Cristo Rey Charter Weekly Assembly

December 4, 2015

Group Size: 300

Number of Groups: 1

Group Age range: 14-18

Workshop Length: 35 Minutes

When the beat dropped... students flipped out.. literally.

When the beat dropped... students flipped out.. literally.

By far our largest group and shortest period of time, this was an absolute blast. We started out guns blazing with pre selected drum loops that would get the crowd excited. Hitting the record button from the gate, we were able to capture so much of the great energy and excitement in the room.

She nailed it on the first take- 'Oooh ya, get it yeah...' Perfect for the Bmore style tune.

She nailed it on the first take- 'Oooh ya, get it yeah...' Perfect for the Bmore style tune.

The elements we focused on were vocal recording, resampling, sound selection, synthesis, arrangement and basic of Ableton Live. Since a large part of the audience is at critical crossroads as they apply to colleges, the staff asked to drive an inspiring message home.  The takeaway from this workshop was the importance of breaking down a large goal (unrelated to music as well) into manageable steps.


Talking about synths and sound selection

Talking about synths and sound selection

Student & Faculty Feedback

school councilor: It was inspiring to see the students want to jump right in and help out.  I think the students took away a positive message of working together to create something they can be proud of... I wish it could have been longer. 

The first volunteer, nailing his first take. Don't forget to check out soundcloud clip above.

The first volunteer, nailing his first take. Don't forget to check out soundcloud clip above.

freshman student: I thought it was very exciting. I also liked how even though we might not have been in class, we still learned something even if it wasn't school related it was very educational. At the end of the day I learned something new about music and how important it is to work together and you can see what you can accomplish.

Salvation Army After School Program

April-May & Sept-December 2015

Group Size: 4

Number of Groups: 6

Group Age range: 10-13

Twice a week students from 10-14 years old explore electronic music production on four Ableton Live stations. Elevate provides templates of pre selected sound sets and instruments that gives students something quickly understandable. Lessons start out with the basics of Ableton and the Push controller and move into signal processing, MIDI basics, and sequencing.

‘The Dark Angels’ rehearsing their piece ‘Forget about the dance’

‘The Dark Angels’ rehearsing their piece ‘Forget about the dance’

Salvation Army Summer Camp 2015: 'Africa'

Salvation Army Summer Camp 2015: ‘Africa’

June-August 2015

Group Sizes: 12-25

Number of groups: 6

Group age range: 5-12

Over the course of 10 weeks, we worked with six sections of students ranging from kindergarden to fifth grade as part of the ‘Africa’ themed summer camp. Each morning we started the lesson off with a short geography and culture lesson focusing on a different country. The students were blown away by rich history followed up by modernity of contemporary African music. They could easily draw parallels from the music videos they saw of new dance and club music to the imagery they’re used to seeing here in the states. We were able to show some short documentaries as well focusing on Kuduro (Angola), Tribal House (South Africa), and Azonto (Ghana).


The majority of the day however was focused on creating original music as a group. Being that the students were so young and often had little to no musical experience, the lessons were more broad and less technical. To engage as many students as possible, we encouraged dancing while working on the tunes.

Some of the areas of focus were rhythm and timing, lyric writing and song theme, beatboxing, DJing and effects, and for our final day, we had guest instructor Dende Macedo teach Brazilian drum workshop.

Lessons in mixing beats

Lessons in mixing beats

Innovation Hall at the Kimmel Center Jazz Residency Workshop

February 10, 2015

Group Size: 70

Number of Groups: 1

Group Age range: 12-16

During the 2015 Jazz residency program at the Kimmel Center, the Elevate team took over innovation hall to teach 70 middle and high school students the core ins and outs of electronic music production. Since the students had backgrounds playing instruments and composition, we were able to dive right in.

Over the course of two hours, students recorded and remixed vocals, laid horn lines, percussion sections (middle school on the bells, high school on the sticks tapping the ground), DJ effects, basic dance music arrangement, crowd vocals and ambient recording, synthesis and most importantly, how to do all of this using our software of choice, Ableton Live.

The energy of the song ‘Party’ created that day captures the vibe of the workshop, high energy and exciting!


The following notes were given to the students as part of our follow up-


HornsQuantized them to maximize impact of unison riff. From 0:31-1:01 rearranged horn stabs to be in unison with bassline to create a 'B Section' with same notes.

Percussion (Floor Sticks & Bells): Looped & Quantized the strongest few bars. Remember to always listen critically to find your best takes both by themselves and with the entire Mix.

VocalsResampled  vocal line in Ableton Live's Drumrack to create an exciting new riff.

Ambiant Sound: Found a small section of fun and exciting background noise (@2:05-end) which I looped  that sounds something like someone saying "Oh Yeah". Remember to listen between the obvious takes, there you can find some of the most interesting and unique sound bites!

Bass and Synth: Selected new synth patches (using the 'Spire' synth) to blend better with the mix. Remember to back up your senssion 'save as' in case you lose the good sounding Patch.

PiccoloAdded some Delay and Reverb to create space and dimension to the sound in the mix. Also, used a Low Pass Filter (cutting all Frequencies above 12kHz) to remove harshness.