Audio production class takes root in library


Linsey Sparks, Staff Writer

Music plays a monumental role in the lives of students today, so it is no surprise that there is a group of seven students who are taking their passion for music to the next level. One student, Alex Cunningham, junior, took the idea and ran with it. Thus was the birth of the Audio Production independent study.

“All of us want to do audio production or some form of audio production and make it a career,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham originally pitched the idea to principal Susan Hill and she was all for it. Hill and Cunningham came together and decided that the students would play their beats at assemblies/pep rallies and would base their grades on successful completion of requirements.

“That’s where we can get the most attention,” said Cunningham about the assemblies. “If you are on time to the assembly, your sound is not cutting out, you are prepared with your laptop and everybody likes it, [your grade will be good].”

Although the class is only offered second semester this year, Hill would love for the independent study to become a class next school year. Not only is Hill in full support, but so is the technology department. The software, FruityLoops 12, could not be downloaded onto the Chromebooks because they don’t have enough storage, which means they needed completely new and different laptops. Now they have them, thanks to the technology department.

Hill has a multitude of ideas for this class as well and wishes for it to branch out to other forms of audio production. There is a closet next to the makerspace in the library (where the independent study is held) that she envisions as being turned into a recording space. Hill wants to soundproof the walls and even get a light so it is apparent when people are recording and when they’re not. The students have been using the space to record anyway so it just makes sense. She hopes that they will not only produce music, but produce other things such as a podcast.

Hill is ecstatic about this independent study and really appreciates the idea because she wants them to be as creative as possible– in and out of school.

“There is no reason why school can’t be a place where you do things that you love and you enjoy and get credit for it,” said Hill.

The students in the class aren’t just anybody. Cunningham actually selected them because they all have a passion for audio production. Everybody has their own style and plays a role in the process. In addition, one student acts as business manager and someone that seeks talent to be featured on beats.

One of the class’ main goals is to get someone to pay attention to the students so their careers can go to the next level. The students hope to reach the level of success as a St. Louis native, Metro Boomin. The successful record producer is currently signed to the record label, Freebandz.

The students have started putting themselves out there and will have their own websites in the near future where people can listen to their beats. The students in the class also have a youtube channel where they upload daily vlogs.

In order to be taken seriously, the students are committed to using their class time appropriately.

“We are having fun but at the same time know when to get down to business,” said Cunningham.