Prospect students will soon have the option to enroll in a semester-long Music Production course starting next year. The course will teach students the fundamentals of producing, writing, and arranging music as well as how to electronically record lyrics and vocals.
This course will be taught by Peter Weber, who is currently the director of Orchestras, Jazz Bands and Guitar Classes at Prospect. Music Production has always interested Weber, and after an unexpectedly long conversation with Principal Greg Minter, was able to garner enough attention to make the class a reality.
“I had really wanted to do something like this, and I have been dabbling around with it,” said Weber. “It’s something that really excites me. I went to [Minter] and said ‘Hey can I talk to you for five minutes?’ and we ended up talking for half an hour.”
Students who sign up for this class can expect to learn how to professionally produce a song from beginning to end using a software referred to as a “DAW,” or a digital audio workspace. A “DAW” is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files.
According to Weber, GarageBand is a “DAW” to some extent, but students in the class will mainly be working with the application Logic Pro. In addition, students will learn production techniques like chords, layers, dynamics, balancing and filters.
This class is also incredibly unique because it requires absolutely no experience, and students do not even have to play an instrument. The only requirements are an interest in making music and very basic computer skills.
“If you’re into music and you want to learn how to make it, then this is the course for you,” said Weber. “Ultimately what we’re trying to do is open the doors of the music department to anyone in the school.”
Music Production is initially launching as a one-semester course, in which students can learn a wide range of production techniques like making beats and samples. By the end of one semester, students will have enough basic knowledge to make a finished product.
According to Weber, District 214 is 10 to 15 years behind in terms of offering students the opportunities the Music Production course will provide. The goal is to ultimately turn the course into a “stepping stone” towards a career pathway.
“I want to start here,” said Weber. “I want to blow [Music Production] up, and I want to make it a huge thing. It should be a huge thing at Prospect High School, and it should be a huge thing in District 214.”