Today's Future Sound

We use beat-making as a culturally relevant vehicle to teach technology and media arts skills

The problem we aim to solve:

Today's Future Sound directly addresses a lack of culturally responsive educational mental health interventions for people of all ages, particularly in minority and underserved communities.

The solution our project offers:

The work with students is used as a rapport-building device to facilitate therapeutic interventions on individual, group and school levels in coordinating with school staff and teachers to support students who may be struggling.

The impact our project had so far:

Youth exposed to community violence, racism and even acute trauma are given a reliable group of musical mentors

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Who is behind this project?

We love community engagement: The more you interact, the more stars you get! (E.g.: Write a comment, publish a project or apply for a need)

About the project

Today’s Future Sound is an Oakland-based nonprofit that uses music production and media arts as vehicles to empower youth as artists while fostering their well-being as individuals.

We view our work as having educational, therapeutic and social benefits that empower individuals to build confidence, inspire creativity and create change in their communities. Aside from workshops provided by Today’s Future Sound (TFS), there are currently no in-school art or music programs at West Oakland Middle Schools that make use of computers and technology.

Teaching music production on various digital audio workstations, most of which are computer-based, inherently teaches media literacy skills in that students have to navigate the computer programs, operating systems and hardware to produce music (thus all of our instruction is hands-on, experiential learning). The process of music-making and creation of art is a healthy expression of students’ emotions (as opposed to acting out behaviors).

Dr. Elliott Gann’s extensive training and experience as a therapist and clinician provides a suitable background for the Hip Hop activity group mode of intervention. The work with students is used as a rapport-building device to facilitate therapeutic interventions on individual, group and school levels in coordinating with school staff and teachers to support students who may be struggling.

By the end of the program, students will:

● Understand the relationships between art, culture, and technology ● Learn the basics of music theory, including counting, rhythm, scales, and song structure and sequencing ● Create and produce a collaborative full length instrumental album ● Have increased media literacy proficiency, including the capacity to autonomously create their own beats/musical compositions and perform DJ sets ● Perform in community settings near the end of the program to demonstrate skills that they have learned and share their music with the community

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