Woohoo! I'm now officially an Ableton Certified Trainer. I've been waiting for this for six years. To be honest, I wasn't even sure it was ever going to happen. Dennis Fischer, head of the Ableton Certification Team, and I had already developed a kind of choreographed dance. Him trying to subtly avoid me along with my questions about when the next certification event was supposed to happen, me gently cornering him to ask anyway. Last time I only caught him on the bus on the way back from Loop where there was no way for him to hide from me.

The last certification event for anyone in Berlin happened in 2012. At a time, when I already knew I was going to leave Ableton and start Sonic Bloom, but when they had a rule that employees could not take part. Rules are rules at Ableton, so I had to wait for the next one to come along. The thing is just that there's a kind of trend that people get certified elsewhere and then end up moving to Berlin, so we always have a surplus of certified trainers here. Thus it took six years for another one to come around.

When a new event was finally approaching, Dennis kindly let me know also via Facebook messenger so that I couldn't possibly miss my chance to apply. I made it through to the phone interview and passed. Then it was time to go back to my old workplace from my tech support days, as the event took place at the Ableton HQ.

The weekend itself was incredibly inspiring, we all learned new things despite it being no training, but a series of very tough tests. It was exhausting, the continuing Berlin heatwave and lack of sleep not making it any easier. I'm glad I will never actually have to encounter a teaching situation like this in real life. They really put us through the paces in the most difficult way to see how we would manage.

This photo was taken after we all made it through and had just been told that we'd passed, but it clearly hadn't sunken in yet.


Top left to right: Dennis Fischer, Aroha Harawira (both Ableton), Emilie Gadave, Yuyu Feng, Mel Uye-Parker. Bottom: Sakura Tsuruta (Ableton), me, Anna Lakatos.

And yes, all participants who made it to the certification event and eventually came out the other end feeling sweaty, exhausted and slightly crazy, but now officially Ableton Certified Trainers, were women. In case you were wondering, it wasn't a woman only certification round either. What a fun, creative, skilled and knowledgable bunch of women. I'm so glad I got to share the experience with all of them.