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Valerie Orth

Position
Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
Expertise
songwriting
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Valerie Orth is a music producer, songwriter, and activist. Self-possessed and fierce, Orth’s path is multifaceted and spans across many genres. Finding home on stage at age 5, she performed consistently for 15 years in musical theater. While attending Tufts University, she hung around the radio station, improvising over DJ’s beats. Wanting to accompany herself, she picked up guitar. She moved to San Francisco, became a righteous singer-songwriter, independently released four albums, and toured with her rock band. Orth found home again when she moved to NYC and rooted herself in the female beatmaking scene, where she learned, performed, and eventually started teaching electronic music production. She also wrote and produced for Warner Chappell Music Publishing and other music houses.

Orth is an assistant professor in the Songwriting Department at Berklee College of Music, teaching music technology and production. She is the recipient of the Berklee Faculty Fellowship 2022-2023 for Palestine Beats, Palestine’s first songwriting, music production, and nonviolent communication program, which Orth designed and teaches.

Previous educator and activist roles include coleading the NYC chapter of Beats by Girlz, teaching Ableton Live to often economically disadvantaged girls, trans, gender-expansive and non-binary youth. Orth also developed and ran beatmaking intensives at various high schools, was a songwriting mentor for the Stuttering Association for Youth in NYC, and cofounded Song Camp, a music production and songwriting virtual camp that focuses on building cowriting, collaboration, and communication skills.

Career Highlights
  • Producer/singer/songwriter/guitarist/band leader 
  • Independently released four full-length albums, two EPs, and multiple singles
  • Toured nationally over the course of a decade, opening for artists such as Shawn Colvin
  • Wrote and produced for music publishing houses like Warner Chappell Music Publishing and Alibi Music Publishing
  • Studied songwriting with Bonnie Hayes since 2004
     
Awards
  • Berklee Faculty Fellowship 2022-2023
  • New York Foundation for the Arts Artist As Entrepreneur Certificate 2017
Education
  • B.A., Tufts University, women's studies
In Their Own Words

"I teach the skills necessary to reach your goals as a songwriter. I want all my students, regardless of what society or the music industry is telling you, to have confidence in working with technology and producing your own recordings. You will be able to create the sound that you want and that is right for your song."

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