Spreading the word of Slam Academy and more; My role as Special Projects Manager

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By Kyle Goodrich (Guest Blogger, Slam Academy Instructor / Staff / Alum)

If you’ve ever spent time at our main campus in Minneapolis, it’s very likely that you don’t need a formal introduction to who I am, but for those of you who haven’t, I will gladly give you a quick one. My name is Kyle Goodrich (Kyle King), I am an instructor at Slam Academy, a DJ, sound designer, engineer, producer, and almost every other kind of audio work I’ve dabbled in at some point over the last 15 or so years working in music. I also am a former student of Slam Academy, having taken the Ableton Live, Sound Design, and Mixing & Mastering Programs throughout 2016 – 2017.

My role now has become the Special Projects Manager at Slam Academy and while that might sound like a very “business” oriented role, I’m really just someone who very strongly believes in the mission of Slam Academy and wants to connect with as many people as possible to make sure that we can get out to more and more students and help them achieve their goals of making great music!

Recently we’ve worked with the Department of Defense Education Activity on a project that involved all of the executives at Slam helping train teachers who are working at schools near military bases and are going to be teaching Ableton to those students whose parents are part of our armed forces. I actually can relate a lot to those kids, as someone who was an army brat myself, I think that this is an extremely noble cause, and I am quite jealous of the kids who are getting this opportunity to learn music production!

Myself and Tanya Lano (Recruitment Specialist at Slam) also got to spread the word of Slam Academy at The Commons in downtown Minneapolis right outside of US Bank stadium this past summer! It was a beautiful day outside, and the music was a perfect compliment to the day. There were food trucks, outdoor games, and a nice big park for people to relax and spend the last fleeting days of summer, as the Minnesota winter slowly begins to take over.

Also, a collaboration between Slam Academy and the Adoption Is Love foundation took place where one of our wonderful TAs, Mike Johnson (Baard) worked with a young woman who wrote a song dedicated to her biological mother entitled “First Mom” and I got to do the mixing and mastering for the track! It was a very heartfelt song and was such a joy to work on. Both Tanya and I will be at the rotunda in the Mall of America on Saturday October 6th [with the Adoption Is Love Walk at Mall of America]. Stop by to hear the song, support the event, and also say hello to us!

There is more in the works and just keep your eyes out for more events!

If you’re interested in getting Slam Academy involved in your event, or if you want to work with me and help get Slam out to more people, please feel free to email me at [email protected] and let’s get in touch!


Editor’s Note: Between Tanya, Kyle, and the rest of the staff at Slam Academy we have been fortunate to participate with these organizations and their events. Beyond those listed above, Slam Academy also works closely with Beats by Girlz and She Rock She Rock, hosting many of the organizations’ workshops, classes, and events in our main studio (A: Performance Hall). Tanya will also be involved in this fall’s Performance and Visual Arts Fair! The fair will be held at the Minneapolis Institute of Art on Tuesday, October 9th at 7pm. We encourage everyone to stop by, say hi, and learn more about Slam!

A Day at SoundSet: How Music Affects Us

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By Grace Wethor (Guest Blogger, Slam Academy Student)

For me personally, music wasn’t just something that I enjoyed; I truly believe it saved my life. As a 16 year old currently fighting a brain tumor, music is one of the only things that brings me relief. Mixing beats on my laptop and attending festivals quickly became my way of forgetting about the MRIs and doctors’ appointments.

Growing up in Minnesota, I struggled to find peers that felt the same connection to music that I did. Then one day I found Slam Academy. I called my mom and we drove right there. Seeing a space where everyone was creative and felt that same draw to music was incredible for me. I instantly knew I had found a new place I fit in and a place to further my education of music.

A couple months ago, I set out on a journey to spread this positive influence that music had had on me. Knowing how much it helped me personally, I had to spread my form of music therapy with others. Seeing what a positive influence music festivals and places like Slam Academy had, I knew it had to be spread far and wide to anyone who would listen. When I found out I had the opportunity to attend SoundSet Festival in my hometown, I knew it was the perfect time to dig deeper into my questions about why music made me feel the way it did.

Grace pictured with Jaden Smith     

Grace’s view from backstage of Jaden Smith’s performance

This year’s line up featured artists such as Tyler The Creator, Jaden Smith, Migos, Logic, and more.

When walking into SoundSet, I instantly felt the vibe that I had felt when I first walked into Slam Academy. It is an overwhelming feeling of acceptance, positivity, and support. No one cared what illness you were dealing with, how many followers you had, or what you looked like. Even if it was just for one day, that entire day we were all just humans connecting and listening to music. There is something magical about that.

While there I got to catch up with some of the artists and talk to them about the impact music and festivals such as SoundSet have on them. They all agreed that music had saved their lives in one way or another. (Plus they all loved Minnesota, haha.)

Seeing everyone come together and bond over their love of DJs and Hip Hop artists was truly an amazing experience. To allow young people from Minnesota to experience music at this level is an amazing resource for them to feel connected to the artists they love and have time to just be. And in today’s day and age, I think it is really important to let go sometimes and just be. I’ve definitely learned a lot more over my years of pursuing music and love the feeling I get when I play a new track I’ve mixed, but there is nothing that compares to the feeling of seeing thousands of people singing together and jumping around. SoundSet is definitely a magical experience! I recommend everyone to attend, even once in their life, if possible. I also believe in the influence of understanding music more in depth and learning about what goes into your favorites artist work. And you never know, music may save your life too.



To learn more about SoundSet: https://soundsetfestival.com

Slam Academy offers a 12-week DJ Program, starting Wednesday, June 13, 2018: https://slamacademy.com/dj-program/
Check out the free intro class, Wednesday, June 6, 2018: https://slamacademy.com/atslam/fr-itodj-wed-2018-06-06/

View all programs: https://slamacademy.com/programs/