Sequoyah School, an independent school in Pasadena, California, has recently begun a collaboration to design an innovative high school music curriculum directly inspired by OneBeat and Found Sound Nation. One of the main goals of the program will be to connect students and teaching artists with musicians from around Los Angeles to engage young people with their surrounding community while simultaneously building music proficiency. The program will strive to help students recognize the variety of avenues that can lead to sustainable careers, such as cross-disciplinary fields involving music therapy, music diplomacy, digital instruments, computer music and software, and musical artificial intelligence.
In February Chris Marianetti, Found Sound Nation Founder and OneBeat alumni Eduardo Valencia and Ami Kim ran a workshop for students to engage with some main elements of this new curriculum. The workshop was part of a series of events to help launch the school’s new high school program, set to open in August of 2016. The workshop featured sessions on improvisation, audio production (using digital audio software as a tool for collaborative composition), a create-your-own-radio piece workshop addressing social issues, and a rhythm masterclass where students wrote scores and later conducted pieces using graphical notation. Sequoyah, founded in 1958 by local college professors, ministers, scientists, teachers, doctors, and civil servants who wanted all children to find joy in learning and to make a difference in the world, is an Ashoka Changemaker School. The new high school features a Social Innovation Program that helps students learn alongside change-makers in the community. FSN, OneBeat and Sequoyah will continue collaborating to explore ways that music can help facilitate these change-making initiatives to address social and environmental challenges in our communities.