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Meet the Writer: Alessandra Guarneri

This Emerson College student already has one foot in the door of the music industry.

Patrick Foster



Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s music journalism program, our music writers are profiling other team members, asking about how they got into music and what they see themselves doing in the future. You can read all the profiles here.

Alessandra Guarneri knew from a very early age that music would play an important role in her life.

“I remember listening to the radio and hearing different music that my parents would play. And I wanted to play an instrument that I was hearing, but I couldn’t really figure out what,” she says, speaking to College Media Network by phone from Boston. “So I started out with the guitar when I was in second grade.”

That curiosity gave way to a desire to play the drums — which her parents also supported, buying her a drum set that she continues to play to this day. And after giving up on the guitar, she picked it back up a few years ago.

And somewhere along the line, Guarneri realized that she really liked writing, as well. It wasn’t long before she began to work on combining the two big passions in her life.

That desire to fuse music and writing led her to Emerson College, where she is nearly halfway through her sophomore year, working toward a degree in journalism with a concentration in music.

Her early musical obsessions continue to play an important part in her current work.

“I have two pretty defined stages of being obsessed with music,” Guarneri says. “One started in middle school with One Direction…and when I moved toward high school, I became even more invested in Fifth Harmony.”

Guarneri still loves the band, who she related to because they sang about issues she was going through as well, and follows the member’s solo careers, especially Camila Cabello, whose influences she traced in a piece for College Media Network.

“They (Fifth Harmony) definitely inspired me to pursue the career I’m pursuing right now.”

That career is already blossoming. In addition to her work with CMN, she’s done extensive work for the music site United by Pop. Assignments to review concerts for the site rekindled her interest in photography, and she has been able to combine the two mediums.

“I think it’s really important to link photography with writing,” Guarneri says. “It’s really powerful to combine the two, that’s something I’ve definitely found out.”

She says she’s reviewed “countless” concerts and probably goes to about six a month, which is about all her current study schedule allows. She hopes to land a music writing or photography internship this summer, while still finding time to play and record her own music.

For someone who hasn’t even finished her second year of college, Guarneri’s achievements are impressive, and whatever she ends up doing in the years ahead, it’s a safe bet that music will be a big part of it.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Patrick Foster is the Executive Editor of College Media Network. He's has been a journalist for over 20 years, working for wide variety of publications, including The Washington Post, Time Out and SPIN. He is the co-host of the music podcast Rockin' the Suburbs.

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