Backtrack is passionate about promoting the arts and helping students find and develop their voices. The group has conducted educational programs at over 100 schools nationwide.
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 can include an a cappella arranging demonstration, beatbox tutorial, Q&A section and other fun, interactive bits!
We workshop with choirs, 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.
Beatboxing - Our award-winning, competitive beatboxer, Craig Simonetti, gives a crash course on beatboxing. He teaches the basic sounds of beatboxing, incorporates the sounds into beats, and gets students up on the microphone to try out their beats.
Choreography - 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).
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.
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.
Group Blend & Balance - In this class, you’ll learn the different elements of singing within the background parts of an arrangement such as blending, listening, balance, vowel and energy matching. This skill is often asked of singers in a cappella auditions for both college and professional groups. Students will learn part of an arrangement and will have the opportunity to sing with the members of Backtrack and receive feedback on their performance.
Group Vocal Improvisation - This is a simple and fun introduction to a cappella arranging and also teaches students about the importance of listening, going with their musical instincts and not being afraid to put themselves out there. The clinic involves teaching and playing a series of games where small groups of students create vocal arrangements on the spot.
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.
"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