SISTARS** – Bandcontest for Young Female Musicians

    • Training and Development for young female bands and female musicians 2004
    • International Networking
    Short Description

    SISTARS** shall be conducted under the auspices of the Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth, Ms Renate Schmidt and
    under the musical auspices of Sandra Nasic, GUANO APES.

    – band coaching for young female musicians aims at supporting girl musicians and young female musicians in Germany to build up a network and to train them in the direction of more professionalism. The focus in on the support for young women who regard their professional career in popular music.

    SISTARS** aims at making girls visible past the lines of traditional role models and commercial marketing strategies of media and music business. Popular music has always been a part of youth culture and for a long time offering role models and modes of identification. But whereas commercial pop culture is dominated by frequently changing fashion trends and never changing stereotypes - SISTARS** aims at realising essential political and social topics with girls and young women in an atmosphere of creativity and at helping them to further develop their artistic potentials.

    SISTARS** is coaching for girl bands and young female musicians (12 – 27 years). All musical styles are permissible.
    In 2004, the project wants to include musicians and organisations from Italy, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, Slowenia, Poland, and the USA. This is conducted within an international conference in Hamburg and connected coaching and concert.
    Following an invitation to apply, an expert jury will choose approx. eight bands. Experts will then take care of these musicians with an individually drafted plan of support ("coaching") until they have reached a professional stage in their lives as musicians. This coaching plan consists of the areas band training, stage acting, work in the studio, music business and dealing with press and the media.

    imparts musical, technical and economic know -how to the bands chosen in order to empower them to use sensitive marketing ideas.
    For every land of Germany, four bands will be chosen for regional coaching workshops, two of whom will participate in the so-called "Bundescoaching". During this coaching, one band of every land will be chosen for a CD-production.

    The project results will be presented to the public via the CD-Sampler and various concerts. Trainers and coaches will be renowned female musicians and experts from the music business. These trainers and the experts from the different organisations will act as mentors. A country-wide known band or female musician will take on patronage for the project.
    As "headliner" they or she function/s as role model and will emphasise media interest in the project. Sandra Nasic of GUANO APES has already declared her interest in the project and support as trainer and mentor.
    In addition, a number of print media such as German magazines will support the project. Systematic public relations work ensures that the project will be publicly discussed. A joint website already exists at

    identifies and uses the European strategy of Gender Mainstreaming and aims at sustainability. In order to realise SISTARS** already existing infrastructure is going to be used and extended.

    Subject to support by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes international female musicians and experts are going to participate in the project as trainers and coaches.
    In 2004, for the first time an international network with musicians and organisations from Italy, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, Slowenia, Poland and the USA is going to be erected. This will happen in the form of an international conference, held in Hamburg, together with coaching and concert.

    Project Description

    Expanding on the successful projects of 2002 and 2003, the partners want to support girl bands and young female musician in their creative work with a dedicated project

    Singers such as Madonna and Janet Jackson have yielded higher profits than their male colleagues, but there are only a few women playing instruments. The share of women in popular music in Germany in 1993 was not higher than 8 per cent, according to a study by Niketta and Volke on commission of the MUSIKKOMM in Cologne. 90 per cent of these were singers. A current regional study by the fm:z in Hamburg as confirmed these figures. The situation is similar when it comes to women in higher functions in companies and organisations in the area of pop music. (9% according to the Zentrum für Kulturforschung: Frauen im Kultur- und Medienbetrieb III, Bonn 2001).

    The initiatives for music by females combine their resources under the heading SISTARS and under the auspices of the Deutsche Rockmusikstiftung in order to improve the situation considerably in the whole of Germany.

    The project SISTARS aims at training and supporting young talented girls and young women up to the age of 27 (boys are permitted if they play in a band lead by a girl). Comprehensive information about the structure and mechanism of the music business is offered as well as coaching and training aimed at improving the level of musical know-how. These newly acquired capabilities shall enable the musicians to move secure within the business and to decide for or against a professional career in the field of music.

    For young rock and pop musicians of both sexes, the mechanisms and profit structures in the music- and media business are not easily understandable. In order to achieve success as a band, it does not suffice, to play well. As important are, e.g. a well-thought image, a professional approach to media and business, a convincing live-act, and intelligent marketing. Not many artists take the knowledge about structure and mechanisms for granted. SISTARS provides essential advice and offers coaching to enable the artists to improve their artistic ideas under expert guidance.

    In the workshops, participants will gain insight into the field of arrangement, sounds etc. which are essential for professionals. SISTARS offers support and advice to enable the individual musician to develop their music and musical ideas. Thus, the performance is embedded into the environment of the conditions of the music business.
    The experts from a variety of business areas (management, media, record companies, publishing houses, professional musicians, choreographs) offer maximal know-how. Through personal and direct discussion the artists can profit from a comprehensive pool of business know-how.

    Through this individual coaching and training, long-term results are achieved with the aim, to place bands and female musician successfully on the market.
    Headliners such as Sandra Nasic, Andrea Canta, Parole Trixi, Pyranja will enrich the coaching programme. In addition, in 2004 contact will be made to experts from the field of A&R. Thus, female musicians and bands will acquire a perspective for more professionalism. In short, SISTARS** brings bands and business together.

    SISTARS** aims to reach the following goals:

    • to support musical development through an intensive band training, coaching in the areas of composition, improvisation, arrangement and work in the studio;
    • to teach the basics fo music business to enable musicians to act confidently in this market segment;
    • to discuss gender stereotypes in pop music stereotypes and to make the consequences of commercial marketing strategies visible;
    • to simplify the dialogue between young musicians and successful female role models through networks and mentors;
    • to strengthen the identity of young women as musicians;
    • to make access to the media easier through networks, and to teach media know-how in the fields of internet, radio, and TV;
    • to introduce the creative output of young female musicians to the public through a professional presentation;
    • to increase the numbers of girls and women in popular music;
    • to use the international medium music to enhance the ability for solidarity through experiencing different ethnic, cultural, and individual life-styles;
    • to make international networking possible through the direct exchange of experience and ideas with female musicians from other countries.
    Time structure of SISTARS** 2004

    The invitation for competitors will be published in Germany in spring 2004.
    The international call for bands starts in May 2004 (if the project funds are granted). A jury, consisting of experts from the music business, and journalists will choose the participants ona regional basis. Then, the workshop and coaching programme starts for the bands (autumn 2004):

    I. Regional coaching for four chosen bands per participating federal land

    Profile development and marketing
    Image transfer, credibility (internet, Media)
    Band training Instruments and vocals, musical cooperation within the band, arrangement, improvisation, composition, stage acting

    Public presentation of the bands at regional live concerts
    structure of concerts (Sound check etc.), confidence on stage and audience feedback

    With every band, the details will be individually set up according to specific and individual needs and demand. To make access to the regional "scene" easier for the bands, part of the coaching will be held near the bands' home towns.

    II. "Bundescoaching" in Hamburg
    For 2 chosen bands per federal land, an additional weekend-workshop will be held to deepen knowledge and to ensure an exchange of the bands as well as to make first steps in the direction of a professional career possible. The workshops will deal with:

    Basics of the music business
    Economic and legal knowledge (publishing houses and labels, German terms and conditions of contracts, Gema, GVL, KSK etc.)
    Media competence
    Public relations and work with the press, music on the internet, radio and TV

    For 2004, the formation of an international network is planned within the structure of the Bundescoaching. Invited are female musicians and organisations from Italy, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, Slowenia, Poland, and the USA. For the first time, an international conference will be held in Hamburg, combined with coaching and a live-concert.
    The two-days conference serves as basis for the erection of a network of organisations and professionals from the culture area and business. The aim of the conference is to analyse how young female musicians are represented in different countries and to develop measures and partnerships within an international framework.

    The partners will employ and use their know-how from past European conferences and projects:
    - East meets West
    Europäisches Komponistinnensymposium, 1996, Akademie Remscheid
    - She´s got it!
    Europäisches rocksie! Symposium für Musikerinnen und VeranstalterInnen, 1998, Dortmund
    - Netaudio
    Internationales Austauschprojekt von Künstlerinnen elektronischer Musik, 2000, Hamburg

    One band per federal land will be given the opportunity to work ina studio and to record a CD.

    IV.Live tour and CD-release concerts
    The bands and the SISTARS**-sampler are presented to a wider audience in four live concerts in Hamburg, Hanover, Dortmund, and Frankfurt. Well-known headliners, fitting to the target groups will support the chosen bands during their performances.

    A report will collect data about girls' specific interests in, demands for and ways of entry in popular music and examine which aims and methods are fitting for the girls.

    Organisation and Realization by:

    Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung
    Holger Maack
    Emil-Meyer-Str. 28
    D-30165 Hanover
    phone 0511 359 09 22

    rocksie! - Kultur Kooperative Ruhr e.V.
    Sibylle Thomzik
    Güntherstr. 65, D-44143 Dortmund
    phone 0231-557 52 114, fax 0231-557 52 129 ,

    Frauenmusikbüro, JUZ Heideplatz, rocketta
    Hildegard Bernasconi
    Roßdorfer Str. 24
    D-60385 Frankfurt/Main
    phone 069-496 08 48, fax 069- 4960800 ,

    fm:z Frauenmusikzentrum e.V.
    Steph Klinkenborg
    Große Brunnenstr. 63 a, D-22763 Hamburg
    phone 040-39 27 31, fax 040-39 90 70 09 ,

    LAG Rock Niedersachsen, Frauenmusikmobil
    Vera Beier-Lüdeck
    Emil-Meyer-Str. 28, D-30165 Hanover
    phone 0511-351 609, fax 0511-350 47 39

    The Partner:

    Profile Deutschen Rockmusik Stiftung (German Rock Music Foundation)
    In Germany, there are more than 50,000 male and female musicians in the field of rock and pop music. However, grants offered for this area of cultural work do not suffice. For this reason, the Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung for the public welfare was founded in 1996. During its founding days, the patronage of the current German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, played an important role.
    The Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung has the objective, to strengthen the financial basis of the German rock music scene. Before the Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung was founded there existed no country-wide institution which helped to develop, improve, and expand the support for rock music long-term and efficiently. A foundation that functions independent of associations is the ideal tool to realise innovative ideas, to support comprehensive projects and to fulfil new tasks.
    basic support: The Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung aims at improving the possibilities for practising and playing music. This includes the support for training and development, mobile facilities, schooling- and training rooms etc. ...
    Professional support: This area includes country-wide competitions, coaching, and tour organisation for German bands abroad. The Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung understands its role as active supporter of humanistic and social-political values. Thus, the discussion of current social and political topics, such as projects against racism, right-wing radicalism, and drug-misuse are another aim of the Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung.

    Cooperation Frankfurt/Main consists of:

    Frauen Musik Büro (women's music office)

    The FrauenMusikBüro has found acclaim in Hesse for its work as network, consultancy and institution for further training and development in the area of popular music, focusing on female musicians. The organisation's aim to support female musicians and to act against too few female musicians has been partly reached. Since 1984, the Frauen Musik Büro has published the trade journal "Melodiva", the only publication directly aimed at women in the field of popular music in Germany. Since 2001, "Melodiva" has been published as online-magazine at
    In addition, the Frauen Musik Büro has organised the workshop series "female music points" and the live concert series "female concerts" with more than 50 bands in various clubs in Frankfurt since 1995. In cooperation with Waggong e.V. the office has organised the annual "Hessische Frauen Musik Woche" since 1998. The successful project "GIRLS THAT ROCK!" focuses on girls and young female musicians.

    Jugendhaus Heideplatz
    Jugendhaus Heideplatz was opened in 1992. Work there focuses on public youth work for people between ages 13 and 27. Jugendhaus Heideplatz offers space for a variety of interest groups, in the afternoon it deals mainly with young people of different national origins, in the evening it caters to the needs of young people from nearly all social and cultural levels. Since the beginning, music projects and offers have been an essential focus of free time activities. Special projects for girls helped to consolidate the work with girl musicians. Currently, three girl bands are training in Jugendhaus Heideplatz, there are continuous projects such as the "Mädchenmusiktag“ (girl's music day, in cooperation with rocketta) and new projects, as e.g. "Girls that Rock“ have been developed.

    rocketta - The Hessian Rockmobile for Women and Girls
    rocketta has been on the road as mobile music school in Hesse since 1996. The field of rock and pop music offers a variety of possibilities (especially for young people), to be creative. However, there are still too few girls and women around. With its projects, rocketta creates a space in which girls and women can play music together, can develop their creativity and quality and professionalism. Dependent on demand, rocketta offers workshops or lessons for particular instruments on different levels, from beginner courses to professional courses for experienced bands. rocketta supports the founding of girl and women bands and supports existing bands in the process of improving professionalism (coaching, work in the studio, live concerts). rocketta brings people together and has built a hessian network between female musicians, institutions, event organisations, and people interested in music.

    Das Frauenmusikzentrum e.V. (fm:z), Hamburg (Women's music centre)
    Frauenmusikzentrum fm:z was founded in 1987 in Hamburg as institution for the support of female musicians in the area of popular music. During the last years, the fm:z could be established as an essential part of the culture scene in Hamburg and as initiator of innovative projects. The fm:z offers fully-equipped training rooms for musicians and bands, arranges for lessions, live-concerts, DJS, sound engineers etc. A further service offer is a literature- and LP- and CD archive with focus on feminism. The fm:z orgniases annual workhops and concerts, and the conference "Female Musicians and the public". The so-called Salon Separé has an active network of women from the music business and offers a regular forum for discussions.

    LAG Rock in Lower Saxony, Frauenmusikmobil (Women's music mobile)
    The Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft (LAG) Rock in Lower Saxony e.V. is an association of 25 communal music initiatives, youth centres and music schools. Its task is to support rock and pop music in the federal land of Lower Saxony. Due to the de-centralised organisational structure, professional and voluntary members organise courses, workshops, concerts, festivals, and competitions in the whole of Lower Saxony. Another focus is the support of music projects for women. Since 1993, the Frauenmusikmobil has been around and since 1991 annual women's music days have been held. In addition, the LAG Rock focuses on support for girls and women with the special projects MädchenKulturWelten (girl culture worlds) and Starschnitt (star cut). The LAG Rock is involved in the area "New Media". State-of-the-art music workshops on the internet - Online Clinics are a way of music further education for the future.

    rocksie! European Music Network for Women
    rocksie! - with headquarters in Dortmund, has been strengthening the share of professional female musicians, artists, sound engineers and other experts through particular measures since 1991. rocksie! is the biggest project for female musicians with the focus in North Rhine-Westphalia. Tasks include workshops, FrauenMusikWoche (Women's music week), festival, conference, concerts, archive, awarding of grants and the so-called Künstlerinnenpreis NRW, and research. Further important aspects focus on projects for higher quality and more professionalism for female musicians and the erection of interfaces for cultural, economic, and political issues. Since 1998, rocksie! has been working together with female musicians and partners from France, Poland, Norway, the USA, Australia and the Netherlands. rocksie!-musicnetwork is a project of the Kultur Kooperative Ruhr e.V. and its associated institute for further education KULTURWERKSTATT.


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