Beat Labs Music Education

Musicians, designers, coders with experience teaching in over 20 schools around the world + 3 Lab Locations

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Apps

We develop apps designed for music creation, jamming, education

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Beatshop Labs

Where music listeners become music makers.

"We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams"

OUR APPS

 We teach our classes with an entertaining and culturally relevant curriculum, using technology to engage our students. Then we transfer those principles over to our designs and development process for music software and games. Prototyping, developing and implementing software and games in the classroom helps students create, learn and explore in fun, fast paced environments. Using modern music production techniques and concepts, we make learning about music as fun as playing a game for all ages and demographics - we make music happen by turning listeners into (beat) makers.


SLICR : Beat maker / Music Production tool for iOS

Slicr is a beat making tool developed by professional beat-makers, developers, music production teachers from SAE Institute/Ex'pression College and inspired by our students at Beatshop Labs. Slicr lets musicians, pro and amateur, slice sounds and loops with a few taps. In seconds, players can begin jamming to their favorite songs, create new songs through remixing, or load in their own sample libraries and start from scratch. Producer & DJ, MR.CARMACK has teamed up with Beatshop Labs to bring fans an exclusive look into how he makes music and to share his sound design collection.


REBEAT : Repeat the Beat

Rebeat: Repeat the Beat for iOS, a musical Simon Says memory beat game that helps you develop and train your brain to memorize patterns and sequences faster. We use the top modern urban sounds so its no longer just a boring 4 note melody! The rules are simple - Listen to the beat's sound order and then repeat the order back using beat pads. REBEAT helps you repeat the beat! In this fast paced game, you will trade punches with Rebeat bar-by-bar, and the music won’t stop until your memory fails! Rebeat takes inspiration from music learning practices like "call and response". You wait for a “call” from Rebeat and then you repeat the beat back. Every drummer internalizes beat patterns - through muscle memory or mental memory. Rebeat is the best game for musicians, music makers, music educators, producers, beat makers and music lovers.


COOKIE BEATS : Drum Pad Rhythm Game

Through our experience teaching music technology, we design and develop music software and games for iPad and iPhone/iPod to help students learn in fun, fast paced environments like our educational rhythm game, Cookie Beats. Using modern music equipment and concepts, we make learning about music as fun as playing a game! We turn music listeners and lovers into music makers. Cookie Beats is no longer available or supported on the App Store! :(

BEAT LAB @ SF SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

In 2014, we started the first ever electronic music and production program during school hours in SFUSD at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. At this point we had been teaching for 4 years in Boston and around the Bay Area. Since then, we’ve refined our year long curriculum to 12 full units and have built out our curriculum and project based units on Google Classroom. This is the most advanced we can get in a public school settings since we are working with students who play music for half of their school day (arts high school schedule). A lot of our students even take music theory, AP Music Theory, ear training and musicianship classes.

However, it is surprising to see that a lot of the students we encounter still don’t know how to APPLY those skills, so we expose them to real life modern day music projects. Some of our projects put them into situations where a client wants a piece of music for a podcast or TV show or a client wants a remix for a song and sends them the vocal stems. 7 years of music education and they still struggle to apply these skills shows us the huge deficiencies in traditional music education. In addition, we observe a lack of proficiency in basic technology skills. With the proliferation of mobile and smart phone use, we see that a lot of students are missing the basic computer competency to use our software, and these kinds of classes are needed to fill in those gaps. Especially in the Bay Area which is the tech capital of the world, no student should leave high school without learning how to use a computer.

BEAT LAB @ BAY AREA MUSIC PROJECT

ALAMEDA, CA

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We created and installed a beat lab at Bay Area Music Project in Alameda, CA in 2017. During after-school hours in Alameda we teach Beat-making, music production and sound design to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. The decision to use Ableton Live, a professional standard software in the music industry, in an elementary school classroom, was an innovative experiment that gave us surprisingly harmonious results. It may be the first Ableton Live class for elementary school kids in the world. The program was a huge success and the aptitude for music technology assured us that our confidence in kids as young as 9 years old could create music with this software (given the proper instruction and guidance).

In 2019, our curriculum was expanded and solidified by creating and adapting lesson plans for high school students to younger students. However, our experimental attitude led us to a result not even I have achieved in my 8 years teaching and 14 years producing music. For our beautiful final concert, we transcribed and translated a student’s piece from MIDI notation (computer music notation) to score notation via the free online score notation program, MuseScore, which can accept MIDI notes as a basis for a score. We passed along the sheet music to the String Ensemble teacher and our Elementary school Electronic String Symphony was born. During the live performance, the string ensemble was playing parts from the piece composed and produced by a student, while I was also manipulating, arranging, and DJing synthesizers and drum programming from the student’s original piece. The student, DJ E was playing cello in the String Ensemble during the performance.

This fusion of electronic and acoustic, technologic and traditional is a great example of our philosophy and curriculum, which is a synthesis of traditional music theory and music education pedagogy and new tools that technology has afforded us in the modern age of music creation.

This piece was composed and produced by our 4th grade student, DJ E. The topics we covered this year included:

  • Drum programming

  • Counting beats and bars

  • Sequencing parts using the “piano roll”

  • Synthesizer programming and preset/patch choice

  • Remixing using audio tracks

  • Sound design using effects like Reverb and Delay

For the music theory section we talked about how you can visually interpret the piano roll and see the intervals of most chords — either they have 3+ or 4+ semitone differences. In other words, most chords (in root position) are either made up of minor or major thirds.

Then we talked about how 4 part harmonies can be played by different voices and instruments and how they come together to form chords. Other topics included:

  • Voice leading

  • Counter point

  • Ostinato

  • Double / Half time

  • Arranging


MORE BEAT LABS & EDUCATION

Check out our Youtube page and subscribe for weekly beat tutorial videos! https://www.youtube.com/beatshoplabs

What you'll learn

 
  • Beat-Making in Ableton & Reason

  • DJing

  • Sound Design

  • Sampling

  • Recording

  • Mixing/Mastering

Location

San Francisco, Oakland, Boston

About

For the past 8 years, our beat labs have provided affordable music technology education to aspiring producers and DJs in the San Francisco Bay Area. We teach beat-making, DJing, composition, sound design, mixing, and mastering.

Pricing

Classes of 5+ students: $100/ (4) 1-hour classes

Private lessons: Email below for inquiries


Check out our

Beat videos on Instagram @BeatshopLabs