Press Release: Beat Lab Academy Opens in Eagle Rock Introduces New Collaborative Teaching Method
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Beat Lab Academy™ School of Electronic Music Production Opens in Northeast LA Introduces New Collaborative Teaching Method
by Miry Whitehill
February 10, 2015
Los Angeles, CA – Due to a growing market of DJs, beatmakers, and electronic music producers, it was just announced that Beat Lab Academy™, a school of modern music production, is accepting new students for their Ableton Live Certification Program starting April 28, 2015. Beat Lab Academy™ is located on Colorado Boulevard in the much-hyped Eagle Rock/Highland Park area, currently making headlines for gentrification in recent years.
Beat Lab Academy™ was founded in response to a shift in music education and the new needs of musicians in the digital age of music. With the addition of the computer as an instrument, a laptop and the right software is all you need to become a computer musician, producer, and/or DJ. The shift is tangible across all levels of musicians: Kids today often ask their parents for laptops to learn music with software rather than a guitar, piano, or violin. On the other end of the spectrum, award-winning artists are producing more albums “in-the-box,” an industry term for music created solely by software. And in the middle, swarms of aspiring DJ’s, producers, and beatmakers are making music in home studios and participating in some kind of structured learning, either in a brick-and-mortar school or online.
Beat Lab Academy™’s founder, Yeuda Ben-Atar, is one of the leading Ableton certified trainers in the world. After working as an Ableton instructor at many of LA’s music production schools, Ben-Atar recognized something missing in the teaching model that schools were using to teach music production. He explains, “Computer music should be taught like a traditional instrument. All these schools were teaching electronic music in a lecture format, the way you’d teach history or literature. The students were missing out on the benefits of hands-on learning through practice and playing music together. Electronic music education needed a transformation, this was not the way.”
Scientifically speaking, Ben-Atar’s instinct is spot-on. The latest research on brain development from neuroscientists shows that the synapses in the brain- the connections in the brain that create networks for learning a new skill – are strengthened the more you use them, particularly if they are used in a patterned way through practice. The scientific term for this is “long-term potentiation”: A fast patterned stimulation to the brain through practice results in stronger, bigger synapses. This means that the human brain learns faster and absorbs more information through patterned, practiced learning.
Ben-Atar’s solution to “teaching computer music like a traditional instrument” was to reformat the classroom. The answer was as simple as the very desks on which students sit. “I thought, what if the entire classroom could plug in and jam together in class? So I began researching manufacturers who could provide this technology, and we came up with ClassJam™.” ClassJam™ is a circular formation of music stations connected together and synchronized through MIDI interfaces. “The students experience music using the computer as if it was any conventional instrument like a guitar or piano,” explains Ben-Atar. ClassJam™ allows the class to play together in a live setting during class. Aside from just looking really cool, the classroom layout provides huge learning benefits: Students can learn music production with hands-on training in a live environment and exercise practical skills like a band.
The Beat Lab certification program, starting this spring, is a rigorous 16-week, 3-level training in Ableton Live. Ben-Atar states the course will “give students the skills they need to become tomorrow’s super producers and translate it into a career in the audio industry.” Classes meet twice a week, with additional online curriculum and 1-on-1 mentorship sessions with Beat Lab’s teachers. Students get their choice of MIDI controllers, guidance developing individual artist sound, and learn to utilize instruments, plugins, effects, sound design and mixing strategies to hone their craft.
When he’s not teaching classes, Ben-Atar is a beatmaker and controllerist under the name Side Brain. Most recently, he performed with violinist Paul Dateh as the opener for keynote speaker Steve Wozniak at the 2015 NAMM Show in Anaheim for an audience of 3,000. LA’s beatmaker community know him from a January 29, 2015 performance at Low End Theory.
Beat Lab Academy™ is located at 2501 Colorado Blvd. Suite B, Los Angeles, CA 90041.