To more effectively reach underserved students, the Asbury Park Music Foundation transformed a school bus into a mobile recording studio and called it the “Beat Bus.”
The Beat Bus helps turn students’ passion for music into high school and community college academic credits.
Driven by Ryan Gaumond, the “Beat Bus” plays a key role in the ongoing collaborations among the Asbury Park Music Foundation in Monmouth County, the Lakehouse Music Academy in Asbury Park, and local school districts.
Lakehouse is a for-profit, state-of-the-art music studio that teaches students music performance and music production skills. Students who are part of the Dream Academy at Asbury High School are part of the Beat Bus program. When they graduate, they will have had the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree from Brookdale Community College along with their high school diploma. From the Lakehouse, they will earn performing arts credits.
Whether it is aboard the Beat Bus or in the Lakehouse classrooms, students say they appreciate the opportunity to learn and earn academic credits while preparing for a career in the music field.
The program, organizers say, shows the critically important role the arts play in reaching students.
The Asbury Park Music Foundation has donated music instruments to school districts where students have limited access to music instruments and music technology, and the Beat Bus helps take students on a journey to learn the skills they will need to succeed in the music industry.
In the video embedded in this article, the NJSBA’s Ray Pinney and Robin Kampf interview the students and teachers involved with the program and explain how it works.