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To address the need for culturally relevant and engaging teen programming in the Bed-Stuy community, Bedford Library proposes to offer Remix Academy, a 6-week DJ and music production workshop series available to approximately 15 teens in grades 9-12. Through partnership with non-profit organization Building Beats, 2-hr workshops will be held for 6 consecutive Saturdays beginning in September. This is a progressive series in which teens will build upon the skills learned in the previous sessions as they work to produce a final product/project. At the completion of the program, there will be a Student Showcase open to the public to present and celebrate each student’s achievements.

Bedford Library is the ideal institution to host a pilot program of this nature. It is uniquely located in the heart of Bed-Stuy, a community steeped in hip hop history and culture. The Library is equipped with a team of librarians who can provide crucial supplemental material and resources, which will support each lesson and ensure successful outcomes.

Tentative Curriculum Outline:

SESSION 1: INTRODUCTION & WHAT IS A LOOP?

Participants will learn about the purpose of the program. They will also get to know each other and learn more about the expectations for their participation. Students will be introduced to the organic orchestra and exploration of loops through Incredibox and Audiotool. Students will be provided with a curated collection on DJ-ing and the hip hop community, highlighting famous artists from Bed-Stuy, along with basic DJ and music production guides.

Students will learn:

  • The components of song making
  • The importance of logic thinking to create a finalized product
  • The importance of diversity and having variety in all aspects of life

SESSION 2: SAMPLING & THE IMPORTANCE OF SAMPLING IN POPULAR MUSIC

Students will learn how to translate the organic sounds from their environment and transpose it into a digital medium.

Students will learn:

  • The importance of re­using existing resources to give them new meaning and purpose
  • The importance of creative thinking to figure out how they can make the best use of resources they currently have available in their community
  • The basics of copyright law and how it pertains to sampling music
  • How to access public domain resources and music databases available through BPL

SESSION 3: DRUM MACHINES & SYNTHESIZERS

Students will be introduced to drum loops and their importance in beatmaking. Students explore the importance of the synthesizer and explore synths in Audiotool.

Students will learn:

  • How to put various looped tracks together into a cohesive beginning of a song. This will help them learn the importance of putting together various parts to create a whole song. This will help students understand the sum is greater than the parts of the song
  • Students will learn the importance of composition and the preparation of melodies. This will help students understand putting different melodies together and organizing a project

SESSION 4: SONG ARRANGEMENT & STRUCTURE

Students will explore Song Structure.­ Overall focus will be helping students understand the flow of a song (Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Outro, etc.). Building their production arrangement in the standard and other forms of song structure.

Students will learn:

  • Song arrangement allows students to work on their design thinking ​from the beginning to end of a product life cycle
  • The importance of planning, from conceptualization to implementation, and how it leads to optimal results

SESSION 5: SOUND ENGINEERING / REMIXING

Students will learn about output/solos/improvisation of effects over tracks made over the weeks. The workshop emphasizes the importance of effects and plugins that can make individual audio tracks sound cleaner and crisper. Students will be provided with an acapella to produce their own remix using all the concepts they’ve been taught.

Students will learn:

  • To value the perspective of others. ​Reflecting upon their individual projects can help make the overall product/song better
  • The importance of collaboration

SESSION 6: MUSIC BUSINESS

Students explore the business side of music with an introduction to strategic planning, artist/ album branding and marketing. Students learn to develop their own brand or product, whether it’s a song, a mixtape, an EP or an artist. In collaboration with BPL’s marketing department, students will be provided with expert knowledge and resources on brand, PR, and social media marketing.

Students will learn:

  • How to develop research methods to understand market and audience feedback
  • How to put everything together and apply the knowledge gained from each session to develop their final product/project

STUDENT SHOWCASE

Students are given the opportunity to showcase their work to peers and the community, while speaking about their entire process of creating music. The final presentation allows students to look back on the full program experience.

Students will learn:

  • The art of pitching or presenting their final product.

Outcome success will be measured by gathering responses from weekly surveys. These may include an emoji rating scale and a brief video confessional series to keep things fun and engaging. Feedback from surveys will not only help us determine the success of the program and measure outcomes, but also help make improvements for more effective workshops going forward.

One main outcome we hope to achieve is continued audience engagement with BPL after the program has ended. To meet this goal, we propose the following:

  • Recruit participants to join our T4 Program (Today’s Teens, Tomorrow’s Techies)
  • Form a Remix Club: A relaxed, social environment where Remix Academy “graduates" meet regularly to use equipment, work on new tracks, and hold DJ battles / showcases. Participants will gain exposure, build a fanbase, and become comfortable performing for a live audience.
  • Invite the "graduates" to come back and mentor younger students in school break workshops (i.e. Remix Academy Jr.)

With ongoing participation in BPL programming, teens will continue to expand their interests and skillsets, while exposing themselves to new experiences, networks and opportunities for future success.

General Info

Describe your program idea in one sentence

DJ and music production workshop series that teaches entrepreneurial, leadership and life skills to Bed-Stuy teens.

Describe the community need you will address

The CCC of NY ranks Bedford-Stuyvesant as the 2nd highest risk youth community in Brooklyn. Indicators include teen pregnancy, idleness, and youth unemployment. Participating in positive, goal-directed activities enables teens to develop skills, build character, and also decreases opportunity for risky behavior. The goal of Remix Academy is not only to occupy idle time, but to support creative expression, build self-esteem, teach new skills and expose teens to positive peer/adult influences.

Target Audience

Teens
Team Leads

Name

Christina Ferrari

Location

Bedford Library
5
Average: 5 (11 votes)
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