Marietta RYDC Launches After-School Hip Hop Initiative:
PBIS Hands-On Recording Studio Project
Story support from DJJ Correspondent Almenta Baker, Marietta RYDC
PBIS has a new beat at the Marietta RYDC. Recent additions to the recreation and leisure programs at this Regional Youth Detention Center are teaching the industry basics of platinum tracks and major label deals as part of popular new hip hop business courses. Soon, students here will also experience the kind of hands-on studio know-how that only music industry insiders enjoy. Marietta RYDC Recreational Coordinator, Michelle Blue, is developing a mobile recording studio program to be staffed by the detention center youth. It’s a rare combination of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) designed to build teamwork and develop social skills among the juvenile offenders.
Coach Blue has a proven track record for helping youth at-risk with programs like this. The recording studio is her brainchild, with previous efforts winning her recognition and a fellowship grant from the Open Society Institute for her innovative program efforts. The RYDC youth will set up the mobile studio using an IK Multimedia IRig Pro and an IPad. Youth counselors find that activities like this studio using the latest recording technology can help channel juvenile anger issues through the practice of the media arts.
At the Marietta RYDC, the Recording Studio Project and hip hop business courses are predictably popular with the youth. But in order to participate the students must first exhibit good behavior. That means no demerits for the previous month and youth must sign-up for the music business classes using their good behavior credits to “pay” for the lectures before "graduating" to the engineering recording sessions.
The Recording Studio Project will be launched at the Marietta RYDC using the PBIS Positive Support project as a behavior modification tool for music-loving youth. While many of the students will join the hip hop programs solely to create and enjoy music, counselors also expect the combined courses may orchestrate some harmony among peer groups, creating opportunities for mentoring and team-building, and fostering social and business skills. Coach Blue is looking for off the charts positive results that outlast time spent in the studio.