A modern approach to teaching music to children has bee implemented at a Brooklyn elementary school.
Three times a week, students at P.S. 38 in Boerum Hill are learning to craft their own songs in a digital music class; students are learning to layer beats and manipulate sounds.
Parent Coordinator and professional music producer Hassan Salaam began offering the eight-week paid course to students in February. He also transformed his office into what he now calls “The Network Recording Studios.”
Hassan’s narrow office is filled with speakers, keyboards, computers, a mixing board and other equipment. The help of his principal and support from the Department of Education and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association made this dream program a reality for the school.
“Creating music, it’s like writing a paper, it’s like solving a math problem,” Salaam said after a recent class. “And they can start to own it, they can start to say this is my composition.”
A normal class session entails students pairing up into groups and passing headphones back and forth as they collaborate on songs using various music programs on computers. They then take turns sharing their creations over the speakers with the rest of the class.
“It makes us feel super cool and it makes us feel like one day we could be our own music producers,” said fourth grader Jaylen Holt.
Salaam believes the best method for keeping his students interested and engaged is by teaching music through technology.
“Technology is where the kids are and we have to meet them at their playing field,” Salaam said.