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Music Production & Lyricism Program

Our BEAT Explorers program engages students in creative and technical aspects of storytelling through songwriting and original music production. This program is particularly effective for high school students. 

Students will learn how to translate their stories into original verse. In each session, they will collectively brainstorm ideas for lyrics based on a theme, then learn how to turn those ideas into their own song verses! Students will also learn the basics of freestyle etiquette - such as choosing a theme, sharing one-by-one, and structuring an 8 bar-freestyle for their peers. 

On the production side of songwriting, students will learn the basic percussion sounds of the kick drum, snare drum, and high-hat, and how to build their own rhythms using free music production software. Students will learn how to unleash their creativity through song as they master the technical aspects of music production, while also receiving a professional view of how to build a career in the music industry. 

At the end of each session, students share their verses and beats to receive constructive feedback to keep building their songs even after the class is done.

The success of BEAT Explorers is through its accessibility and sustainability. Our program is:

  • Culturally responsive
  • Learner-centered
  • Accessible
  • Inclusive of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), National Core Arts Standards and NYC Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts Benchmarks

Assessment is based on:

  • Quantitative and qualitative assessments of student attitudes, behavior, and writing samples before and after they attend our programs.
  • Participation rates of the students, feedback from the teachers and administrators, and through video/written testimonials from the students, site directors, principals, and educators. 

Social/Emotional Outcomes

  • Improve creative writing
  • Build life skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration and leadership
  • Cultivate a sense of belonging, wellness and increased engagement in school
  • Increase confidence and inspiration through professional guidance
  • Become aware of the importance of safe spaces as a way to initiate hard conversations
  • Develop non-violent, creative, peaceful resolutions to conflict
  • Learn to use their voices in a safe space and embrace their individuality
  • Develop skills necessary to thrive in the professional music production setting

These workshops are responsive to themes and topics that reflect students’ personal experiences and environments. Students not only learn the fundamentals of music composition and songwriting but learn creative, restorative ways to respond to life’s triumphs and challenges. 

We offer:

  • Summer and school year-long program for high school students
  • Workshops (one time, series or residencies)  
  • Events
  • Professional development and parent training

Please contact our Program Director, Brittany Wilson, with inquiries.

Watch a powerful testimonial from LJ, a BEAT Explorers Alumni, below.

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I probably wouldn't have graduated if BEAT wasn't in school. Because I was really close to just dropping out anyway, but BEAT sort of made it easier for me to just deal with that whole high school thing.

LJ, Engineering Assistant, BEAT Alumni


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