Teaching Music Production at Boys Club

I have to admit, I was nervous!!! I’m at the beginning of my music production career (although not “just starting out” anymore– i need to change my craigslist ad lol), and here I am teaching others already. Of course prior to this I was making dayjob money teaching English as a foreign language so I’m not unfamiliar with the idea of teaching, but still…

It went GREAT. The kids were so enthused, they had a terrific time, and we even recorded a little.

I introduced them to the idea of signal flow, in a very simplified version. We just traced the signal from a microphone that I set up, through the audio interface, into the computer, through the software, and back out through the computer’s speakers. When I plugged in headphones, I accidentally plugged them into the MOTU, and told them, see, I made a mistake because I wasn’t thinking about signal flow. I’m just trying to make sure they begin with that concept, because I’ve had engineers tell me that’s the one thing they get frustrated about with interns, that they don’t understand signal flow.

I hardly understand signal flow. When you start talking about side chains and the like it makes my eyes cross. But I figure teaching it will help me learn it.

Then I introduced them to the concept of tracks. They loved it so much– you could see the light going on in their eyes as they began to understand how the music they love is created. They beatboxed and adlibbed into the mic, and I put some things together for them. One kid said to me that one part should go in a certain place, and I told him, that’s producing.

I love teaching this class already. I hope to develop a whole curriculum and do it much more! How often do you get the chance to teach something that students are so eager to learn???

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