The deep dive into specialised music study can be fraught with danger. Burn-out, impostor syndrome, and performance anxiety are among some of the many battles faced as we navigate a relationship with something so intrinsically linked to our identities. But for women, these battles are amplified tenfold by a systemic structure designed to benefit men.

Sax Extravaganza
Jazmin Ealden and fellow saxophonists performing at WAAPA’s Sax Extravaganza. Photo © Stephen Heath Photography

A lack of gender diversity in classical music is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon. Bred from the idea that men are bigger, stronger and more powerful, comes a damaging belief that men are inherently better players. In the classroom, we hear that flutes and violins are for girls, whilst saxophones and brass are for boys. Although natural vocal range, size, stature...