Learning Undefeated’s STEM Spotlight series features young professionals from diverse backgrounds who are working to make a difference in science, business, medicine, engineering, and technology fields. Each short video includes a profile of the job role and information about how they came to be interested in STEM.
STEM Spotlight, Sierra Roundtree
Beauty and the Beatz
Sierra Roundtree has always had a love for music. Her father was the first to show her the art, playing songs for her whenever they were together. “Riding in the car with him running errands, I realized my own love for beats and lyrics,” she explains. Her mother got floated the idea of becoming a DJ to Sierra when she was only six years old; by eight, they’d made the decision to move to Washington, D.C. to afford her the opportunity to pursue music full time.
“There is a lot of math in music,” she explains, “My music instructor taught me how to DJ using.” She describes how math is an integral part of both creating and playing music using time signatures, notes, and melodies.
Sierra is a great role model for any kids hoping to follow their passion. “It does not matter what age you are, whatever you want to do you can start now.”
Hey, my name is Sierra, you may also know me as DJ Beauty and the Beatz. I am a professional DJ, I started when I was six years old and I started professionally when I was eight. And, what I do is I play music for crowds at clubs, parties, different events, and I just get the crowd going and make sure they have a great time.
There is a lot of math in music. Whether you’re playing the drums, the guitar, or the piano, or any instrument; there’s a lot of math in music. For example, when you’re looking at time signatures and when you’re looking at quarter-notes and half notes and whole notes. There’s a lot of different numbers throughout.
My music instructor taught me how to DJ using math. So, he would say this is a clock and right here is 12 o’clock, right here is 3 o’clock, then here is 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and so on. And so, when he was teaching me how to scratch he would bring the record to 12 o’clock. So this would be a line, and I want to bring it to 12 o’clock. So when he was teaching me how to scratch, going back and forth he would tell me what times to bring it to.
I feel like there’s multiple times when I’ve done something amazing while DJing. I DJ’ed at the White House. I got to perform with Ariana Grande, Big Sean, I got to meet Jim Carey. I feel like there was a lot of moments in there that I got to do something amazing including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama witnessing me DJ.
I started DJing when I was six years old. And a lot of times people told me that I was too young to DJ, they would ask questions like “Where are you going to DJ at, Chuck E. Cheese?” It was literally things like that. But, I just want to let you know, that it does not matter what age you are, whatever you want to do you can start now.