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October 26, 2022

Pear Deck + YPG + Soundtrap: A New Partnership for Inspiring Creativity Through Music

We're excited to announce Pear Deck has partnered with Young Producers Group (YPG) and Soundtrap for Education to create interactive, ready-to-teach music production lessons.

We got a chance to catch up with Lawrence Grey, Founder of YPG, and Leandro Otero, a Senior Account Manager at Soundtrap, to talk about this student-empowering partnership.


First of all, thank you both for joining us. To get started, we’d love to dive into YPG — what is it, and why was it founded?

Lawrence, YPG: YPG teaches K-12 students how to make original music with technology through online curricula and in-person instruction. We also provide professional development to help teachers harness the power of Soundtrap and other creative tools to foster engagement in music programs and bring the joy of making music into the classroom.

I initially founded YPG in 2016 because the majority of music classes available in K-12 schools didn’t align with the interests and lived experiences of modern students. There was a need for creative, culturally-relevant music curricula where students could be themselves and foster authentic connections with others who share similar tastes in music.

What a cool opportunity! How is YPG’s curriculum different from other music education curricula? How can music education help students grow personally and socially?

Lawrence, YPG: Hip hop, EDM, and other mostly electronic genres are central to young people's lives and the modern music industry. While YPG curricula teaches students traditional musicianship skills, we also show them how to use the full extent of digital audio workstations like Soundtrap to make music that is authentic to who they are — in and out of the classroom. The YPG Listening Party format prompts students to engage in creative discourse, which boosts essential speaking and listening skills.

YPG curricula prepares students to write, perform, and collaborate on music that can work in a club, at a festival, as a soundtrack, on Spotify, or anywhere else a student is interested in showcasing their music.

In response to personal and social growth — writing music and developing an artistic voice is the perfect opportunity for students to make decisions about who they are and what they’re trying to say in the world more broadly. Writing music together and wrestling with the creative process as a team prepares students to collaborate in any professional context. Because young people of all ages and backgrounds like all different kinds of music, engaging with these sounds and styles connects students to a global community and culture.

What’s most exciting to you about partnering with Pear Deck? What do you hope students and educators will gain from this partnership?

Lawrence, YPG: Pear Deck offers a powerful, flexible alternative to the traditional presentation methods for delivering content to students and teachers with stronger tools for assessment and engagement. We love it!

We hope students experience the joy of making music and discover their creativity is limitless. We hope they develop creative confidence through this partnership, see that they have something creative to say, and recognize their creativity deserves respect. Plus, after completing our assignments, each student will have a few pieces of original music and officially call themselves “artists!”

As far as educators go, we know they will enjoy seeing their students light up as they discover their inner artist. We also know educators will get a lot out of bringing music composition and technology into their classes as a way of fostering engagement and creativity.

Why do you believe music is a vital part of education? What can students learn and observe from music vs. traditional subjects like math, science, and language arts?

Lawrence, YPG: Academic subjects can be very creative, but teachers are often boxed in by standardized tests. Music and all of the arts get at the juicy, unquantifiable stuff that can’t be tested with a multiple-choice exam. Engaging with the creative process offers a window into yourself, your peers, and the world around you.

You clearly have a passion for music. Do you have a favorite genre you enjoy, and if so, what is it and why?

Lawrence, YPG: There are few things better on earth than a great house or techno DJ playing on a powerful club sound system. Dance music ‘til the day I die!

Leandro, thanks for taking the time to share more about this awesome partnership. What is Soundtrap for Education and why was it founded?

Leandro, Soundtrap: Soundtrap is a cloud-based music and podcasting production platform students and teachers use to collaborate in a protected digital space — using any device, at any time, and from any location. Soundtrap bridges the necessary skills for preparing our learners for a global, connected world while harnessing critical thinking and communication skills through collaborative, creative audio-recording projects.

Soundtrap was founded to democratize the audio-making process! We’re on a mission to make music creation and storytelling more simple and collaborative for everyone.

How does Soundtrap help “amplify” learning in classrooms? How can audio production help spark creativity in students and inspire collaboration?

Leandro, SFE: By harnessing the power of storytelling and music-making using an intuitively simple, powerful, and collaborative tool, Soundtrap amplifies learning by giving students a canvas to explore their creative "voice,”  make deeper connections to the curricula (arts and beyond), and gives teachers a tool to extend the rigor of collaborative project-based learning.

Music creation/audio production is an inherently collaborative activity, and Soundtrap is built to foster, inspire, and make that collaboration easier! There is a shared sense of accomplishment when creating something new together. Students using Soundtrap will not only be inspired by the vast library of instruments, sounds, and loopbacks, but also by their teachers and fellow students as they take on the creative journey together.

How will students benefit from this partnership? What will educators enjoy most about it?

Leandro, SFE: Students will be exposed to engaging content that aims to build their skills in musical production using Soundtrap. They’ll grow their confidence and abilities and use their new skills to express their creativity.

Educators, on the other hand, will enjoy the ease of use and boost in engagement the Pear Deck + YPG + Soundtrap curriculum fosters. More than ever, teachers are looking for ways to infuse joy and creativity in their classrooms. I believe this partnership will help them achieve this!

Leandro and Lawrence, we can’t thank you enough for chatting with us!

We hope this partnership inspires students to explore creative sound making, learn essential media literacy skills, and build the confidence they need to follow their talents and passions.

Make sure to check out these editable, adaptable, ready-to-teach music production lessons powered by Pear Deck!


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