Alkek One, located on the first floor of Alkek Library, is hosting workshops to provide hands-on training on audio and video equipment, VR creation, 3D printing and more. One of those workshops is “Alkek One: Making Music in BandLab” which began on Nov. 14.
The workshop focuses on creating original music using BandLab’s sound library. BandLab is a free-to-use web browser that allows people to create and share music globally.
“Anyone is a composer. If you like music and you want to make music, you absolutely can, and that’s what I'm here for, that is what the workshop is for,” Elizabeth Hambleton, audio specialist, said. “Come one, come all.”
Hambleton instructs students on how to use BandLab and provide a brief presentation on how technology’s involvement in music production has evolved. Students can follow along as Hambleton creates a lo-fi hip-hop track or they can experiment with other genres.
During the hour-an-a-half-long session, students have the opportunity to produce an original song which they can later work on in their own time. The beauty of BandLab lies in the seamless capability of access since creators can access their projects on any computer.
“All you need is a laptop,” Hambleton said.
According to BandLab’s website, “BandLab’s mission is to break down the technical, geographic and creative barriers between creators, collaborators and community by providing a completely free and unlimited service."
This is the second time Hambleton teaches BandLab and is she excited to listen to what students create. She was a music theory professor in Maine until six months ago when she moved to Texas and started a job at Alkek Library as its audio specialist. She has had her music featured in concerts, festivals and a museum in Maine.
Hambleton is also teaching a workshop for students interested in creating their own podcast, "Alkek One: Record & Edit your Podcast." She is planning future workshops focusing on audio programming, sonification and others. No date has been announced at this time.
YouStar Studios, located on the first floor of Alkek, offers professional equipment available to all students, for example after creating a song in BandLab, adding vocals is easy to do by booking a studio room. Hambleton is also available to help those who have not used audio equipment.
Along with audio workshops, there are also workshops that award micro-credentials, NASA badges, and scholarship prizes.
Next semester, Khoi Nguyen, immersion studio supervisor, will instruct students on how to design their own mobile apps. A scholarship prize at the end of the workshop will be awarded to the top designers.
Students can also earn NASA badges, after completing certain workshops, like "Alkek One Micro-Credentials: Blender 3D Bootcamp," a badge is awarded that can be added to a student’s resume. Micro-credentials are also awarded from most workshops, which proves a student completed training for a specific project.
Hambleton and Nguyen, encourage all students to register for a workshop, regardless of experience, these workshops are designed with beginners in mind.
Alkek Library started these workshops two years ago and Nguyen said he has received nothing but positive feedback from students.
“The motivation is that they’re learning something,” Nguyen said. “The best compliment I can possibly get, is (students asking) can we have another session?”
To sign up and view a list of available workshops, visit https://www.library.txst.edu/services/teaching-learning/workshops.html.