This year, Community Music Schools of Toronto was lucky to have a team from the Cinema & Media Arts department at York University work with our Senior Beatmaking and Senior Jam classes to help them learn the fundamentals of video production. This exciting project, funded through the Helen Carswell Chair in Community Engaged Research in the Arts, helped students apply their music creation/production skills to making their own videos.
Over the course of five weeks, students participated in workshops to learn the basics of shooting and editing videos/images and creating accompanying soundscapes/compositions. The project also brought many accomplished BIPOC filmmakers and media artists into the workshops to share their ideas and learning with the students.
Beatmaking teacher Jon said that the workshops helped re-ignite the students’ attention and creativity: “I liked seeing their minds go into different places we haven't been able to take them. I feel like it opened up our conversation a bit since at this point in the year we typically see a bit of a "fading" in their attention. This felt like it brought them back!”
The project was also a great complement to the skills the students have been learning to date as it taught students “to think visually when creating something with audio” said teacher, Oscar. The students have spent a good portion of the year learning the art of music creation through a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and with these workshops the students learned how to take that music to the next level, using it to inspire and create videos.
The project not only exposed students to a new arts medium, but also equipped them with creative storytelling skills that affirm their lived experiences. We are excited that we could offer this unique opportunity in our classes and look forward to partnering with more amazing artists to inspire and affirm all students at Community Music Schools of Toronto.