Library offers music production training to teens

Heights Libraries IT Technician Matt Mancini creates a sound file with Ableton Live.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System is currently taking applications for its new teen Music Maker Space program at the Lee Road Library. The eight-week music production program, scheduled for fall 2017, has room for three paid teen interns and 12 teen program participants. The interns will help mentor the other teens in the use of music production software and equipment, as they learn sound- and music-related skills, including recording, mixing, editing and producing. 

Applicants must be between the ages of 13 and 18, live in Cleveland Heights or University Heights, and be able to commit four hours a week to the program. The interns will be paid $500 each. Applications for both the internships and the regular program are due Aug. 31 and can be found on the library’s website or picked up in the Lee Road Library’s Teen Room.

“The internship is a great opportunity for a young person to get some terrific, positive mentoring and leadership experience,” said Youth Services Manager Sam Lapides. “The interns will learn new technical and musical skills from our staff, and then turn around and apply that new knowledge by mentoring small groups of their peers and helping them learn those same skills.”

Thanks to a Library Science and Technology Act STEM grant of $7,393 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (awarded by the State Library of Ohio), and an additional $5,000 from the Friends of Heights Libraries, the library is building a sound isolation booth equipped with professional recording equipment and software.

Library IT Technician Matt Mancini, who is also an experienced musician, will train both the interns and the regular program participants in Ableton Live, a state-of-the-art software for music production that can also be used in live performances. Mancini hopes the students understand that the goal of the program is learning, and emphasizes that he is willing to work with students with varying levels of technical and musical experience. “Any level of skill is OK,” he said. “All I care about is that the student is enthusiastic about creating music and is motivated to learn.” 

While part of the eight-week program will focus on the technical aspects of musical production, instruction will also include forays into the creative side. Library partner Lake Erie Ink, a youth-serving nonprofit focused on creative expression, will help students write song lyrics.

For more information about the Music Maker Space program, visit

Sheryl Banks

Sheryl Banks is the marketing and community relations manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.

Read More on Library
Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:32 PM, 06.26.2017