Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Studio 52- real life learning and it's fun

This evening as I sit here at the end of a really fabulous day spent with 5 teachers and 24 students from two country schools in North West Victoria I'm seeing something pretty amazing. These students have been chosen to come to Studio 52 in Collingwood Melbourne to record their own CD. Studio 52 is a real recording studio and the kids have been working with sound engineers and graphic artists to record and mix their music and then design and create their compilation of eclectic songs. Some are covers, some are original songs. Some students are beatboxing, others are playing in a 5 guitar ensemble, still others are playing bass and electric guitars with drums and singer. And some are pianists and soloists. What brings them all together is firstly Koolskools, the project that allows young people to record and produce their own music and participate in a state wide competion to find the best young performers and writers in the state. Also shared is an interest in music, in express themselves through songwriting and performance in some pretty cool and diverse ways and a shared goal of having their music published.
As I sit here at 11.00pm in the common room of the back packer hotel that we are staying in, I see a teacher from another school teaching a student from our school how to distort sound on an electric guitar, three girls practising their vocals for their track tomorrow, one teacher writing on her laptop, three boys playing their guitars practising their parts for their track tomorrow, two girls practising on their keyboards and generally having fun playing any song they can think of and other students sitting back enjoying the sound.
I am so thrilled to see some of our students who struggle at school in the mainstream context finding a way to impress and express their thoughts and ideas. We have one student who is an exceptionally talented beatbox artist. This afternoon at the studio he began to lay down his track and in the little recording Studio B there was myself, his music teacher and one other mate. At the end of two takes the studio had filled to capacity as other students heard or were told of something pretty amazing happening in the studio. When he came out of the recording booth he was greeted with clapping and congrats from students from both schools who may not have been beatbox fans but who recognised an awesome talent. I truly hope that one day our beatboxer will look back on these two days and recognise the wonderful opportunity he has had. But more importantly I hope he remembers the recognition by his peers of his talent and unique ability and dedication to his craft.