Pyramind's new control room at 832 Folsom, which includes a Pro Tools HD system, Digidesign D-Command console, JBL LSR6300 surround sound system and 50-inch LCD display.
Demonstrating that summer school in the 21st century can be pretty cool, Pyramind Production & Training in San Francisco is offering—for the first time—an intensive four-week summer recording workshop designed specifically for students aged 12-18. The program will take place from July 23 through August 16, 2008, in the newer of Pyramind's two facilities, situated at 832 Folsom St., and due to available space, enrollment is limited to 20 students.
Each week of instruction covers fundamentally important aspects of modern music production, beginning with MIDI sequencing and arranging with Propellerhead's Reason, taught by educator/artist/producer Lynda Arnold; continuing with a band recording workshop in Week Two taught by Pyramind graduate Jason Martinez; and concluding with two weeks of Pro Tools 101 Digidesign-Certified Training taught by Pyramind graduate Lucas Zavala, including mixing and mastering during the final week of instruction.
Hands-on instruction in music technology has become integral in many K-12 schools across the country in recent years—as well as a voluntary after-school offering in other cases. But it isn't yet commonplace for professional, vocational-oriented schools such as Pyramind to reach out to younger students who haven't completed high school. "This is new for us," notes Pyramind's executive director, Gregory J. Gordon. "We get a lot of calls from teens, and we say, 'Finish [your] high school education and then come experience what Pyramind has to offer.' And we haven’t had anything that we could offer teens before, so we decided to try this."
Gordon believes that teens who are interested in music production are ready to commit to the discipline required to learn it from the ground up. "I just spoke at my daughter’s high school a month or so ago, and I had them glued to me for three hours," he says. "I couldn’t believe it, but they were fascinated, and so that’s what kind of set the light bulb off in my head. I said, 'Well, gosh, these guys really are into this, and if they have the attention to get through it, then this could be a great thing.'
"One of the things we’re also really keen on is making people aware of the reality of the business, " Gordon continues, "so that people aren’t all starry-eyed going into these things. I think if you get that experience at a young age, you’re just that much more savvy going into the industry—if you really want to be in the music business, per se. I think this is a time when we need savvy people; we need people who get it and aren’t just going for the glitter and the glam. Because not only is the industry obviously in a very interesting time right now in terms of the changing nature of how music is sold and distributed, but it’s also a very interesting time with regards to the technology that’s behind it, and people have to realize that it takes a lot of time and patience to learn and master this technology and these skills, and to get really good at it. So we hope that this will provide people with that kind of experience."
Tuition is $1,495, including Digidesign Pro Tools 101 course material; tuition with an optional gear package, which includes Pro Tools LE software, an Mbox 2 Mini audio interface and M-Audio Axiom 49 keyboard controller, is $1,995.
Matt Gallagher is an assistant editor at Mix.