Backstage with Sandy Kenyon: NYU's GEMS program

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A group of middle school-aged girls are getting a firsthand look at music production in hopes of making strides in a generally male-dominated industry, all thanks to a summer program at New York University.

"GEMS stands for Girls Electronic Music Stars," said founder Agnieszka Roginska, who is a music associate professor and associate director of music technology at NYU. "The program started because there is a big imbalance, a gender imbalance, in any kind of technology, but also in music technology, between men and women who are working in the field."

They are working on sound production and music composition, as well as learning about the the technology that supports them.

"When I first started at NYU in 2006, there were maybe about 10% women in the undergraduate program in music technology," she said. "So I thought, well, let's start a program specifically focused on the middle school age, so age 10 to 12, and specifically to open the door for girls at that very young age to experiment with technology."

Rather than being at a pool or beach during summer vacation, these kids are bringing music to life.

"This program is really amazing, because it just helps me appreciate music," 11-year-old Anastasia Newsome said. "It helps me learn how to make music. Because, you know, if I want to have a career when I grow up, this is really helping me."

Only the most dedicated among them will pursue a career in music, but what happens at GEMS has a higher purpose.

"Girls can do it too," 11-year-old Harriet Sowell said. "Like, it's not just men...girls are completely equal and can sometimes do it better."

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