Backtrack is passionate about promoting the arts and helping students find and develop their voices. The group has conducted educational programs at over 250 schools internationally.
Our assembly show is the foundation of our programming. We sing a variety of music, including pop hits, oldies and originals. In addition to singing, we include a cappella arranging demonstrations, beatboxing tutorials, Q&A sections and other fun, interactive moments!
We workshop with choirs and a cappella groups, focusing on both musical and performance elements. We can workshop repertoire the students are currently working on and/or we can provide a complimentary Backtrack arrangement for them to learn prior to our visit.
Backtrack members are frequently making appearances as clinicians at festivals and schools around the county. See our list below for the various educational programs that we offer for your students.
Beatboxing - Our award-winning, competitive beatboxer gives a crash course in beatboxing. He teaches the basic sounds of vocal percussion, incorporates those sounds into beat patterns, and gets students up on the microphone to try out their own combination of sounds. This class is perfect for an introduction to the art of beatboxing and can be structured for those more experienced.
Group Vocal Improvisation - This is a simple and fun introduction to a cappella arranging that teaches students the importance of listening, going with their musical instincts and improvising with confidence. The clinic involves playing a series of games where small groups of students create vocal arrangements on the spot; exploring harmony, rhythm and articulation.
Singing a Solo - Backtrack conducts this clinic with the hopes of helping students gain confidence when auditioning and performing solos. We discuss elements that make a successful solo, such as singing with intention and sharing tips to help singers overcome nerves. Students sing a verse and chorus from a song of their choice and receive feedback.
Choreography/Movement- We discuss elements for successful choreography such as directed energy, stillness, and call and response. Students are taught a chorus of a song and broken up into small groups to choreograph/block the song. The groups perform and receive feedback. Time and technology permitting, Backtrack members share video examples and discuss the elements that make for strong stage presence (as a group and individually).
Pop Vocal Techniques - Learn healthy, accessible and creative singing practices for pop music. In this class, we will review pop singing techniques across current styles, and students will receive one-on-one coaching time. Exciting techniques to explore include: riffing, mix-belting, scoops, cries, growls, distortion, and vocal flips or yodels.
Triple Threats: Nailing the MT Audition - In this class, we combine singing, dancing, and acting. Students will gain confidence, work together, and embrace their imagination and instincts by learning the basics of improvisation through games and team activities. Select students will perform a verse and chorus of their favorite MT song and workshop with the goal of crafting a polished 32 bar audition cut. Students will be given tools to delve into a character’s point of view, turn lyrics into action & find comfortability on the stage. Lastly, students in this class will learn a musical theatre dance combination focusing on style and technique, as well as learning tips to pick up choreography quickly and effectively. [1.5-2 hour suggested time]
Arranging - We will explore the overarching journey of arranging; beginning with a blank page and the brainstorming process, while writing for specific singers and ensembles. While getting the song “on paper,” we will delve into the tiny details of groove, voice leading, and harmonization. Students will leave the class with more arranging tools in their toolboxes, as well as a broader perspective and an increased ability to tailor their arranging to their individual singers.
DIY Music Video - Backtrack discusses the process we use for creating music videos. We discuss the equipment necessary (sometimes just an iPhone will suffice) and the planning and execution steps. Using Backtrack videos as examples, we discuss different structures for music videos including narrative-driven videos, green screen videos and behind-the-scenes videos.
Recording/Mixing/Editing class - More and more, it is becoming important for musicians and singer/songwriters to be able to record themselves and produce their own music. These skills allow artists to be more self-sufficient and give them the ability to create demos, full tracks, and other musical projects from home. Craig Simonetti, Backtrack’s primary mixing engineer teaches students the basics of recording, mixing, and editing, demonstrating softwares such as Melodyne and ProTools and discussing elements of audio production including pitch and time correction, EQ, compression, and reverb.
"They are not only excellent musicians, but they are also great performers, keeping 300 students engaged at a time. They did a beautiful job teaching kids about a cappella music in kid friendly terms, doing various demonstrations and even making the presentation hands on by inviting students (and staff!) to practice with them. The kids sang along, wanted to dance and had a truly memorable experience. I highly recommend having Backtrack perform at your school!"
Christine Dragone, the Assistant Principal at North Side School, East Williston, NY
Bethel Middle School - Bethel, CT Darien High School - Darien, CT East Haddam Elementary School - Moodus, CT Frank T. Wheeler School - Plainville, CT Gilead Hill School - Hebron, CT Hebron Elementary School - Hebron, CT John Read Middle School - Redding, CT Kingswood Oxford School - West Hartford, CT Linden Street School - Plainville, CT Louis Toffolon School - Plainville, CT Martin Kellogg Middle School - Newington, CT Mathewson School - Milford, CT North Street School - Greenwich, CT Stafford Middle School - Stafford, CT Washington Montessori School - New Preston, CT First Coast High School - Jacksonville, FL Salem High School - New Albany, IN Sippican School - Marion, MA Shepherd High School - Shepherd, MI Winn Elementary - Shepherd, MI Hopewell Valley Central School - Pennington, NJ Jackson Memorial High School - Jackson, NJ Markham Place School - Little Silver, NJ Tuscan Elementary School - Maplewood, NJ Baldwin High School - Baldwin, NY Delaware Academy - Delhi, NY Fieldston Lower School - Bronx, NY John F. Kennedy High School - Bellmore, NY M.C. Miller Middle School - Lake Katrine, NY Meadow Drive Elementary - Albertson, NY Minisink Elementary School - Slate Hill, NY New City Elementary School - New City, NY Northside Charter High School - Brooklyn, NY O'Neill High School - Walton, NY Roosevelt High School - Roosevelt, NY Sacred Heart School - New York, NY Success Academy Bed-Stuy 2 - Brooklyn, NY Success Academy Cobble Hill - Brooklyn, NY Success Academy Washington Heights - New York, NY Success Academy Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY Townsend Elementary School - Walton, NY The Wheatley School - Old Westbury, NY Woodward Children's Center - Freeport, NY Baldwin School - Bryn Mawr, PA Elizabeth Forward Middle School - Elizabeth, PA J.T. Lambert Intermediate School - East Stroudsburg, PA Kiski Area High School - Vandergrift, PA New Garden Elementary School - Toughkenamon, PA The Pen Ryn School - Fairless Hills, PA Saegertown Jr./Sr. High School - Saegertown, PA Smethport Area Jr. & Sr. High School - Smethport, PA Trinity Valley School - Fort Worth, TX Saint Johns School - Houston, TX DC Everest Area School District - Schofield, WI