Drop a beat: Carbondale local introduces teens to music production in Basalt Library program

Flyer for free Teen Music Lab on March 24 and 25.

Kristen Doyle is not even two years into her position at the Basalt library and is already innovating ways to reach teens with the programming they offer.

“I am all about trying to provide experiences (to) teens that they’re interested in and they want to do, and be driven by their interests,” said Doyle, Teen Services Coordinator.

Her intent combined with Carbondale Arts member Brett Haynes’ expertise is how they came up with the virtual Teen Music Lab. Haynes is a tattoo artist who produces electronic and hip-hop music and is currently working on a country album. He will work with the students on Chrome Music Lab and Chrome Music Lab Song Maker, both free programs they’ll be able to access after the two-day program. There also is no registration fee for those who want to sign up.

“All of them except for one are browser based. So you’re able to just go on the internet and type in the URL and it pulls up a fully functional music application,” Haynes said.

Doyle said accessibility is one of the most important factors she considers when planning out programs for students. She eventually would love to see an audio studio setup being added to the library, she said.

Turntable set froma music class taught inside Rosybelle, the Mobile Maker Bus, before the pandemic.

“My long-term dream … I would really love to have some kind of maker space in the library. And if we do that we definitely plan on including some audio recording equipment,” Doyle said. “If we were to do that we would definitely get some of those (more expensive) programs to allow people to edit in-house.”

The program will be done entirely over Zoom and capped at 10 students so Haynes can address all the questions they may have. The lab will take place over two days — Wednesday and Thursday — and registration closes for students Sunday. Haynes said by the end of it, the students will be able to build a beat with the programs entirely on their own.

“What I’m offering is basically a demo of how these applications work. Then after class they can take that information and just go explore on their own. They don’t really need to know lesson by lesson, it’s more of an exploratory experience, which is cool,” Haynes said.

Teens throughout the valley are able to sign up for this program. While it will require stable internet connection and a computer, the event post said for students who don’t have these resources, a hot spot or Chromebook are available to be checked out at the library on a first come, first served basis.

Doyle said she is grateful to Carbondale Arts and Haynes for helping to put together this event, something with hands-on elements although it’s happening during a pandemic. Looking at future programming, Doyle said there will be one in the summer also taught by Haynes where students can practice visual art and design their own skate decks provided by the library. This event is meant to celebrate the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics. Haynes said he also is anticipating when events will be able to be in-person again, and he can use hardware like turntables and beat machines as part of his music production instruction.

“Everyone has just been so flexible and willing to try new things and experiment, and I think that that’s the name of the game right now,” Doyle said.

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