EMBARC Students Rock Out at CIW YOU(th) Lab

Chicago-area high school students went to the School of Rock at a CIW YOU(th) Lab Friday, May 9 at the Athenaeum Theatre. The 16 EMBARC students in attendance received a primer on recording music from School of Rock instructors, learning how to lay down tracks using GarageBand.

“Fortunately, music does not feel the need to discriminate,” School of Rock Chicago’s Adam Mackintosh said to start off the low-key “jam session.”  “If it has notes and chords and words, it’s music…. If it comes from your heart and your soul, it’s music.”

YOU(th) Lab participants learned how to write music
with the help of School of Rock instructors at the Athenaeum Theatre. 

The EMBARC students took to that philosophy immediately.  School of Rock instructor Derrick Allen led participants through the steps of creating a song, asking for students to volunteer to add snare drums, cymbals and other instruments to a simple GarageBand track.  Many of the high school students then took the stage themselves to play the electric guitar.

“I feel like a musician,” CIW YOU(th) Shanyale Burton said, as students clapped along to her guitar playing.

Many of the students left the event inspired to learn more about music and to pursue many of the musical opportunities available to them—precisely what YOU(th) Program Manager Lizeth Sanchez hoped students would take from the session.

“[We want] to inspire you to look beyond what’s in your neighborhood and in your city,” Sanchez said.

After the Lab, Allen, a part of the band Counterfeit i, compiled a CIW playlist of the songs that most inspire him.

Tell us a song that…
Reminds you of home Come All You Weary, Thrice
Is on your iPhone right now Enfilade, At the Drive-In
Makes you think of Chicago First and Last and Always, Sisters of Mercy
Makes you want to get up & dance Too Tight, Con Funk Shun
Is perfect for a drive Sincerely, Ichobod, Project 86 
Is from a new artist you’re excited about Walkin’ with Michael Douglas, A Wilhelm Scream
You sing at karaoke Ladies Night, Kool and the Gang
You wrote that makes you proud Sahel, Counterfeit i

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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