In the spirit of starting the school year, Levi’s has started something too. Artists around the world are leading Levi’s with their Levi’s Music Project. According to Billboard, this is “a program that enlists artists to launch music education efforts in their hometowns.” Musicians are supporting music education by taking this project around the globe to communities in an attempt to provide educational support, resources, and experiences provided by professionals.
Some of the names leading the way are Alicia Keyes, Vince Staples, and SZA. Each musician has gone back to a place they call home to bring the community alive with music and along the way, they have been encouraging other musicians around the globe to do the same.
Keys returned to Brooklyn, NY to integrate a music technology course into high school classrooms, launching the program at Edward R. Murrow High School. For students interested in joining the music industry, the curriculum provides students with opportunities to study engineering, recording, producing, music, scoring, and more to help them prepare for their future careers. “When kids have access to a program like this, lives change!” she said ecstatically. As a result, 900 students and faculty benefitted from this program and they weren’t afraid to celebrate it.
Back where Long Beach, CA is called home, Staples may have had a rough upbringing, but all the more reason to go back to his roots to start up his Music Technology Program in the Long Beach Area. He kickstarted the program with a two-day workshop at the YMCA and even celebrated with a live performance. During the event, students took part in learning about music production from producer Dion “No I.D.” Wilson and practiced writing their own lyrics.
Finally, SZA retreats to Camden, NJ to educate on the importance of music and healthy living. She led her program off welcoming over 500 kids, teens, and families to take part in an eight-week long summer concert series designed to unite the people around understanding music and creating healthy lifestyles. SZA believes, “the first step to being creative is to fuel your body with the right ingredients.”
While some of the big names are going noticed, the program is expanding to musicians around the world encouraging them to take part in the Levi’s Music Project.
Farhad Humayun, owner of Riot Studios, comes from the heart of Pakistan and a community that has a fading love for music. He plans to bring the rock and live music back to life by holding live music sessions each month for an entire year. Alongside the Pakistan’s famous headliners, Humayun has encouraged newcomers to bring forth their musical talents and originality for all to see. Following each session, Riot Studios will provide videos and audios of these live sessions to the community.
“Music education is on the brink of extinction,” said an article for Levi’s Unzipped blog. “As Levi’s sees it, music can unlock creativity and foster self-expression for all – especially the next generation. And we are not about to see that fall by the wayside.”
Levi’s Music Projects has big dreams for success, and this fall plans to expand its mission internationally to places like India, China, France, U.K., and Germany.