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“More hi-hat,” one student exclaims.
“Less cowbell,” responds another.
Outside of the Inner-City Arts music studio, these 7th graders from Aspire Pacific Academy are named Anthony and Adrian. In this Digital Music Production class, however, they go by their self-selected artist/stage names: Icekillz and The Gizmo. Together, they labor over their own digital track in Ableton live software. Headphones on, adjusting levels, slicing, and adding in different percussions, these students and their classmates experiment with new sounds.
For the first time ever, Inner-City Arts is proud to offer Digital Music Production curriculum to younger students as part of the in-school day Learning and Achieving Through the Arts program.
Through the course of the class, the students learn basic music theory (e.g. counting bars, counting measures, progression, how to use different drum sounds), develop computer literacy, build confidence, and engage in creative collaboration with their peers. At the end of the session, the class will culminate in a live performance where students will present their finished track in front of their peers.
“I really enjoy working with younger students,” says teaching artist E.T. of Sessions LA. “Their approach to creativity is unique to their age group. They’re bold. They take a lot more risks and are open to trying new things. In this class, there are no strict rules. Through these projects, students learn that creativity is often about trial and error.”