Please welcome digital media teacher Matt Koons to EdSpace. We met at a KQED Education event last fall, and I wanted to hear more about his students' music production projects, which reminded me of our inspiring KQED Spark videos about young music-makers such as the students from they Bay Area Unity Music Project, and singer/songwriter Lauren Shera.
Matt Koons:Here at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, students have a break between the first half and second half of the school year called "Intersession." During Intersession students sign up for classes that run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm everyday for almost 2 weeks. My class was called "Music Production" at the Dream Box Studio. I wanted to give students the chance to create and learn how to record their own music. The equipment was donated by Leo Laporte (a.k.a. The Tech Guy) and I turned a library space into a recording studio with a few office panels to use as isolation booths. The school bought a large conference table at Habitat for Humanity's "ReStore" to hold some equipment.”
I anticipated having maybe 12 students and I got 23, with more wanting to sign up. There are so many students that can play an instrument and/or sing nowadays that I underestimated the turnout. Our school is small so we don't have marching bands or school bands for the students to play in. The music production class had students create their own group or band, or they could work alone. Most of what we ended up recording was original work, others used backtracks, and some played covers of familiar songs.