Library accepting applications for teen music program

Students Corinne Nicol (left) and Ela Passerelli  mix music in the Teen Media Lab.

Heights High students who are aspiring musicians can now apply for the second installment of Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library’s Teen Music Makerspace program. The library will accept applications from Heights students between the ages of 13 and 18 through March 18 for the program, which runs April 9 through May 18.

Teen Music Makerspace is a 101-style course covering everything from the history of electronic music to recording instruments, and using computer programs to create and manipulate sounds.

The course, open to 11 students, will take place in the Teen Digital Media Lab, located in the Teen Room of Heights Libraries’ Lee Road branch. The lab features a sound-isolating recording booth, professional recording equipment, and computers outfitted with advanced music software.

Assistant IT Manager Matt Mancini, who also facilitated the first session of the Makerspace course, looks forward to this spring’s session. “Last fall’s class was a great success,” Mancini said. “I was amazed by the creativity and talent each student brought to the table, and can’t wait to help more Heights teens begin, or continue, their personal musical journey.” 

The Makerspace program features a weekly instructional session by Mancini on various elements of recording and producing music, followed by open-lab time, when students are free to work on personal projects with help from Mancini and a student intern. Instructional topics include mixing, editing audio, recording, and navigating digital music software.

Mancini emphasized that prospective students need not have any prior musical or recording experience, and that all musical genres and styles are welcome in the class. “What matters most is that students are willing and eager to learn,” he said. “In terms of genre, during the previous session we had students interested in jazz, folk, hip-hop, rock music--they had pretty eclectic tastes. My hope is to create a course that is open to each student’s musical preferences and gives them the structure and skills they need to pursue what they’re most excited about.” 

Applications for a student intern are also open through March 18. “What we’re basically looking for is someone with a bit of musical experience and a desire to help other students,” Mancini said. The chosen intern will receive a $500 stipend.

For now, the Teen Digital Media Lab is open only to graduates of and current participants in the Makerspace course. Other library customers are encouraged to use the adult Media Lab located in the Lee Road branch’s HKIC (Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center), which features many of the same amenities as the teen lab.

To download an application for both student and intern positions, go to

Jay Rosen

Jay Rosen is communications coordinator at Heights Libraries.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 12:50 PM, 03.02.2018