She Takes the Lead


Join #NERFA365 for an interactive, LIVE panel discussion,
**Free and open to the public, all are welcome.

Join us for a conversation around women taking the lead in music…literally. Join 3 sought-after instrumentalists as they discuss their personal journeys to becoming confident lead players, as well as diving into the research around gender roles in music throughout society.

In this conversation, Abbie Gardner, Dirje Childs, and Lisa Markley will address the typical socialization of girls at home and in school, and the impact it has throughout their lifespan. They will shine a light on existing facts and offer up practical practices to not only turn the tide for young children/teens but to dial back our own unhelpful socialization and dial-up our playful courage.

This will involve actual exercises we’ll do together during the discussion, and real takeaways to build positivity in minutes a day.

The landscape of women “taking the lead” can be shifted. With mindful intervention, we can send different messages across the age continuum to shape a more gender-balanced perspective and support a courageous, less self-judging approach to music. With simple research-based tools, we can do this for future generations of musicians, and ourselves!



Abbie Gardner is a Jersey City-baseddobro-playing solo singer-songwriter busting up the male-dominated dobro scene with a smile.




Dirje Childs is a freelance improvisational musician, composer, licensed professional counselor and certified music practitioner passionate about celebrating life by creating original cello music in the moment, across varying settings.



Recording and touring over 30 years, Woodstock-based artist, Lisa Markley, is a multi-instrumentalist (voice, guitar, piano, banjo, ukulele, and trombone), and passionate teacher with over 1000 students passing through her classroom door, and studio.

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