Just Add Beats: Our Story

STEAM Learning With Audio

How do we prepare kids from a young age for their roles in designing the future? How can we promote media literacy, entrepreneurship, and leveraging new technology to tell our stories, make our voices heard, and make the world a better place? Let’s make audio!

Tools for recording and distributing professional quality audio are more affordable and accessible than ever, which means kids don’t have to wait until they’re adults to get hands-on experience. With the right tools and curriculum, schools and other learning centers have the opportunity to foster students’ creative musical thoughts, stories, and inventions in an audio maker space. Welcome to Just Add Beats, creative audio production camps and school programs for kids.

What can students create? Whatever they want, but they need a challenge. Here are some ideas:

JAB Creations

Creative Audio Agencies: Teamwork in Action

Students work together in small groups, role-playing as Creative Audio Agencies competing to win Audio Design Challenges. This project-based teamwork, with client deadlines and expectations, simulates the real-world project workflow and communication necessary to be successful in any design field.

Just Add Beats is an Ideal Model for Arts Integration

Art Integration Venn

“The goal of arts integration is to increase knowledge of a general subject area while concurrently fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of the fine and performing arts.” – Kennedy Center

Tools: The Audio Workstation

Students learn how to use professional digital audio recording software and hardware to create their original audio works. Just Add Beats staff can permanently install equipment on campus as a dedicated audio maker space,  or bring mobile workstations to class each week. Both options offer a powerful learning experience. Most school computers today can handle audio production software.

Audio Workstation

Reaper Session
Screenshot of a recording session in the Reaper Digital Audio Workstation. Reaper is professional software with the option to customize session layouts mirroring Pro Tools and other DAWs.
Students learn how to properly record vocals and other audio sources using a variety of microphones.
From original song lyrics to scripts for a podcast or a commercial, writing is an important part of the program.
Students compose music using virtual instruments and digital recording software. No previous musical training is necessary.

Professional Instruction

An audio professional visits the campus to teach the Just Add Beats audio production curriculum and guide students through the audio design challenges.

Andrew Karnavas: Yawp Records CEO and Just Add Beats Program Director

Recent Speaking Engagements:

The Houston Innovation Summit – How to Sound Your Best in Any Situation

Houston Arts Partners Conference – STEAM Learning Through Audio Recording

Texas STEAM Summit – Just Add Beats: STEAM Learning Through Audio Recording