Students Collaborate Online through PULSE Partnership

By 
Margot Edwards
October 20, 2011

Berklee PULSE, Berklee City Music Network's web-based music education program, has formed a partnership with Kompoz—a platform for crowd-sourcing music creation—that connects students at 32 City Music Network sites across the U.S. For Berklee PULSE, Kompoz offers a creative outlet to young musicians who might not have access to other musicians in person and gives them an opportunity to collaborate with students across the City Music Network.

Projects are currently underway involving collaborations between students at three City Music Network sites in California: A Place Called Home (APCH) in Los Angeles, Youth Uprising in Oakland, and Project RYTMO in La Mirada. "APCH posted a hip-hop beat, and our students Mike Lira and Steve Salazar wanted to add a rock guitar and bass flavor to the beats to see what it would sound like," says Joey Arreguin, Project RYTMO executive director. "The result was a great fusion of both genres. RYTMO students are excited about further collaborations with APCH and look forward to experimenting with other genres."

to the collaboration in two stages of development

Kompoz is an online social network that allows musicians to collaborate on songwriting and production from anywhere in the world using home-studio digital audio recording software. Members can upload individual instrument tracks for their project and other members have the ability to contribute tracks of their own—say adding a drum track to a previously uploaded guitar track—until the song is complete. "PULSE needed a single solution to upload and mix tracks, along with guiding their students throughout the songwriting and production process," says Steve Gardner, Kompoz director of media relations. "Kompoz was more than happy to provide the platform."

"Collaboration is a key component to musical development," says Jason Stokes, audio production/music notation developer for Berklee City Music, who spent the better part of a year developing the initiative. "The main goal is to get the students outside of their bubble to see a whole world of musical ideas. We want to expose them to other genres and people who play and think differently than they do." The program also aims to foster creativity and originality in young musicians. "Instead of just playing scales, they're actually writing music," explains Stokes.

As part of the development phase, directors from City Music Network sites around the country learned to use the software while attending Berklee's PULSE Training Institute in Boston. PULSE is now in the process of adding the collaboration component to its curriculum as a tool that ties the production, arranging, and composition units together. In addition, Stokes hopes that the program will further advance the network element of the City Music Network. "This type of collaboration across sites will get the students to know each other, bringing a large group of kids closer together, one project at a time," he said.

In addition to donating KompozPLUS memberships, Kompoz has also created a Berklee PULSE group within the Kompoz community, which gives the students a single point to upload music tracks and communicate seamlessly with other students and advisers. Further, Kompoz has committed to developing the Kompoz/Berklee PULSE Mentorship Program. Kompoz has enlisted members from within the Kompoz community to provide additional guidance and assist in the overall development of the many talented young people involved in the Berklee PULSE program.

Berklee PULSE helps to educate thousands of underserved youth nationwide through a no-fee, innovative online model based on the esteemed Berklee College of Music curriculum. PULSE offers fun and engaging online learning tools, like games, original programming, instructional videos, and online software. All of these tools are focused on the PULSE music library of popular tunes—everything from Booker T. to Beyoncé, the Ramones to Run DMC, Miles Davis to Michael Jackson, and many more. Through music, video and interactivity, PULSE aims to reinvent the landscape of music education for the 21st century. Take Berklee PULSE's video tour.

Kompoz is an online platform for crowd-sourcing music creation, from song conception to recording, mixing, and publishing. Kompoz is an online social network designed for musicians to create songs with others from around the world. Members span more than 120 countries and all 24 time zones. Working from their home studios—using Pro Tools, Logic, GarageBand, Sonar, or any other digital audio recording software—Kompoz members collaborate online to author new original music, uploading individual instrument tracks (e.g., guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals, etc.) for projects covering all popular genres. Kompoz provides the platform to create songs with a bass player in Sweden, a drummer in Ohio, and a guitar player in Kalamazoo. The world is your virtual on-demand recording studio. Visit kompoz.com for more information.