Help break the ice and welcome new participants so they can make music right away!
For participants new to your Music Studio, stepping into a recording studio or picking up an instrument for the first time can be intimidating. Some beginners are so excited to get started that they can hardly stand it! Others may feel intimidated, nervous, or shy. One way to help new participants feel welcome is to implement an Equipment Orientation Process.
Equipment orientations are for first time users of music technology or instruments. The goal is to show new participants the basics of the equipment and get them playing as soon as possible.
Orientations are a great way for the staff to get to know the participants on a personal level and a great way to start building trust. Keep the orientations low key and low stress. The primary goal is to make a new participant comfortable and to demystify instruments or production technology.
Orientations can be one-on-one or in a group setting.
Explain equipment rules and expectations to help prevent damage
Encourage participants to treat instruments and gear with respect
Explain the working parts of the instrument and how to hold it
Have them chose a simple popular song and teach them to play it right away
Have them produce a “demo”
The total project should be at least 32 bars long
Distinct “A” and “B” sections
Minimum of 5 tracks (At least one track performed live by the participant then quantized)
Conduct a simple verbal “Quiz” to reinforce knowledge of the basics
Avoid long lectures – Keep the orientation to 10-15 minutes max
Encourage participants to choose the equipment they want to try out, at their own pace
Start with only “need-to-know” information to get some quick success
Help participants make music right away – keep it short and simple!
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.
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:
Demystify complicated studio gear and get participants making beats right away
What better way to teach all the basics of the recording studio than to have participants create a couple projects of their own?! Engage your new or beginner participants with a real-world project while they learn the expectations for handling studio equipment and basic music production concepts and techniques.
Participants complete a Recording Studio Orientation to learn:
Studio Rules and Expectations (see following “Sample Recording Studio Contract”)
How to use and take care of all studio equipment
Basics of studio equipment and their functions
How to properly turn on and shut down studio equipment
How to set up a basic Logic Pro X project (i.e. new tracks, check levels, and record enable)
Conduct a simple verbal quiz to make sure participants have learned the names of all studio equipment
Have participants produce two basic “demo” Music Production projects using iPad Workstations or computer workstations following this process:
GarageBand project at least 32 bars long
Distinct “A” and “B” sections
Minimum of 5 tracks
At least one track performed live by the participant then quantized (others can be Apple loops)