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Slam Academy visits Denver

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Slam Academy hosted the Denver Ableton Live User Group at The Black Box on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 with over 100 attendees present at the event, including music production demonstrations by Mr. Bill (Slam Academy Denver), Serafin Sanchez (Ableton), and James Patrick (JP; Slam Academy Minneapolis), with musical performance by DKO, Darren Kramer.

This was Slam Academy’s very first event in Denver, Colorado.  Denver is a city that Slam Academy has admired since the beginning, and now, exciting opportunities to participate in the development of the electronic music production community for the first time is underway. The Black Box is Denver’s premiere Electronic Music venue and Slam Academy couldn’t have been more excited for a better place to host an advanced music production workshop. Slam Academy has been hosting Ableton User Groups in Minneapolis for the past 6 years, and the community of Denver was very welcoming.

“One of the biggest secrets to our success is that we help people find the joy of developing their own sound” said James Patrick as he began his presentation on sound design. The packed room paid close attention to all presenters as they each offered something unique and different.

Slam Academy also paid a visit to a local, non-profit youth music mentorship program called Youth on RecordYouth on Record inspires at-risk youth to see the potential for a better life. Upon arriving, Slam Academy was greeted by YOR Teaching Artist, Mona Magno, who provided an informational tour about the programs. Youth on Record empowers Colorado’s under-served youth to achieve their academic, artistic, and personal best by employing local, professional artists as their educators. Becoming a monthly donor or donating to their wish list really helps to support the organization.

In addition, Slam Academy also got to pay a visit to Mr. Bill’s personal recording studio.  Mr. Bill, a producer and artist based in Denver, provides Ableton Live tutorials about the ins and outs of Ableton’s devices.  From beginner users to advanced, Mr. Bill offers something for everyone. He will show you tricks, helpful functions and many other fancy things. Be sure to check out the sample pack bundles and collections.

Slam Academy will be starting an Ableton Live program in Denver that launches March 4, 2019. The Ableton Live program is a six-month plan designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of this powerful and versatile tool. It will meet every Monday from 7pm-10pm (MST) at The Black Box. For more information on enrollment, please contact Slam Academy Denver @ 720-772-1483 or email us at [email protected].

Mary (Director of Student Affairs) & Tanya (Recruitment Specialist) welcoming & enrolling students

Serafin Sanchez (DEN AUG host & Ableton rep) diving deep into the various features of Ableton

Musical performance featuring Ableton Live by DKO, Darren Kramer (co-host of the DEN AUG)

Teaching assistants, enrolled & prospective students are all engaged in the presentation

JP (CCO & Slam Academy co-founder) amazes the crowd with some sound design techniques

Full house @ the Black Box attentively watching JP’s presentation

Stay tuned for Slam Academy’s full program offerings to be introduced at our new Denver campus over the coming months / year(s)!

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!

David Birrow awarded Innovation in Music Education Award

Teacher, Clinician & Percussionist, David Birrow leads by example

David Birrow has been named the first recipient of Slam Academy’s new annual Innovation in Music Education Award for being a leader in implementing technology in every class as a way to empower his students to create, learn and communicate. Birrow will receive the award during a school assembly at Breck School on December 18th

Birrow currently teaches in Minneapolis for the MacPhail Center for Music and Breck School. He is a percussionist, teacher and licensed educator with experience teaching K-12 general music in both public and private schools as well as individual and group percussion instruction. Birrow attended the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music with a major in Music Education. He then earned a Master’s of Music degree in Instrumental Performance from the University of Minnesota. He has also written a new book about how to teach bucket drumming, properly titled: The Bucket Book.

Birrow teaches courses to students in grades 5-12 in Music Production, Music Theory, Music Psychology, Video Editing, World Music, and Film Music. Birrow’s classrooms are hands-on, active places where students are situated as composers, DJs, editors, musicologists and performers.

“Technology also allows students to self-differentiate how they work in class,” said Birrow. “They also learn about the history of electronic music.”

 

Students construct their own knowledge as they remix songs, perform experiments, code video games, and play music. In his 7-8 grade Digital Music class, students learn how to DJ, produce house and techno tracks, and perform on synth instruments. Students get their hands on MIDI keyboards, DJ controllers, and electronic drums as they learn about melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. They use Garageband, Hydrogen Drum Machine, and Audacity to create music in several genres. After creating a new song, students post their compositions on a class website, allowing their classmates to listen and provide feedback.

http://www.davidbirrow.com

 

 

Innovation in Music Education Award (IMEA) Purpose & Mission:

The Slam Academy Innovation in Music Education Award was created to showcase innovative uses of music technology in pre-college education. Slam Academy believes that educators who effectively embrace such technologies are preparing students for a future not only as musicians, but as technologically-astute citizens.

Slam Academy has always offered students various vocational programs in music production, music theory and performance, and with David’s teachings to middle and high school students, this will help nurture and prepare our Slam Academy students to round out their education with industry and career advancing concepts, including production, music theory, music business, composing, sound design, recording engineering and DJ’ing.