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New Workshops for Teens in Audio Production

New Workshops for Teens in Audio Production


Applications are open now for two new instructional workshops in music production for teenagers presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

One workshop will teach the fundamentals of audio engineering in a recording studio environment. The other will teach the basics of stage production and mixing sound in the context of a live event such as a concert or festival.

Both workshops will be monthly, on Saturday afternoons, and will take place simultaneously at the Jazz & Heritage Center starting Feb. 24.

The workshops are open, free of charge, to students between the ages of 13 and 17, and are made possible with support by a grant from the Country Music Association Foundation.

To participate, students and their parents or guardians must submit an application using this online form. A brief essay written by the student is required.

Enrollment in both workshops will be limited to 20 students. We will continue to admit new students on an ongoing basis as long as space is available.

The workshops are part of an ongoing effort by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation – the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest – to increase arts education opportunities for young people. They expand on the growing repertoire of classes the Foundation presents in the state-of-the-art education facility the foundation opened in 2015, the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center.

“Since the Jazz & Heritage Center came online, we have continually increased our educational programming to make this incredible resource available to more young people in our community,” said Don Marshall, Executive Director of the Jazz & Heritage Foundation. “First, we doubled the size of our flagship program, the Heritage School of Music, from 50 to 100 students per week. Then we doubled it again by adding new classes for beginners – and providing free instruments.

“We put all sorts of audio technology in the building with the goal of turning it into a hub of education – not just in music performance, but in the technical side of music as well,” Marshall added. “By adding these new workshops – and holding them in the same building at the same time – we’re taking another step in that direction.”

Both workshops will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on these dates: February 24, March 24, April 21, May 26, June 23, July 21 and August 18.

More details about the workshops:

Studio Fundamentals: How to Record a Jazz Band
The class will be taught by Chris Finney, a Grammy-winning producer, engineer and mixer. He has more than 25 years of experience in the recording studio, and has done sessions with artists including Robert Plant, B.B. King, Herbie Hancock, Allen Toussaint, Fats Domino, Galactic and many others. He is a Pro Tools instructor, and is an active member of the Recording Academy, serving as co-chair of the Memphis Chapter’s Producers and Engineers wing.

Topics to be covered include:
Introduction to microphones: diaphragms, air flow and sound quality
Fundamentals of instrument and microphone placement
Introduction to Pro Tools and capturing audio
Introduction to pre-amps and effects
Setting up a Pro Tools session
Recording studio etiquette
Working with artists to capture a great performance
Isolation of sound
Introduction to audio editing
Introduction to audio mixing
Introduction to audio mastering

Live Event Sound: Microphones, Instruments and Fundamentals of Concert Audio Engineering
The class will be taught by Kailyn McCord, a highly accomplished A1 audio engineer who has run sound for many years and worked with a wide array of production companies, including the Solomon Group. She is also has extensive experience as a classroom teacher at the middle school and high school levels. And she holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of New Orleans.

Topics to be covered include:
Live sound vs. recording
Mapping how sound travels physically through an audio system
Basics of microphones and microphone selection
Signal flow
Gain structure
Microphone placement
Introduction to P.A. systems
Introduction to the front-of-house mixing console
Introduction to the monitor mixing console
Mixing sound for small and large bands

Questions? Please contact the Jazz & Heritage Foundation by calling (504) 558-6108, or by sending an email to

These educational programs are presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, with support from the Country Music Association Foundation. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation is the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other raised funds, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. For more, please see

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.