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Music Recording for Abused Boys

Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services is a large facility in Pasadena that provides residential treatment for children dealing with mental health or emotional distress. A group of teenage foster boys from one of their units are currently enjoying our 12-week Music Recording Workshop every Saturday afternoon.

The program started with a visit to the Grammy Museum where the kids got to see a new exhibit on rapper Tupac Shakur. Now they're learning how to turn their own songs into professional demos with help from our teaching artist Eddy Lloreda.

Eddy explained that at first, it was a challenge engaging the kids. "I tried a few tactics to inspire them to write their songs, but those failed. I decided to let them record first, so they could hear what would be possible if they tried. To my amazement, it worked! They were hooked, and it completely changed their outlook on the class.

I taught them how to produce a 'beat' and build the structure of their songs by identifying the intro, verse, chorus, bridge and outro. After writing their lyrics, they learned signal flow and the process of recording in 'Pro-Tools.' They were hanging on my every word and asking tons of questions. We stayed an extra hour because we were so into it."

Laura Kelly, our Director of Programs, noticed that one of the boys, Larry, had been silent throughout the first session. He had resisted writing his lyrics. "I left the room briefly and when I came back, Larry was laying down his rhymes on the mic, just laughing and loving what he was doing. I asked him how he figured out this way to express himself. He simply pointed to Eddy and said, 'He taught me.' It was amazing!"

Thank you to the House of Blues Foundation, the Grammy Museum, the Moe Life Foundation, Avid Technologies and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission for making this Music Recording Workshop possible.

Create Now is proud to have participated in the 2014 Annenberg Alchemy+ program.

Create Now is honored to have been selected as a 2014 Top-Rated Education Nonprofit by Guidestar and Great Nonprofits.

LA County Arts Council LogoCreate Now is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.