Recommended Products

Recommended products for after-school music programs!

Nectar 3 Vocal Assistant – best plugin’s for Vocal tracks. 
KOMPLETE START is a collection of free instruments, effects, loops, and samples.
Ozone 8 – Master Assistant feature for mastering final tracks
Landr – Studio quality mastering in minutes.
Autotune – industry-standard pitch-correction and effects vocal plug-in.
Captain Plugins – Write your own Chord Progressions, Hooks, Melodies, Beats and Basslines and export to your DAW.

“Karate Belt” Reward System

Want ninja level musicians?! Help your participants earn a musical “black belt.”  

A black belt in karate is a badge of honor representing the highest level of skill. The “Karate Belt” Reward System uses different color guitar picks (similar to “karate belts”) to reward participants’ progress and motivate them to achieve their goals on instruments or music technology.

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How to…

  • Determine what skills participants must demonstrate in order to “level up” on each instrument or music technology gear. Then print and display the “karate belt” requirements for each instrument.
    • The Sample “Karate Belt” Reward System Achievements chart below uses 5 colors, each representing different levels of achievement plus an exclusive club called “The Red-Hot Pick Society” for anyone earning a purple pick on 3 or more instruments
  • Create an incentive chart to visually track and help motivate participants’ achievements.
  • With help from instructors, participants work to earn each colored guitar pick to add to their necklace.
    • Note: If a participant earns their “Yellow” rank in more than one instrument, no need to give them another yellow guitar pick for their necklace. Instead, simply note their achievement on the incentive board.
  • Participants wear their multi-colored guitar pick necklace that proudly displays their rank.

The recommended equipment list below is an example that would serve approximately 30 participants. Your needs and quantities may vary (depending on # of participants).

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Establishing House Rules

Set expectations and ensure proper use of the equipment and facilities.

Your Music Studio likely has a bunch of state of the art equipment – it should be viewed as a privilege for your teens to have access to this specialty program.  Setting appropriate expectations for behavior is a good way to reinforce a sense of ownership among the teens.  

We recommend establishing a set of House Rules, ideally with the input and buy-in from some of your participants. The rules set expectations for general behavior and for how to handle musical equipment.

A set of House Rules is intended to like a “contract”, where the participant agrees to a certain set of standards in order to have the privilege of accessing all the benefits of the program.  Use the example below to develop House Rules that make sense for your program.

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How to…

While each music program is encouraged to establish their own set of “house rules” (based on your organization’s mission and core values) we have provided the following example:

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Sample Daily Schedule (Word Version)

Save time by downloading our sample daily schedule and customizing for your music program

This editable word document includes days of the week, typical after-school programming hours and a variety of programming activities. Download now and customize so you can get back to making music with your participants!

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Portable Music Production Station

NOTE: Any featured products are based on the experience and opinions of Network members and Music & Youth. We do not receive any financial benefit from the vendors to promote their products. We just thought they were helpful and you might like ’em. 

To download a ZIP file Bundle – Click Here:
– Equipment is 100% battery operated and mounted in lightweight cases 
– Help maintain social distancing – Can be set up anywhere (e.g. outside, gyms, etc)
– Easy to clean and sanitize – Durable hard surface equipment can be disinfected
– Approximately $1,000 for each, fully outfitted, Portable Music Production Station

Resources to help you set up your Portable Music Production Station

Portable Music Production Station Overview
A simple way to bring beat making to your participants
Portable Music Production Station – Recommended Equipment List & Set Up
We’ve researched and tested this list of hardware and software
Portable Music Production Station Recommended Settings
Device settings for participant safety while providing accessibility and flexibility
Recommended iPad Apps
A list of the best music making Apps for your after school music program

Basic projects for the Portable Music Production Station

Basic Music Production Process Using Garageband (IOS)
Step by step process for getting participants familiar with GarageBand
iPad “Demo” Using Garageband and Transfer to Logic
Produce a “demo” on an iPad and finish it in the Studio
iPad Music Production Projects using Apps
Use Apps to introduce participants to other types of Music Production projects
Tips for Instrument Workshops Using iPads
Best Apps for learning instruments (like guitar/bass, drums, piano or vocals)
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