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Creative Music Partnerships with Schools

Synthase is an online school for creative music-makers led by professional composers and passionate educators. We have developed and honed our curricula by teaching them ourselves and seeing the results.

We partner with schools to virtually teach the classes we’ve designed. These rich middle- and high-school courses unblock students’ self-confidence and self-understanding like no other classes can, all while nurturing a community of peer support. 

Creative music can’t be taught like academic subjects. It must be an active, project-based process led by artist-educators who know what’s important and what’s not. We provide the technology to support what’s important, and we offer scaffolded and systematic approaches that will deliver wins at regular intervals, combined with open-ended projects that allow students to challenge themselves.

Here are some ways our students challenge themselves:

Over 40% of students spontaneously start side projects (that we know about), often in collaboration with their peers, using the skills they learn in class
40%
Over 70% of final student projects significantly exceed the minimum requirements
70%

And these are not your typical over-achievers.

Some of our highest-achieving students struggle with academic classes. In our classes, they see our high expectations and they know they can exceed them. The ripple effects are unparalleled.

In addition to the social-emotional benefits of our programs, students learn skills needed to navigate 21st-century life:

Understand

an array of contemporary cultural practices

Communicate

with peers to provide specific and empathetic feedback

Achieve

technological self-sufficiency in software concepts that extend throughout the music, sound, event, film, and animation industries

Develop

musical skills that extend to instrumental and vocal music, music production, arranging, and composition

Navigate

a wide range of possibilities to achieve desired results

We offer more than curricula, and more than instruction. We are creative professionals who teach what we know in a way that responds to the needs of young people. We’re part of your on-the-ground educational team: we communicate with parents, we stay in touch with school officials about student progress and issues, and we participate in meetings about our students.

B has never been so captivated and invested in a school course before. Nate's teaching methods were innovative and engaging, capturing B's attention from the first note to the last. Thanks to his efforts, B has discovered a newfound love for music, and her commitment to practicing and honing her skills has flourished. Nate's expertise in his field, combined with his genuine care for each student, fostered a nurturing and inclusive learning environment. He encouraged B to explore her musical talents, embrace her unique voice, and express herself through various musical mediums. I am delighted to say that under his guidance, B's confidence as a musician has blossomed, and she now sees music as a lifelong passion rather than just a fleeting interest.

Fall 2024 Offerings

amateur composer, arranger playing midi keyboard synthesizer for recording instrument track on computer. music production concept

Music Makers Lab I

This class is perfect for those who dream of making their own music but aren’t sure where to start. You’ll take songs apart and try to put them back together, and in the process learn tools and concepts that can help you make new songs of your own. By the end, you’ll have original tracks to share with the world, plus an understanding of music technology that can help you get to the next level. This class is based in a Digital Audio Workstation called Soundtrap and prior experience with music is not required. Student works will be featured in the live online showcase at the end of the semester.

Cheerful teen guy with headset looking at laptop

Music Makers Lab II and III

When musical artists have the basic skills of working with a Digital Audio Workstation under their belt, they can focus on developing their craft and artistic voice by repeating the process of making and learning until their ability matches their taste. Music Makers Lab II students will create an EP of highly original, highly polished tracks, which you will have the option to release on Soundcloud or Bandcamp. Music Makers Lab III students will create a second set of four tracks, which they can combine with their EP to create a full album. This requires independent, self-paced work and includes one-on-one meetings with the instructor as well as peer feedback sessions. Student works will be featured in the live online showcase at the end of the semester.

Musicianship

Synthase’s Musicianship is designed to help beginners from any background play by ear, improvise, compose melodies, and more, serving as a strong foundation for music-making in a wide variety of genres, from pop and electronic to jazz and classical. You’ll work through lessons and projects that develop four areas: creating, playing (on a keyboard), singing, and writing. Along the way you’ll earn certificates and compile a portfolio of creative projects. Student works will be featured in the live online showcase at the end of the semester. A MIDI-enabled keyboard is highly recommended for this class.

Ready to schedule a walkthrough?