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Master Package Graduate destined for great things

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Miles Campbell presented the “Superstar” Award at Fall 2018 Graduation for being the first student to complete all eight programs

It was a special day for 19 year old Miles Campbell as he walked up to the stage to accept a “Superstar” award for being the first student at Slam Academy to complete and graduate from all eight offered programs.  And, he was able to do it in under two years, while attending college full time. What’s his secret to success? We were able to catch up with the rock-star graduate for a personal interview on how he got started, what he gained from training, and what’s next on the horizon.

 

A conversation with Miles Campbell:

Tanya Lano, Slam Aacademy:

What first brought you to Slam Academy? What was your background experience prior to starting classes at Slam Academy? What goals did you have set at that time when you started classes?

Miles:

When I first started producing, I was 12 years old. I needed to find somewhere I can learn this. I googled “how to produce music” and Slam Academy came up in my search. I reached out, and started taking private lessons with James Patrick (Co-Founder) when I was 16. When I was a senior in high school, I decided what I wanted to do. We toured other schools, then I came to Slam Academy. I loved music my entire life, I love EDM, and have a huge passion. Minneapolis has a great music scene and Slam Academy is only 15 minutes away from where I live. The more I came here, the more it felt like a community and a home. It’s a family here. I wanted to take my music to a professional level. I worked hard to get all of those classes done.

SA:

You completed the DJ program first, why? And, what made you open your mind to taking all programs?

Miles:

I was DJ’ing a lot, and wanted better gigs. My full time job during high school was DJ’ing. I was making more money DJ’ing than my first part-time job so I quit. I was performing for high school events, Trampoline Park, and other random events. I feel the DJ program  is a good start for everyone. I also wanted to master Ableton Live so I took that with Sound Design. If you know Ableton Live and Sound Design, everything else can be built around these programs. Everything ties together.

SA:

How did you handle taking classes at your college and Slam Academy at the same time?  How did you structure your busy calendar to balance two schools? Why do you feel completing all 8 programs is beneficial?

Miles:

I took 26 credits in my freshman year of college, as well as classes at Slam Academy. I did mostly online classes for college, and I took night classes when I didn’t have classes at Slam. During breaks, I would do homework. I stayed busy and didn’t waste time. I didn’t hang with friends, just focused on myself. I stayed focused, but I’m not organized. I found a system and stuck with it.

Just recently I’ve been nominated and chosen to open for Steve Aoki at U of M homecoming. Seeing your hard work pay off is inspiring.

SA:

How do you handle stress and pressure?  Are you ever overwhelmed with work? How to you create balance for yourself?

Miles:

I try to remind myself stress will pass. You gotta keep working to overcome obstacles in life. Keep pushing forward. If you let yourself fall backwards, it’s harder to get back up. I just go for it. I feel overwhelmed all the time. I just transferred to a major University and still trying to work on music. I want to release music.

SA:

Do you feel Slam Academy got you where you want to be?

Miles:

Slam Academy went above and beyond. I did not expect to play my first gig at Skyway just 2 months after I started classes. It all happened so fast.  All the people I’ve met have completely changed my life.

SA:

What advice can you give future students that also desire to win a “Superstar” award? Are you collaborating with Slam Academy students?

Miles:

Work hard and keep at it. If I can do it, you can do it. Stay excited and inspired. Pull inspiration from the people in your class and the environment around you. It won’t seem like work, and it will just be fun

I’ve been collaborating with Forest Vlaming (Slam Academy Master Package Student) and worked on a tons of different ideas and business plans. We had a lot of classes together. Talking to other people that are in similar stages of their career and are hungry for success, just like I am, is very good. It’s hard to meet other people that are into the same thing as you are, so meeting tons of them at Slam was crazy. I felt in high school I was the only one doing this.

SA:

What’s next for Miles Campbell?

Miles:

I’m working on my first single, working on new music, getting ready for upcoming gigs, joined the EDM club at U of M, and helping to teach there. And, I expect more. I want to do music full time. That’s the goal.

SA:

Congratulations, Miles.

Miles:

Thank you very much.

Miles Per Hour

 

SoundCloud:
https://soundcloud.com/
milesperhour-1

FaceBook:
https://www.facebook.com/
milesperhourmusic/

Instagram: @mph_music
Twitter: @MPH_Music

Past gigs: https://www.facebook.com/events/2126147074286946/

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.

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/