Beat Making Lab

“Our mission is one of cultural exchange. We collaborate with cultural centers, connect youth to a global audience, and contribute equipment and training.”

We are big fans of the North Carolina hip hop ensemble The Beast. MC of the group, Pierce Freelon is involved in a movement which is bringing knowledge and infrastructure of hip hop music production to obscure places around the world. Would you like to see The Hub host them for a Beat Making Lab in Morija? Let us know!

Beat Making Lab started as an innovative course on music production and entrepreneurship taught in the Music Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, founded by producer/DJ Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) and Dr. Mark Katz (author of Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip Hop DJ) in 2011. Professor/emcee Pierce Freelon joined Apple Juice Kid to co-teach the popular class in 2012, and was instrumental in transforming the curriculum for implementation in a community setting. Together, Freelon and Apple Juice Kid formed ARTVSM LLC, and initiated a grassroots campaign to crowd-source the funds to donate training and equipment to Yole!Africa. Their efforts culminated in a collaboration with PBS Digital Studios, which airs webisodes documenting Beat Making Labs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Panama, Senegal, Fiji and Ethiopia, each Wednesday on the Beat Making Lab youtube channel.

Why Beat Making?

Music is a tool to build dialogue, amplify voice and strengthen solidarity. As hip-hop and electronic music have developed into global culture, there is a growing need for resources, education and software to help youth express themselves in these genres.

Beat Making Lab does not require students to be able to read standard music notation, or play a traditional instrument. The participants learn the techniques of beat making through composition, sampling, and songwriting on the most powerful instrument of the 21st century: a laptop.

The results are computer-based electronic dance music and hip-hop songs. This approach and pedagogy radically broadens the population that can be served through modern music education.

Beat Making Lab is fundamentally a class, so they have to start with a set of core principles to get the students on the right track. The first one is, don’t use the packaged, factory drum sounds that come included in the beatmaking software you are using. Pierce and Apple Juice give a little demonstration to show you the difference:

Learn more on the Beat Making Lab website – www.beatmakinglab.com

Source – www.beatmakinglab.com

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