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Beats, Rhymes & Life – A Free Music Production Workshop for Young People Has Opened in Melbourne

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Davey Norris (aka Dizz1), Ableton certified trainer and founder of not-for-profit organisation Sound Of The Future, and Melbourne DJ/producer Phil Yang (aka SWERV) have joined forces to run a creative music program aimed at disadvantaged young people in the community, looking to make a start with music production. We popped in to check it out.

Kindred Studios in Yarraville is base camp for Beats Rhymes & Life – a music program that covers everything from finger drumming to music theory, through the lens of Ableton Live. Davey Norris, who is an accomplished producer and DJ in his own right, is no stranger to music education and is putting his Ableton Certified Trainer title to good use, establishing Sound of The Future to serve the interests of music literacy and technology, while fostering young people’s creativity.

Of the workshop’s mission, Davey says, “we use music as a pathway to engage creative thinking, advancing self-direction, collaboration and positive communication and we run music and creative writing programs aimed at under-privileged, disengaged and disabled young people between the ages of 8-26.”

The class room offers an intimate learning experience into how to produce and record using Ableton Live, and provides each student with fundamental tools like a Push controller and MIDI keyboard. “I’ve always had a dream to set up a space like this,” remarks Davey, “we’ve been travelling around Victoria as a mobile outfit for some time.” Fortunately, along came Kindred Studios, ” I thought there’d be a great opportunity to set up a space at Kindred Studios, it has an amazing energy.”

As we arrived, Davey was halfway through a vocal recording session, tracking vocals for one of the students who has been utilising the facilities to push his music. “I guess our vision is to have an open workshop area for young people to come and explore music production and recording,” muses Davey. “That’s the main goal for us – giving young people who don’t have access to this kind of equipment a turn.”

We also sat in on a session with Phil, helping students to better understand chord structures and apply them to compositions in Ableton Live. The class was engaged and relaxed as Phil lead with a demonstration on different music theory techniques. After only a couple of hours, students were feeling energized through their new found understanding and new possibilities for musical ideas. And I guess that’s really what Norris and Yang have set out to achieve here, so mission accomplished!

The workshops are free on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6pm at Kindred Studio in Yarraville – email holla@soundofthefuture.org to RSVP and Check out Sound Of the Future: http://www.soundofthefuture.org/

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