The Lavelle School for the Blind Beat Rockers gave a final performance at school to show off their newly acquired skills in front of all their friends, teachers, and parents. They were accompanied by Beat Rockers instructors Taylor McFerrin, Adam Matta, Chesney Snow, and special guest performers Kenny Muhammad and Masai Electro. The kids blew everyone away with their amazing performance! It was quite obvious to everyone that the they really learned a lot about making music and loved participating in the program.
However, we need support to continue providing the program for the kids! We’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the next round of the program, where you can pledge your support and get great items in return, from official BEAT merchandise to rare, collectible autographed items. If we raise our goal of $7K, we’ll be able to continue the Beat Rockers program for the kids in the Spring. Anything over our goal goes towards future rounds of this and other BEAT programs. If we miss the mark, however, we don’t get anything.
Just check out the video spot we created using clips from classes and the final performance, and if so compelled, please donate and help spread the word!
Taylor brought some of his toys into the classroom this week, and has been showing the kids how to make music on the fly using an innovative music production program called Ableton Live and a midi keyboard. We passed a mic around the room and the kids recorded some vocal sounds, and then Taylor looped and transformed the recordings into musical elements, creating a totally original track from scratch, live on the spot without skipping a beat. The kids, like us, were amazed at the final results.
Listen to some of the tracks that were made during class:
This week we had a special guest, Kenny Muhammad “The Human Orchestra,” come into class to share his incredible and unique beatboxing talent and inspiration with the class. His presence opened up a whole new opportunity for these students to collaborate with new sounds.
In Class 3, we heard Nurris jam with Kenny by providing “shaker” sounds and learning how to change up the rhythms and improvise on his own. Carlos, one of the younger students in Class 4, showed his skills on the piano and the bongo and even both at the same time!
Beat Rockers was invited to do a performance showcase at Reform School, an amazing project featuring high-profile art exhibitions, workshops, and parties aimed at driving awareness for educational reform, that took place during the weekend of Oct 22-24th.
We invited local beatboxing talent, Masai Electro and Chesney Snow (now teaching for Beat Rockers!), to perform at the event to kick off the program and raise visibility of the program.
Check out these audio clips from the second week of classes! One of the students, Taeshan, got on the keys and jammed with professors Taylor, Adam, and Chesney – first to a bluesy tune and then a fun little melody, with the whole class adding a little extra flavor on top. Taeshan has perfect pitch and can mimic almost anything he hears. Incredible.