As a Blind Brook student, there are endless opportunities to get involved in a bounty of different clubs and activities, spanning from business and politics to the arts and world languages. This year, students can join a new club, Digital Music Production, to get the creative juices flowing and to work with others who share a passion for music.
Digital Music Production Club currently meets on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays to accommodate the two cohorts, however, students at home also have access to a music production platform called Soundtrap to be involved remotely as well.
As club advisor, Mr. Brian Lotze explains, “It’s a place for students who are interested in creating their own music on the computer. It’s a space where they can have an hour once a week to really be able to use all the tools that we have available to create music and … to have me there to answer any questions that they might have. I like to think that I have a lot of knowledge to offer the students, but also we learn together.”
Senior club member Andrew Lynch illustrates his personal experience in the club: “I personally benefited from this club in the sense that I had no clue there were so many kids within Blind Brook who had such a strong interest in music technology. It’s awesome to see the range of kids it brings out. I think there’s a musician within us all. This club’s mission is to bring it out so we can develop our skills further in a community where kids feel comfortable sharing their music.”
Such a club is of extreme value to Blind Brook students, who, by nature, are extremely academically-driven, facing pressure that can feel mind-numbing at times. A creative outlet to express oneself is so necessary in creating interesting and holistic people who can contribute the most to society. Mr. Lotze notes how having a more artistically-focused goal makes for a club that has more to offer the community: “My goal for the students is to give them really awesome, creative, developmental skills. [For instance,] I love making my own music. It’s super rewarding to me. That’s a great thing I learned to do for the extended community … I think those benefits to students as they grow, and learning these creative processes, are great. It’s also fantastic because you can’t necessarily show, like, a really wonderfully written DBQ with your community, right? You don’t go out to a dance club to read a DBQ. Nobody’s gonna sit down and read it. But, you can share a really awesome three-minute song that you’ve created. People will listen. People like art. It can be a really awesome representation of something.”
The atmosphere of the club is one that offers a healthy and fulfilling sense of camaraderie, and all students can find their place here. Lynch notes, “Just about anyone would enjoy this club. We all listen to music, it’s pretty much baked into our systems to enjoy a song when it comes on. So, to me, it’s a no brainer that learning the skills to create said songs would be extremely fulfilling. You learn new ways to approach challenges and … to listen to music differently. It truly is a great club with a great head leader. If you don’t join for the music, at least join for the sake of Mr. Lotze. He is just a great, loving, knowledgeable person who is loads of fun to be around.”
The collaborative element of this club is emphasized through the fact that no prior knowledge of music production is necessary to be successful. Mr. Lotze points out how “really any range of experience can come in as [they] are. And if [that] means you figured out how to open Logic Pro and how to connect your piano to a computer and type in notes, that’s great! And if your hour looks like fine-tuning the sidechain compression on an EDM dance track, you can do that too! The best part about it is that you can have somebody brand-new working next to somebody who might have made a bunch of stuff already. Now people are talking and sharing what they’re doing, and even beginners have a lot to offer because they get to look at this program through a fresh set of eyes … In making music there’s no right answer. You make what you make and that’s great.” This club offers a unique opportunity for creative and collaborative expression that is difficult to find anywhere else at Blind Brook, and students who join will be amazed to see what they are capable of.