"It's more than just making beats..." ASPIRA'S MEDIA ARTS PROGRAM INSPIRES YoUTH  

ASPIRA Inc., of New Jersey, Newark, NJ

ASPIRA has long prided itself for its variety robust STEAM programming and activities for youth and teens of all ages. However, it is ASPIRA's production studio that has really inspired many of our community's best and brightest to be more through music.

Lorenzo Edwards, ASPIRA's instructor for the Media Arts Program and a teacher for ASPIRA's Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, reaches the students not through lectures and handouts, but through real-world, practical application and experience inside of a real recording studio. On day one, students have access to all of the equipment, and typically, by the end of the day, students would have already written, arranged, mixed, and recorded their own original pieces of music.
 

Mr. Edwards uses Garage Band, an Apple-based production tool that has been used a lot in education and has also been a great home tool for amateur musicians to compose music. What's great about this program is that it can be downloaded to the students' phones via their app stores. In many cases, Mr. Edwards will assign projects that students can then do on their phones at home, without incurring the cost of buying expensive equipment and software.

"The kids today don't want to simply make music, they want to be part of the entire production and engineering process, " stated Mr. Edwards. "Part of my job is to ensure that they have fun, learn their way around a music studio, and possibly, think about long-term careers in the recording industry."

When asked what do students and parents get the most from the program, Mr. Edwards simply stated "that this program, like all of ASPIRA's programs, provides a safe space for students to learn and stay occupied....and most of all, have some fun.

To learn more about the program, contact ASPIRA at 973-484-7554 or via email to dmcnealaspiranj@gmail.com.

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