Created to inspire future musicians, the lessons show young guitarists how to play songs from the movie while building guitar skills and playing techniques. This fall, anyone who purchases Barbie dolls inspired by guitar-playing characters will also get three months of free Fender Play lessons.
“At Fender, we already work with and support an increasingly wide array of incredibly talented women in music. With that said, we believe it’s important for young aspiring musicians to see themselves in the heroes they look up to,” Fender CMO Evan Jones tells Variety. “We want young women to see they can be anything — whether that’s a guitar player, songwriter, producer or any other career — in the music industry.”
The collection will feature step-by-step, instruction guided video lessons for two songs from the special — including “See you at the Finish Line” and “Before Us” — allowing Barbie fans to play along.
“Our original music, from a wide range of genres, is a key element in creating compelling content at Mattel Television and integral to our brands’ ability to connect with children of all ages to help them learn and grow,” says Andrea Carpenter, Mattel senior director, content distribution and partnerships. “We have an incredible assortment of music in our library from some of our most iconic brands including Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Masters of the Universe, American Girl, and Fisher-Price, all available through our exclusive distribution partnership with Warner Music Group. Barbie has been inspiring, empowering, and entertaining kids for decades and in ‘Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams,’ we see Barbie ‘Malibu’ Roberts and Barbie ‘Brooklyn’ Roberts realize their dreams through music. Our partnership with Fender is just one of the ways we leverage original music to inspire the limitless potential in every child.”
Lessons will be taught by Fender Play guitar instructors Abby Hwong and Sydney Ellen, Jones says. The Fender curriculum incorporates lessons and learning paths on Fender Play, the digital learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele. The on-camera teachers and instructors hail from universities such as USC, UCLA and Berklee College of Music.
“The lessons are video-based and feature step-by-step, guided instruction for two songs from the special,” Jones adds. “Throughout the process, players can play along, pause, rewind and track their progress. Everything is completely on demand, so they can learn anywhere, anytime and at home as a family. “
Tying guitar lessons to an iconic figure like Barbie Roberts is part of Fender’s mission to inspire the next generation of guitarists. Says Jones: “Music has the power to unlock so much, especially for kids and young people looking to find their own voice. One of our brand ambitions is to open up the paths to musical expression and guitar to as many girls, kids and aspiring musicians as possible. With this integration with Mattel, it’s our hope that introducing a Fender Play collection for ‘Barbie: Big City Big Dreams’ would inspire young players to keep playing guitar or pick one up and start learning for the first time.”
Additionally, Mattel will introduce a line of dolls, playsets and accessories inspired by the characters, also launching this fall. Each doll will have a QR code sticker on the box providing customers with three months of free Fender Play lessons – where they can learn songs from artists like H.E.R. and Billie Eilish.
“We’re definitely open to working with more like-minded brands to further support young, aspiring players and women in music,” Jones adds. “We continue to grow our library of lessons every day, so that these players continue to find inspiration on their musical journey.”