U-High Midway

Recording studio class offering: an opportunity for everyone

Nicky Edwards-Levin and Mira Costello

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In this year’s course of studies, multiple new classes were added to the registry. One of these was the Studio Recording Class, which will be offered for the first time instead of an independent study. The recording studio was added to the Gordon Parks Arts Hall a few years ago, and has only grown in popularity since then.

According to Freshman Lucia Kouri, a singer in the Chicago Children’s Choir and member of a guitar duo, the mere fact that the studio existed was a factor in getting her to use it.

Lucia Kouri

“In terms of schools in general, our school has a particularly good recording program and equipment,” Lucia said. “The fact that we had access to it if we wanted to made me feel like I had to take advantage of it.”

Guitar duo and members of the Studio Recording Project, Katie Baffa and Lucia Kouri think of the studio as a great way for them to hone their musical skills and time management, as well as practice their own composition.

“When I’m recording at home, you have so much time to get down the recording the way you want it and how you want it, but when you’re working with other people in a recording environment, you’re way more aware of how much time you have and how prepared you need to be because you only get ‘x’ amount of tries to get it right,” Lucia said.

Until now, the independent study was the only way for students to interact with the studio, but teacher Francisco Dean says the new access gate will be through the class.

“The fact that we had kids come and approach us three years ago with an interest in doing this kind of drove the creation of this project,” Mr. Dean, Jazz Band teacher and independent recording supervisor, said. “I have to say it’s a better portal because the after-school project that we’ve done has been, for most kids, one day a week. Now with a full-fledged class, we’ve got four days a week plus anything we want to do after school as a supplement.”

Francisco Dean

The class, which will be taught by Mr. Dean, will help students understand the full process of recording, mixing, mastering and marketing: all the tasks a professional artist encounters. Mr. Dean said he hopes the class will expand the use of the studio and the availability of trained engineers to give outside student groups a taste of recording.

Michael Harper, an engineer and musician in the recording studio, says that the recording studio helps you become more precise as a musician. He said he plans to pursue professional recording after he graduates this year, and is glad he took the opportunity when he saw it.

“You learn how to be a better player,” Michael said. “The recording doesn’t lie — it can make you sound really good or really bad, but the recording doesn’t lie.”

Listen to Michael, Mr. Dean and others in a podcast with their take on the new class at the top of the page.

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Recording studio class offering: an opportunity for everyone