission is to empower and promote girls/women in music, sports and entertainment. After working in the music industry for a few years, I noticed a lack of female support from every direction and wanted to change that. I have also found it helpful in daily life even before launching Rag House. Smile at the women around you and encourage them, give them hugs when needed because it makes work and life a lot healthier, easier and fun!

WiMN: Since the inception of Raghouse Records/Rag Mag, how has this platform impacted the music community, especially for women?

AD: We have been able to create and gather a sisterhood where girls/women know where they can reach out for basic information on whatever they are looking for in the music industry. I have also created many great friendships and networking is amazing. It was so refreshing to find out that I wasn’t the only woman who felt lost in the music industry and looking for other soul sisters searching for a safe place.

WiMN: You currently work for Hot 103.9 FM in San Bernadino, CA. What does it mean to you working as a woman in radio? Do you see a need for more women in this field?

AD: At FM HOT 103.9 the ratio of men to women working as on air personalities is pretty much even. The program director John DeSantis has been in radio for about 30 years and is a strong advocate for giving opportunities equally to those men and women with talent,  and I am so grateful for that. Although, I was appalled when I looked up men to women ratio working in radio overall. From what I could gather, the percentage of women working in radio is under 20% and I hope my research is wrong! With this I am so grateful beyond belief that he believed in me after seeing what I was doing for two years, called me up and offered me a paid position at FM HOT 103.9. I also was the first on air personality to be hired without any education in radio or had previously interned for the station!

WiMN: Your focus is namely on unsigned, women artists. Do you find it difficult scouting for music and talent?

AD: In the beginning it was hard to find new talent, but now the word is out and I’m receiving email after email. I can’t keep up!


WiMN: How do you balance your music career with marriage and family life?

AD: I don’t know, LOL! I have a huge family support system (mom and dad) and my fiance has been helping me with my son for years. It takes a village to raise a child, start a new career and try to create your own company in your 40s. I take it day by day, make sure my fiance and son are healthy, make sure I run and drink wine—work hard play hard!

WiMN: Do you play an instrument? Have you performed musically? 

AD: I’ve tried drums, guitar and singing. I suck at all of them but I can dance. I have worked in drama and theater throughout my youth.

WiMN: What hurdles or struggles have you experienced as a woman working in the music industry?

AD: In the beginning of creating Rag House I was vulnerable and people were able to take advantage of me from all different levels. In the past, I trusted everyone right off the bat because that’s who I am. Now, I have thick skin. I am still learning to trust others, but I’m not afraid to try anything, reach out to anyone, or talk to who ever.

WiMN: What advice can you give women looking to pursue a career in music as a journalist and/or radio personality?

AD: Work hard. Promote what you’re doing. Don’t be scared to try new things! You have to have grit and leap over those days that were bad or you didn’t feel like moving forward. HUSTLE!

WiMN: What do you have in store for 2018?

AD: So excited for the revamping of Rag, going digital, starting a new clothing line, brand ambassadors, and much more… and this time I have a team!

Front and Center: Argentinian Singer-Songwriter and Music Journalist, Laura Goldar

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Argentinian Singer-Songwriter and Music Journalist, Laura Goldar

By Pauline France


Laura Goldar’s career is a beautiful convergence of music, marketing and journalism.

Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Goldar is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, and composer, as well as the editor for Todo Guitarra y Bajo (Everything Guitar and Bass), Argentina’s only magazine devoted to guitar and bass.

Despite being on the southernmost tip of the American continent, Goldar and her business partner Marcelo Roascio have a global footprint and a connection with the music products industry that is felt worldwide through the magazine.

As a musician, Goldar released her album Maravillosa Vida (Wonderful Life) in 2012, and has another project in the works due before the end of 2016. She is a well-known respected figure and music industry expert in Argentina, and has had several TV appearances in her native country.

In the interview below, Goldar discusses gender equality in Argentina, how musicians are perceived in her country, why she thinks so many talented artists originate in Argentina, plus a lot more.

Learn more about Goldar at and

WiMN: Argentina has brewed some serious musical talent throughout the years like Gustavo Cerati, Los Arcontes, Los Enanitos Verdes, and of course yourself. What do you think it is about the country that has lead to the creation of such talented musicians?

LG: First, thanks for such a compliment, especially when you mention Gustavo Cerati, an immense artist whose work is so valued in many countries. In regard to Argentina, I would say that it is maybe a sum of things. We are a mixture of many races and cultures, and I think this gives us a wealth of different music styles.

WiMN: In many Latin-American countries, music isn’t taken seriously as a career. Do you find that to be the case in Argentina, or are people usually accepting of music as a career?

LG: Yes and no. On one hand, there are very good music schools in Argentina with official titles backed by the Argentine government, which also have a large attendance of students from other Latin American countries.

On the other hand, there are specific opportunities to be a professional musician, which are not many. Also, the outlook on music as a professional career in our country is changing for good.

WiMN: When did you release Maravillosa Vida? Do you have an album currently in the works?

LG: Maravillosa Vida was released in 2012, and for different reasons it was not well-managed in terms of global distribution. I think it’s a very strong album, and luckily today it has a new opportunity, as it will be re released on all virtual record stores by Poley Records.

I’m also currently working on the production of a new album that will surely be released by the end of the year. There will be some song previews released by the label on the web.

On my live shows, I’m currently doing some of the new songs with my band.

WiMN: Tell us about your career in marketing and advertising. How did you get into those fields?

LG: I was always in touch with people in the local music instrument industry, and that was how the chance of working in marketing arose.

I started in 1996 with the Music Shop magazine, which was directed by guitarist/composer/producer Marcelo Roascio. This magazine was a pioneer in reviewing music equipment in our country. From then on, I worked for other music media projects, until Marcelo and I decided not to give our ideas, creations, knowledge and contacts to other people, and created Todo Guitarra y Bajo magazine, which is now in its seventh year of life.

I really like my job because I get to see different perspectives of the industry, and that adds to both the professional and the artist in me.

WiMN: You are the editor for Todo Guitarra y Bajo magazine, Argentina’s only guitar and bass magazine. What does it feel like to carry the responsibility of being the only magazine devoted to delivering guitar and bass-related news?

LG: It is very rewarding, because I get the support of a great team. First by its editor in chief, Marcelo Roascio, who is a great team builder. Most of our satff has worked with us in other media projects, and always were summoned by us.

For me, to move inside the commercial area of the music industry is like swimming in familiar waters. Knowing that our job is recognized and valued, gives us the fuel to continue, and more in our country, where the economic situation is so difficult.

Todo Guitarra y Bajo is the only Argentine magazine made by musicians who have full knowledge of what is being discussed inside its pages. That’s the reason why this magazine transcends borders and is respected by artists and people from the industry, from different parts of the world. I just feel very proud of editing this magazine.

WiMN: What is one thing you wish people knew about the music scene in Argentina?

LG: The music scene in our Argentina is wide, as you have components of all genres. Maybe in the world, the tango is the best known, but folklore and cumbia are also very popular in our country. Then rest of the styles (rock, pop, blues, metal, etc.) come after these ones. There is something for everyone with very good musicians.

Argentina continues to be a trendsetter in the Latin American music world, as seen every year in the Latin GRAMMYs. I think our country is and will be a hotbed of great talents.

WiMN: Tell us about gender equality in Argentina. Is it as easy for women in music to succeed there as it is for men?

LG: Today is a bit easier for women to succeed in the music scene than it was in the past. Argentina is pioneer in Latin America in the gender equality and equal rights in society. But obviously, there are not as many women as men in the music scene in our country.

Since a few years back, there are more and more girls on stage playing drums, guitar, bass, etc. Some of them work professionally, and are part of the local music scene, but there are not that many. C’mon girls!!

WiMN: What advice would you give to a young girl looking to pursue a career in music?

LG: It’s not that easy, but it’s not impossible. Everything happens at the right time. You just have to be well prepared for when that happens. And that’s the same for men or for women. In the case of wanting to be a soloist, the main thing has to be the music, and also to have your own style. I think it’s no good if you’re a good singer or musician, but you don’t have something original to offer. If you’re not a composer, try to look for someone who can do it for you. The most important thing for great artists around the world, is to make incredible songs. That’s what lasts.

Front and Center: Editor in Chief and Independent Producer at Visión, Rebecca Niebla

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Editor in Chief and Independent Producer at Visión, Rebecca Niebla


Photo by Mariana Ricalde

by Pauline France

Rebecca Niebla of San Diego, Calif., is a no-nonsense powerhouse determined to make a difference in the music industry.

But you’ll rarely find her in her hometown of San Diego. Niebla is usually traveling across the United States and Mexico building bridges and working hard to launch her Spanish-language music magazine, Visión, due this coming April 11.

Niebla has a natural, sunny and congenial personality that, combined with her strong work ethic, makes her a champion and well-loved figure within our industry. Just ask artists and respected music industry members like Los Afro Brothers, Azul Violeta, renowned publicist Roxana Drexel or entertainment producer Iván González.

Learn more about Visión at

WiMNl: Tell us about your magazine Visión. What type of content can people expect?

Visión is a digital and print magazine based in San Diego, Calif., dedicated to the music industry. There you will find exclusive interviews with the most important artists and musicians in Latin America, as well as concert reviews in San Diego, not only about Latin music, but also about English-speaking artists.

WiMN: What were you doing prior to Visión?

RN: I was working as a Spanish affiliate reporter, translator and producer for Clear Channel Communications, as well as a freelance publicist for a live music portrait photographer based in New York City (César Calderón Photography), and a social media representative for up-and-coming music groups.

WiMN: What motivated you to start Visión?

RN: Visión was a project that has been in the making for several years. I was motivated to start Visión after many years of being involved in the music industry, which allowed me to build a foundation to be able to offer a space to honor and commemorate Latin music and those who dedicate their lives to it.

WiMN: When and how did your passion for music begin?

RN: My musical awakening started as a child. My brother Victor has been definitely my biggest influence in music. I remember growing up he would be listening to Green Day, Offspring, Pantera, Nirvana, Metallica. We would always go to concerts and showcases together, and Victor would always surprise me with a new song every time.

WiMN: Who are some of your personal favorite bands?

RN: I have many! Maná is one of them, a Spanish rock band from Guadalajara, México. Others include Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin, The Police, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Bob Marley, Creed, U2, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tool, just to name a few.

WiMN: When is the first issue of Visión due? Where can people pick up a copy?

RN: Our first issue comes out April 11, 2016. You can find a copy of our magazine at select record label stores, TV and radio stations in Tijuana, Guadalajara, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, New York, Texas, and at any Hermes Music stores in the United States.

WiMN: Can you give us a little preview of the first issue?

RN: Our magazine will feature interviews with key artists of the Latin music industry, giving our readers an in-depth look at how they began in the music industry, and their journey to where they are today.

WiMN: Name three artists you’d love to feature on the cover of your magazine.

RN: I would love to have Carlos Santana, Shakira, Marc Anthony, or Ricky Martin.

WiMN: Where do you see Visión five years from now?

RN: Like of the most prestigious Spanish-speaking magazines in Latin America and the United States.

WiMN: What is a little-known fact about you?

RN: I have a passion for Buddhas. I love the fact that they are visual symbols and reminder of inner peace, calm and enlightenment.

WiMN: Anything else you’d like to add?

RN: I want to thank my husband for his continuous support in my career, my son Lucas for being my biggest inspiration in life, and to my whole family, friends and mentors who have helped me grow and be the person I am today. Thank you!

Front and Center: “Let’s Talk Music” idobi Radio Show Host, Sara Scoggins

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center:  Let’s Talk Music idobi Radio Show Host, Sara Scoggins

By Gabriella Steffenberg

Tech startup by day, radio show host by night, Sara Scoggins does it all. Host of Let’s Talk Music on the alternative internet radio station idobi, Scoggins has a passion for music and is building a name for herself in the music industry.

LTM Photo 2While being able to interview some of her favorite musicians, discover new music, and connect with users worldwide, Scoggins is fulfilling her love of talking about music with “friends” all across the globe.

Find out more about Scoggins below, and head here for more information on her idobi Radio show.

WiMN: Tell us about how Let’s Talk Music came to fruition.

SS: My buddy Matt Vogel, who works with idobi, asked me if I’d ever want to get involved, and of course I was excited at the idea of doing my own thing. The show is basically how I am in my own life so coming up with what I’d want the show to be was pretty easy. I love sharing music with friends and usually can’t wait to share new music with someone, so this was an opportunity to do what with an audience larger than what would fit in my car.

WiMN: What do you love about radio?

SS: I love that they can’t see me! It’s so wonderful to know your audience tunes in just because they appreciate your voice and what you have to say. They don’t care about what kind of clothes you have, or what your hair looks like. They tune in for the most pure reason. Because its fun and they enjoy being part of a community.

WiMN: Outside of your radio show, what do you do?

SS: I work for a tech start up in Los Angeles that’s launching a new app in February (fingers crossed). Hopefully one day you’ll download it.

WiMN: Do you have any memorable interview stories involving musicians you admire?

SS: I talk about this all the time, but I had an especially wonderful experience interviewing Aaron Marsh of Copeland last year. He was very generous with his answers and he was really engaged. I’ve always loved Copeland so it was wonderful to talk to him about anything and everything.

WiMN: Who are your favorite musicians/bands at the moment and why?

SS: Oooh, well even just today a friend I’ve known for a few years suggested I check out The Paper Kites and I can’t stop. He knows me really well so it was a great recommendation. It’s really beautiful and there are some tracks that make you want to dance. I also really loved the Foxing album last year and the new one from The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. But my all time favorite bands are Jimmy Eat World, Brand New and Paramore. I’ve turned to those albums for years when I need them and they’ve always provided me with what I need.

WiMN: Are there any professionals within the music industry who inspire you?

SS: My peers mostly. idobi is filled with such passionate people and my regular jobs is as well. I’m really inspired by people who build their own path. People who have a ton of conviction and belief that they have something to offer. Anyone who has a vision and isn’t afraid to see it come to life inspires me.

WiMN: What’s the best piece of advice you can give to women within the industry?

SS: My advice to anyone who’s looking to get into the industry is to cultivate a voice. Figure out where you would fit in and where you can possibly disrupt things.

WiMN: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

SS: Well, I would never have said that I’d be here 10 year ago, so I really don’t know. I think I like it better that way.

Front and Center: Tom Tom Magazine Publisher and Creator, Mindy Abovitz

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Tom Tom Magazine Publisher and Creator, Mindy Abovitz


Mindy Abovitz started out on piano and bass in her younger years, but it wasn’t until discovering the drums in college that she found her true musical calling. After playing in a number of bands and realizing how poorly female drummers are represented in the industry, Abovitz was inspired to create a voice for these musicians.

She founded Tom Tom Magazine; the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. Tom Tom seeks to raise awareness about female percussionists internationally and hopes to inspire women and girls of all ages to drum, all while strengthening and building the community of otherwise fragmented female musicians.

Today, after 24 issues, Tom Tom has become more than just a magazine, but a movement for female drummers around the world.

Find out more at

WiMN: What was your introduction to music, and what attracted you to drums?

MA: I started playing drums in college. I gravitated towards them in a completely unconscious and visceral way. My intro to music was through piano lessons as a kid and then being given a bass guitar by my older brother when I was 15.

WiMN: What led to the creation of Tom Tom Magazine?

MA: The ingredients involved in the lead up to Tom Tom was equal parts feminism, being a drummer, working in media, volunteering at Rock Camp for Girls and working in the male dominated music industry for some years. The goal of the magazine is to increase awareness of existing female drummers and to encourage girls and women everywhere to play.

WiMN: Tell us about the Hit Like a Girl Contest. How did this come about?

MA: Hit Like a Girl is a joint venture between Tom Tom Magazine, DRUM! magazine and TRX Cymbals. Dave (TRX) called Phil Hood (DRUM!) and myself on the phone one day and asked if we would run a contest for female drummers with him. We said yes and the rest is history.

WiMN: You’ve worked with Rock Camp For Girls and Vibe SongMakers – can you tell us about your experiences there?

MA: Both of those organizations are non-profits that empower girls through music. It was through those programs that I connected with other professional and confident women musicians who, along with me, modeled an equal music playground for the girls. Both of the experiences were essential in building my confidence in myself as a musician and as a leader.

TomTomMagazine_MoMA_PS1_Artbook__MindyAbovitz_ByBradHeckWiMN: Tell us about your drumming these days – what projects are you currently working on?

MA: I perform in larger museum pieces or projects that I put together with other women drummers. They are usually experimental and comment on the larger ideas I bring to print in the magazine. The last performance I drummed in took place in the Perez Art Museum in Miami. There were 15 women drummers in total preforming throughout the museum.

WiMN: Who are some of your heroes – musicians or otherwise?

MA: My heroes include my parents, my brothers, Karla Schickele (Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls), Laura Taylor (Guitar Center), Susie Ibarra, Kiran Gandhi, Kathleen Hanna, Beyonce, everyone I work with at Tom Tom and pretty much all the drummers we cover in the mag.

WiMN: Can you share your experience as a woman in the industry? What kind of challenges have you faced?

MA: I have had a million and one challenges. The #1 challenge is the confidence to be in the industry. You don’t see many women around you and that never feels comfortable.

Other challenges include being in the industry as a woman and representing women. That is sometimes considered to be passe, uncool or overdone. Lastly, being a powerful woman can be seen as a negative thing. In general, women and girls are taught contradictory things their whole lives and I am prey to those traps.

WiMN: What is some advice you’d offer to a young woman pursuing a career as a drummer?

MA: My advice is to do it. And once you are drumming, drum with confidence and call yourself a drummer as soon as possible.

WiMN: What’s in store for you and Tom Tom for the rest of 2015, and into next year?

MA: More of the same great magazine. Wider distribution as we branch out the to UK and Europe. A continued dedication to producing good media. The magazine on Virgin Atlantic airlines and grander gestures to move and shake the industry.

WiMN: What are you looking forward to most at the 2016 She Rocks Awards?

MA: I am looking forward to being in the company of incredible women and men who are all dedicated to further opening the industry to women. I am also honored to have been invited and a bit nervous about getting up in front of everyone!!

Front and Center: Elmore Magazine Co-Founder, Suzanne Cadgene

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Elmore Magazine Co-Founder, Suzanne Cadgene

Suze Sandy Beaches by LC 2014

Photo by Laura Carbone

Suzanne Cadgene has been an entrepreneur for many decades, tapping into many industries like restaurants, real estate, catering and more. She ran French restaurant Bis! for 10 years on the upper east side of Manhattan, and corporate catering business ConsultaCook for 23 years. She has bought, sold and developed real estate and has consulted for everyone from the governments of Italy and the City and State of New York to Heinz Corporation and the Ford Foundation.

Her love for music, however, always prevailed, and that’s when she co-founded Elmore magazine, a publication dedicated to all things American music.

Her unique culinary background makes her approach to music different. She’s the perfect convergence of foodie meets musician, and when she combines her passions with her business acumen, that’s when the magic happens.

Since co-founding Elmore magazine in 2005 with business partner Arnie Goodman, Elmore has covered a wide variety of genres, including roots, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, country, folk and Americana. In 2012, Elmore was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Learn more at

WiMN: You’ve got a fascinating and eclectic career background. Has being a restaurateur helped you with the everyday challenges of running a magazine? What do the two have in common?

SC: Both industries are heavily people-oriented, both on the supply and demand sides – as opposed to manufacturing ballpoint pens, with an assembly line on the supply side and a buyer who’s looking at a limited number design points and the price. They’re also both very deadline oriented. In the food business inventory gets stale quickly, but so do the stories in journalism – they just don’t look as wilted.

WiMN: Elmore magazine’s mission of showcasing the history of American music on an ongoing basis is commendable. Since the magazine’s inception in 2005, have you seen an increase or decrease in bands who are heavily influenced by American music?

SC: We’ve seen an increase, absolutely. We now have the Americana Grammy category, and an English band like Mumford & Sons can play mandos and banjos, top the Billboard 200 and go five times platinum.

WiMN: For many people, the definition of American music is all over the place. How would you define American music?

SC: Elmore covers “American music with a history,” which is anything rooted in blues or jazz (rap and classical, for example, don’t fit our definition). But the blues and jazz-based forms don’t make up the entirety of American music – not by a long shot. Like America itself, American music is a stew, each ingredient taking on flavor from the other surrounding ingredients. When you eat a potato in a stew, it’s recognizably a potato, but it also tastes like meat and carrots and bay leaves. It’s no accident they say “That band really cooks.” American music takes Irish, African, classical, Spanish, etc., music and blends them with blues and/or jazz, accenting the basic song forms with those genres. You may look at a stew and ask “What’s in this?” but you know immediately that it’s a stew, just like we know American music when we hear it.

WiMN: If there’s a band that really wants to be featured in Elmore magazine, what do they have to do?

SC: It helps immeasurably to make good music. Then, they have to send us the music and convince us that they’re making an effort to succeed. The world will not beat a path to a musician’s door; unfortunately, they must clear their own way. Our job is to put up the arrows and light the way for the fans.

WiMN: Who are some artists you haven’t featured on the cover that you’d love to eventually feature?

SC: Paul Simon and T Bone Burnett are geniuses in American music. I’d love to feature Phil Spector and Quincy Jones.

WiMN: Are you a musician? If so, what do you play and what would you love to play?

SC: I played the violin and sang, and still sing in the privacy of my own home. Today, I clap in appreciation, and I’ve gotten rather good at it, if I do say so myself.

WiMN: What are some of the best resources for blues music lovers?

SC: Local blues societies are among the strongest fan bases in music – find one near you.  Every May, the National Blues Foundation puts on a killer festival in Memphis, the Blues Music Awards, but going to a blues festival, even a small one, will put fans in touch with like-minded people. They’re always fun.

WiMN: Some of your industry mentors include Arnie Goodman, whom you started Elmore magazine with, and Paul Sacksman of Musician magazine. How have they been instrumental in your career?

SC: Arnie Goodman has been the backbone of Elmore magazine since day one. He knows more about music history and music than most ten people put together, and continually provides ideas, insights, and inspiration. I trust his judgment. He’s also become a leading photographer and that’s a bonus neither of us counted on. Paul gave us guidance in the early days, and introduced us to our printer, a critical resource.

WiMN: Favorite blues song to play air guitar to?

SC: I hung up my air guitar years ago, but I love Bill Kirchen’s remake of his own and Commander Cody’s song “Hot Rod Lincoln.” In the new version he plays more than 40 styles in one song;it’s amazing.

WiMN: Let’s wrap up with your favorite quote.

SC: There are only two kinds of music: good music and the other kind. – Duke Ellington

Front and Center: M.A.N.A. Founder, Myki Angeline

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: M.A.N.A. Founder, Myki Angeline

Myki Angeline 2014Myki Angeline: on-camera personality, freelance writer, DJ, event emcee, show promoter, business founder… and the list goes on.

Surrounded by Filipino, Irish and Native American culture during her childhood, Angeline’s love for the performing arts came to fruition at a very early age.

Today Angeline is a champion for local artists in the Sacramento, CA area, and a true ambassador of the city’s music scene. She even founded her own company, M.A.N.A. (Myki Angeline Network Association), to further her mission of bringing together Sacramento musicians.

“I truly enjoy helping others help themselves and seeing their dreams become reality,” she says. “I feel blessed to have the means to do this.”

Find out more about the wonderful Myki Angeline in the interview below, and be sure to check out the links provided.

WiMN: What have you been working on lately?

MA: After spending nearly 3 years with V103 Rock ( as a radio personality with my own show, Afternoon Indie on V103 Rock, I felt I had accomplished all I could as a DJ and made the transition to video journalism with Sacramento’s Esm.7 ( My first Big Amp Sacramento debut aired at the end of July 2014 with a handful to follow.

Check It & Rep It segment debut on Esm.7:

My newest project is the 3rd Annual Sacramento Valley State of the Music Industry Forum which will take place in West Sacramento on Saturday November 22, 2014. My company M.A.N.A. is one of the sponsors of this important forum and I will moderate the artist/musician’s panel. The theme this year is “Save Our Scene” as we discuss a variety of topics including the coming of the new sports and entertainment arena scheduled for the Fall of 2014. The forum includes a music business panel, artist/musician’s panel, the Red Carpet Media room, and the artist/band merchandise room.

Learn more at the Sac Valley State of the Music Industry Forum Facebook page.

WiMN: Tell us more about M.A.N.A. –– the Myki Angeline Networking Association.

MA: I was encouraged by friends and colleagues back in the Spring of 2013 to start my own company. I love being involved in every aspect of the entertainment industry with a knack for networking. My business name was inspired by the Hawaiian word “mana” which means universal energy or power. I come from a strong Hawaiian cultured background (dancing hula and martial arts), so it seemed a natural fit. I created the acronym using my name and what I do: M.A.N.A., Myki Angeline Network Association. My involvement in the local scene includes radio journalism, written artist interviews and music reviews, emceeing music shows and festivals, producing/booking live music shows, and the recent addition of conducting video interviews.

Articles on Soundz Of Norcal webzine:

Articles on Music Scene Magazine (LA):

Articles on The Indie Times:

WiMN: What is the most gratifying aspect of your work?

MA: The most gratifying aspect for me is being able to bring an artist’s dream to fruition by means of exposure, performance, and connecting them with others in the field. The amount of talent that exists in the world is truly awe inspiring. This is what drives me to learn all I can, anywhere I can and do what I can to bring awareness to the world.

WiMN: Do you play any instruments? Can you tell us about your history in the performing arts?

MA: I am learning acoustic guitar and will soon learn to play drums.

My history in performance includes mixed martial arts, ballet, team and hip hop, gymnastics and Hawaiian and Tahitian drumming. I studied many of these starting as a young child. I was a physical fitness trainer in the late ’90s and taught martial arts to children and adults from 1993-2012. I have also choreographed dance routines for youth competing in talent shows, and had a brief stint singing with a cover band called Repeat Offender back in 2004.

WiMN: Who are some of your female role models in the industry, musicians or otherwise?

MA: As a preteen my ultimate idol was Olivia Newton-John, mainly for her soothing vocals and her never ending love and advocacy for animals. I also admire Angelina Jolie’s work with a multitude of benefits and charities. Locally, one of my biggest role models is Larisa Bryski, singer/songwriter, pianist, mother, who is also a vocal coach and served for several years as the music director for Skip’s Music in Sacramento, CA. She worked for many years with their Stairway to Stardom program which has been around for over 30 years, successfully showcasing our youth in rock music. I plan on nominating her for a She Rocks Awards in 2016!

WiMN: Can you share your experience as a woman in the industry? Have there been any challenges?

MA: I have spent my entire life making my voice heard. Being a short Filipino woman I faced many obstacles and worked hard to overcome them all. So, by the time I came to the music industry I was more than prepared to shine. I would have to say that my biggest challenge in this industry was learning how to make my point heard and accepted without rubbing people the wrong way. Being as assertive and enthusiastic as I am can make some people a little wary. 😉

WiMN: What is some advice you’d offer to a young woman pursuing a career in the industry?

MA: My advice to young women is simple; follow your heart and never comprise your integrity. There is a delicate balance in learning to be open minded to new ideas without having to change who you are. Remain a student of life, learn all you can in your field, practice, practice, practice, and above all, network! Opportunities are endless to those that remain relentless.

WiMN: What’s in store for you for the remainder of 2014?

MA: Mainly working on my M.A.N.A. website, and getting my own story out there. I have taken on a new client, and a new project highlighting some key women from Sacramento, CA, so there is much to complete for my big launch in 2015! So, keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from Myki Angeline.

Front and Center: Bentley-Hall Music Publishing President, Antoinette Follett

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Bentley-Hall Music Publishing President, Antoinette Follett

Antoinette1Antoinette Follett is an accomplished businesswoman who has built a career that utilizes her many talents.

Working for Bentley-Hall, Inc. for more than 20 years, Follett has developed marketing and communications projects for some of the music industry’s most reputable brands. In addition to her work at BH—where she now serves as president—Follett is editor-in-chief of Making Music, a lifestyle magazine for amateur musicians, and managing editor of the AFM’s International Musician magazine.

Through her work with these publications, Follett has had the opportunity to interview musicians like Tommy Lee and Lisa Loeb (even Jeff Daniels!) and is an expert when it comes to knowing the many great benefits of making music.

Get to know the talented Antoinette Follett below, and find out more at and

WiMN: Tell us about your position at Bentley-Hall:

AF: I started my career at Bentley-Hall over 20 years ago. I was fortunate to find my first full-time position after college in a company where I could use my marketing, communication, and design skills. I didn’t realize the connection to the music industry at the time, but it’s the aspect that keeps me going. I love being able to work with so many talented musicians and business people. Bentley-Hall was founded by music industry veteran Bob Popyk. Through his strong connections within the industry, we built a reputation as a sales/marketing/publication company. I’ve worked on projects for Yamaha, Roland, Lowrey, and Percussion Marketing Council (PMC). In 2000, I assumed responsibility for the production of International Musician (the official publication of the American Federation of Musicians). I created a complete redesign of the 100-plus-year-old union newsletter, changing the focus to highlight the members—professional musicians—on the cover in a more contemporary magazine fashion.

In 2004, through the vision of Karl Bruhn, we began to explore the creation a new publishing project: Making Music magazine—a lifestyle magazine for adult musicians. It’s similar to International Musician in that we feature musicians from all genres and instruments, but different in that we tell the stories of the recreational musician.

Bentley-Hall also produces a number of other projects—we do video and print work in the medical, automotive, and service industries. As President of Bentley-Hall, my strengths in client communication and production help me oversee many different projects simultaneously. I’m fortunate to have a super staff of talented employees and freelancers (many of whom are musicians) to output so much quality work on schedule. As with most small companies, we all wear a number of hats and often have to shift modes as we work on different projects for different industries.

WiMN: Tell us about Making Music. How is it different than other music publications?

AF: Instead of focusing on one instrument or genre, as most music magazines do, Making Music covers all types of music makers, from beginners to long-time players and teachers, from brass bands to rock and roll, from group keyboard lessons to drum and ukulele circles. Making Music magazine encourages recreational musicians to become more engaged in playing their instruments and to participate in the larger music making community. Music is different from most hobbies or vocations in that music is a life-long passion. Making Music tells the stories of musicians: how their lives revolve around music and how they use music in their lives.

WiMN: What have been some of the most memorable moments working with the magazine over the years?

AF: I love the energy of producing the stories and when I’m able to put together a cover feature and coordinate the scheduling, location, finding a photographer, etc. I’ve met and interviewed so many interesting musicians. Some of the more notable interviews include Jeff Daniels, Tommy Lee, Lisa Loeb, Liberty DeVitto, and Bernie Williams. While I’ve interviewed all sorts of famous musicians, I still feel a special connection to NBC news anchor Lester Holt—he was so welcoming and genuinely a great person. He brought his upright bass across the city for our photo shoot in the middle of December and I think he really enjoyed being part of the story, instead of reporting on a story. Now when I see him on TV, I always say, there’s my pal Lester!

WiMN: Have you faced challenges as a woman in the music industry?

AF: While the music product industry is certainly a male dominated industry, I don’t believe in doing my job any differently because I’m a woman. Everyone faces challenges in their career. I believe success comes from playing up your strengths and overcoming weaknesses.

I enjoy the many connections I’ve made with women in the music industry that I’ve met and worked with. The NAMM Show is the major industry connection. There’s more to networking than connecting on social media. Building a network is about getting to know your customers and vendors; it’s great to be able to sit down over a cup of coffee or dinner and find out more about their families and them as a person. Balancing family priorities is important to me. We’re fortunate to live in a time where technology allows us to work remotely from home if necessary, and stay connected when traveling. I also see that businesses are recognizing the importance of family connections (for both men and women).

WiMN: Who are some of your female role models in the industry—artists or otherwise?

AF: I enjoy the many connections I’ve made with the women in the industry that I’ve met and worked with. Tish Ciravalo and Laura Whitmore are two women business owners that I greatly admire. They have created music industry companies while balancing family life. They have also been strong supporters of other women by sharing their success and creating more opportunities for women in the music industry.

WiMN: Do you play an instrument?

AF: Growing up, I took years of piano lessons, from kindergarten through 12th grade (I also played clarinet for five years in school). But when I went off to college, I was happy to leave my piano behind! I still enjoy sitting at the keyboard and being able to play a song once in a while. It’s so therapeutic and helps me shut out all the other distractions of the day. I love music and singing and really appreciate my parents’ devotion for keeping me involved in music, but I realize that I’m not going to be on stage as a performer anytime soon!

WiMN: What is some advice you’d offer to a young woman pursuing a career in the industry?

AF: I recently spoke on the Sandy Feldstein Music Business Roundtable at Crane School of Music at Potsdam University about the opportunities in the music industry. I think it’s important for students (both male and female) to realize that there are many jobs that can keep you connected with music without having to depend solely on a career performing. Working in the music industry allows you to work on projects with other musicians. The more passion you have about your job/project, the happier you’ll be. Sure, there are sales or writing jobs in the construction industry for example, but if you have a passion for music and can work in the music industry, you will have much more passion for what you do.

WiMN: What’s in store for you for the remainder of 2014?

AF: Other than preparing for the holidays, I’ve already moved on to 2015: planning for the Winter NAMM Show, of course, producing the January issues of International Musician and Making Music—January 2015 marks the 10th Anniversary of Making Music magazine. The publishing industry is changing. We can’t hold back change, so I’m on board to ride the wave of change—continuing the multimedia growth of both International Musician and Making Music magazines.

Front and Center: NewBay Media Advertising Sales Representative, Anna Blumenthal

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: NewBay Media Advertising Sales Representative, Anna Blumenthal

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NewBay Media Advertising Sales Representative Anna Blumenthal got her foot in the music industry door at only 17. Fast forward nearly two decades later, Blumenthal went from being a wishful intern, to overseeing the advertising sales responsibilities for some of the music industry’s most important publications: Guitar World, Guitar Aficionado, Guitar Player, Revolver, Bass Player, Keyboard and Electronic magazines, all under NewBay media publishing. 

A born and bred New Yorker, Blumenthal belongs to two bands, Party Lights, where she plays guitar, sings and writes, and The Recordettes, which she plays bass in and started with her husband. As if that weren’t impressive enough, Blumenthal also DJ’s around Brooklyn. In other words, she lives and breathes music.

With her impressive track record in the music industry media sales realm, Blumenthal has plenty of advice and wisdom to share with aspiring future M.I. professionals.

For more on the music division of NewBay media, visit To check out Blumenthal’s bands, like her Facebook pages here and here.

WiMN: What is it about advertising that attracted you?

AB: I was the advertising coordinator for a few years, basically doing everything in the sales department except selling ads: handling contracts, collecting ad materials, handling our comp lists, billing, etc. I got to know a lot of our advertisers really well and loved my job. I was looking for more of a challenge though, as I had been in that role for about a few years, so when a sales rep position opened up, it was a no–brainer to apply.

I had the advantage of being in the department for a few years and got to see the sales reps working every day, so while there was still a learning curve, I transitioned into the role fairly easily. As for what initially drew me to the advertising department, I’d always looked up to our publisher at the time, Greg DiBenedetto, and wanted to work with him. He left the company a few years ago but I worked with him for a long time and he was always fantastic to work with. He’s one of the most driven, dedicated people I know, and I working with him was a real inspiration.

WiMN: Before becoming an ad coordinator for Future US, you were a newsstand coordinator for that same company. Can you please describe the difference and walk us through what you did?

AB: As newsstand coordinator, I handled the print orders and worked closely with our distributors. I liked the job and it was interesting to learn about the circulation side of the business, but it was a position I sort of fell into when I came back to GW after my time as an intern. After spending a few years in circulation I realized the ad sales department presented the challenges I was looking for and also was more closely connected to the industry. Even now, my favorite part of the job is talking gear with guitar, amp and pedal manufacturers all day, which is something I wasn’t able to do in circulation.

WiMN: How cutthroat is the ad sales business?

AB: In this industry I’d have to say it’s thankfully not very cutthroat. Almost everyone at our company is very friendly, very laid back, and wanting to see all our magazines succeed, no matter who the conduit is. However, there’s always going to be that one person who is money and power-hungry and tries to take all the fun out of it for everyone else. I just try to stay focused and work with the people who make my job as easy and enjoyable as possible, and I try to do the same for them.

WiMN: Would you say your field is male dominant (especially in the music industry)? If so, how tough is it to be a woman in this field?

AB: It is very male dominant! We do have a lot of women in production, circulation, marketing and accounting and a few in ad sales, but the advertisers/manufacturers are mostly men. There are exceptions of course (there are some awesome husband-and-wife run companies, and a lot of women running guitar retailers), but generally I am working with men almost all the time. I don’t find it particularly tough – of course there is some old-fashioned thinking in this industry – but almost anything can be a setback or an advantage depending on how you use it.

If I didn’t play guitar I think it would be really tough, but I think everyone’s doubts about me are dispelled when they find out I play guitar and bass and can talk the talk and walk the walk. There are always some disparaging comments – an advertiser recently was trying to explain to me how great his pickups are and he said, “They’re like a pair of Prada shoes!” I laughed and said, “You can explain it to me in terms of other pickups, I get it.” I have no problem setting people straight! I just say it in a friendly way but make sure to get my point across.

WiMN: You’re the ad sales rep for seven different magazines, and also sell event sponsorships and online ads. That is impressive! How do you manage such a heavy workload?

AB: It’s not easy! My best solution at the moment is to come in to work earlier and stay later and that’s not even really enough. I try to send and answer emails from home at night just to make the next day’s workload a bit lighter but it’s definitely a lot to manage. One thing I try to do is package up deals for people when it makes sense – for a mid level guitar manufacturer, I’ll talk to him or her about Guitar World and Guitar Player in the same conversation to save time.

WiMN: Describe a typical and not-so-typical day in the office.

AB: A typical day involves me thinking about which magazines are shipping soon so I can prioritize my workload. I look at who’s advertising and hasn’t sent in their artwork yet, and also look at who should be advertising who hasn’t committed to the issue yet, and reach out to everyone. I check out our websites to get the latest industry news, and also check to see what companies our web editor is covering. If any of my clients are on there, I send them the link. If there are companies we’re covering that no one is working with, I reach out and see how they’re doing and try to pitch them an ad package that makes sense.

There’s daily damage control, too – an advertiser is trying to get out of paying for an ad, an advertiser committed to an ad but at the last minute their new product isn’t ready so they can’t advertise, leaving me with a last minute hole I have to fill, there was a printer error and someone’s ad printed incorrectly (luckily not that common but it happens)…that keeps it interesting! Then I look a little further ahead to the issues shipping in a week or a few weeks and try to get a head start on those. And I am also always scouring the web and other magazines to see what companies are out there who should be advertising with us and aren’t yet.

A less typical day involves time spent with clients, whether they’re visiting me, I’m visiting them or we’re at a trade show. Those are always great, getting to hang out and really get to know each other and find out how everything’s going, instead of just talking about an ad schedule. I love going on factory tours, visiting guitar stores, and learning about someone’s craft, background, and how I can help them really connect with our audience and increase their sales.

WiMN: What are your end goals career-wise?

AB: Play in my bands full-time! But since that doesn’t seem to be a possibility in the near future, I’d love to continue doing ad sales for the music magazines. I’d love to become Ad Director of the books but I’ve only been in my current role for three years, so I know I have to put in some more time first, but I’m in it for the long haul.

WiMN: Who are some of the most inspiring women in your life, whether mentors or celebrities?

AB: My mother is the most inspirational woman I know. No matter the subject – work or something personal – she always offers great perspective and great advice. She is not only very smart but a very savvy New Yorker, too, and anyone who’s met her can attest to how incredible she is.

Work-wise, the Ad Director of Guitar Aficionado, Anne Triece, has been a great help and guide with all the titles I work on. She’s always able to offer some perspective as well as great suggestions with regard to negotiating deals.

Then of course there are the female guitarists, bassists, and songwriters that I idolize…first and foremost being my bandmate, Joan Chew, who is an absolute genius on bass (and keyboards and violin, which she plays in other bands) and comes up with amazing vocal harmonies. As far as guitarists go, Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Ruyter Suys from Nashville Pussy and Alison Robertson from The Donnas have always inspired me, as they are some of the few incredible female guitarists who have managed to break through in this male–dominated world.

There are a ton of incredible songwriters who never cease to amaze me either, like Tristen (a singer-songwriter out of Nashville) and Holly Golightly. And all the ’60s soul singers whom I worship, like Tina Turner, Etta James, Irma Thomas, Barbara George, Diana Ross, Sugar Pie DeSanto…God, those women are amazing! What I wouldn’t give to be able to sing 1/10th of what they can sing.

WiMN: Please give any words of advice to women looking to pursue a career in advertising.

AB: Go for it! Don’t let anyone – men or women – make you feel like you can’t do it. I have been told by some people that I’m “too nice to be in advertising” so I might suggest leaving the sweet part of you at home when you go to work – but you have to do what suits you. If you want to be sweet and friendly with colleagues and advertisers, you should, and everyone will appreciate it – but at the end of the day it’s all business and you can’t be a pushover. A little toughness goes a long way and you’ll end up being respected more for it.

Front and Center: Touring Guitar Teacher and Published Author, Marlene Hutchinson

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Touring Guitar Teacher and Published Author, Marlene Hutchinson

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 8.59.16 AMMarlene Hutchinson from Orange County, Calif., is a touring guitar teacher and published author who just gets it. She gets how to instill confidence in beginner guitar players, and her renowned book Learn to Play Guitar in a Day™ promises to get you playing in – you guessed it – one day.

If you’re skeptical, wait till you read this. Her book and guitar workshop were so successful, that she recorded her method on DVD, and it now airs on PBS and has been featured on local networks CBS, NBC and Additionally, Learn to Play Guitar in a Day™ is a 2014 Player’s Choice Award nominee.

But the best testimonials can be provided by her students, which she has a legion of in the Southern California area where she also teaches privately.

In the interview below, you’ll learn what questions you should ask your guitar teacher when you first start lessons, more about Hutchinson’s guitar teaching method, and how it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man – we can all play guitar.

For more on Hutchinson, visit

WiMN: How long have you played and taught guitar?

MH: My background includes piano and clarinet and my mother says I’ve been singing since I could make any kind of noise, but I didn’t learn to play guitar until I was an adult.  I always thought it would be cool to learn how to play guitar, so 12 years ago that was my New Year’s goal.  I loved it so much that I played everywhere I could ~ my kid’s classrooms, my own classroom (I was a teacher), church band, local festivals, senior care facilities, friend’s houses… Within a year a couple of people asked me to show them how to play guitar, so one year after I started playing guitar I launched my lesson program. My concept was to keep it simple and basic and for my students to begin playing right away.

The idea for the one day workshop came after several adults expressed a desire to learn these concepts in a one day program rather than weekly lessons. In 2009 I created and launched my “Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!”™ workshop. It’s based on my private lesson method and is equivalent to about 6 – 8 weekly lessons.

My goal is simple ~ I want everyone in the world to play guitar because it’s so much fun!

WiMN: How did you learn to play guitar?

MH: I found a group lesson and bought an inexpensive starter guitar. I remember thinking at the time, “I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to play guitar, but I’ll give it a try.” From the first strum I was hooked! My instructor was a wonderful English woman who loved music from the ’60s.

WiMN: What are some essential questions students should ask their guitar teacher upon beginning lessons?

MH: What style of playing do they teach? You want to find an instructor who will teach in the style that you’re looking to play.

What type of equipment (i.e., guitar, tuner, etc.) will I need? Naturally you’ll need a guitar!  There are many excellent brands available for both classical and steel string guitars. Tuner choices range from very basic to more intricate like chromatic tuners and those with metronome features. An instructor will be able to give you equipment recommendations.

What is their music background and how long have they been teaching? You don’t necessarily need Eric Clapton to teach you (that would be cool, though), but consider an instructor’s musical experience and teaching dedication. It’s also helpful to get referrals from current and former students.

What are their fess, policies and availability? You’ll need to know things like the costs, cancellation policies and the days/times they teach.

WiMN: When did you release your book and DVD?

MH: The Learn to Play Guitar in a Day™ book was released in 2009. The book is used throughout the workshop as a guide for the skills and information presented. In 2011 the workshop was filmed to create a DVD version of the live workshop. The two DVD set was released in 2012. It airs on PBS and has been featured on CBS, NBC and Additionally, Learn to Play Guitar in a Day™ is a 2014 Player’s Choice Award nominee.

WiMN: What are some of the top five common excuses students give you as to why they don’t practice?

MH: I’ve heard quite few, but here are some common ones:

I couldn’t find my music

I had to work late/do homework/do chores/ (fill in the blank)

I was sick

I was too tired

My fingers were sore

Here are some practice tips I like to share:

Find songs that you’re super excited to learn, and then you’ll be more motivated to practice.

Have your guitar out of its case and on a stand in a highly visible location. You’ll be much more apt to pick it up and play it if it’s right in front of you.

Remember this phrase, “practice makes permanent.” The more you practice the more permanent the muscle memory becomes which means you’ll be able to rock those skills and songs!

WiMN: Tell us about a memorable success story of one of your students.

Gosh, I have some pretty cool success stories. Hmmm, it’s hard to choose just one.

There’s the mom of one of my private students who wanted to learn to play because her daughter was learning. She attended the workshop, loved playing and continued with private lessons. It’s been 5 years since she started, she now owns several guitars and she frequently performs with her daughter!

I have another student who started guitar lessons so he could play for his two special needs children. He has expanded his playing to include hospitals, care facilities and he’s been invited to perform at military functions.

There was a student in one of my workshops who wanted to learn to play guitar so she could accompany her singing (she has an amazing voice). A month after attending my workshop she sent me a link with a recording of her playing along with a song she wrote!

I have a student who started guitar lessons with me when he was 78. He wanted to perform at an event. He took lessons every week for three months and rocked his event.  He continues to learn new skills rocking his lessons and performances at 86 years young!

The list could go on…

WiMN: You’re currently on a tour teaching your workshop across the U.S. How do you determine where you’re going to teach?

MH: I teach at various colleges and universities as part of their continuing education programs.  I started out in cities where I have family and friends and then I branched out to various locations around the country where there seemed to be a need for my program.

This year I have added music-related facilities to my schedule such as the world famous Red Rocks in Colorado. Additionally, I teach at PBS stations as part of their membership program. One of my favorite things about acoustic guitar is that you can take it with you everywhere and I get to travel to some pretty cool locations.

WiMN: What are some of the most requested songs your students ask for?

MH: I get requests for all types of music genres like oldies, jazz, rock, blues, country, pop, Christian, etc., but some of the most requested are songs by the Beatles, Eagles, Johnny Cash, Sheryl Crow, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan and contemporary artists/groups to name a few.

WiMN: Has your ability as a teacher ever been question/undermined simply for being a woman? If so, how did you respond?

MH: Not really, in a way I think it helps to be a female. There aren’t too many female guitar instructors, so I guess you could say it makes me “outstanding” in my field!

I feel like it doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female, it’s all about your ability to impart the information to a student in a manner that will help and inspire them to play guitar. My workshop and private lesson student population is pretty even gender-wise, but I have been told by women that they attended the workshop or took private lessons with me because I’m a woman teaching guitar. They’ve shared that it makes them feel less intimidated about playing guitar.

I’m privileged to witness the surprise and utter joy as a student (male or female), who has never played guitar before, is playing their first song and it’s within the first hour! Seeing them getting it, actually playing guitar, is hugely rewarding for me.

WiMN: What can students expect to get out of your book?

The Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!™ book is designed to follow the material covered in the one-day workshop. Students will learn quite a bit in just one day including five chords, three strumming patterns, 14 songs, basic music theory concepts, tuning techniques, guitar care, a string changing demo, tablature, three picking patterns, music resources and more!

I teach from a perspective where I assume my students know nothing about music and/or guitar.  We start from the most basic information and build from there. I want to take the fear factor out of learning to play guitar. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a student walk in before we begin, looking like a deer in headlights, telling me they don’t know anything and will they still be able to learn. My answer is ~ ABSOLUTELY, and then I like to add in a little guitar humor by letting them know they shouldn’t fret!

WiMN: What is the most encouraging thing you’d like to tell someone who doubts their ability to play?

MH: It is absolutely, totally and completely possible to learn to play guitar, at any age, no musical or guitar experience is required and it’s super fun!

In the words of Walt Disney ~ “If you can dream it, you can do it.”