As more Baltimore youth fall victim to violent crime like yesterday’s double shooting, a local nonprofit is making a point of engaging the city’s youth with a thread that connects us all.
Before they step onto a big stage to show off their talent, it starts in a lab with a laptop, production software, and an idea coming to life.
Grade 7 student Devontay Poole learns firsthand what this creative process looks like.
He already wants to make a profession of it.
“My favorite part is making the beats for the rappers,” he said.
This is access and exposure that Robert Levine, the founder and director of Beyond the Natural Foundation, had in mind when he created the program.
These students are in the program’s introductory songwriting and production class.
“Kids who may not have any exposure to the process of creating rhythms … how to compose music and we give them some of the fundamental tools so that they can engage in the process of creating original musical content.” , Levine said.
He says it’s an avenue he created to pay him off as a producer and songwriter raised in Baltimore himself.
“I hope this will spark a deeper interest in music so that they can deepen their vision of how they explore music and use it for themselves to build their future,” he said. . “It’s our job when we walk through the doors, opening doors for those who come behind us.”
Sadly, those doors of opportunity for some of Baltimore’s youth are closed by the violence and crime that plagues the city. That’s part of why Levine wants to remove these barriers to musical success as early as possible in his student life.
“You don’t want them to have to try to figure out and if or could I have this or I see that here. ask what if … what if … what if, “Levine said.
And fill their time with skills and habits that will produce the future they desire to have one song at a time.
“It’s less of the time that they’re not productive and constructive in their communities and things like that, so it’s really important how we can really do our part in trying to clean the streets and bring the kids back to the streets. recreation centers, to make them apply to something meaningful. “