Beats: if music is your forte

You’re walking by a classroom on the second floor after school when you hear a sound coming from that door. Curious, you decide to peek in and that’s when you see, no hear, music in progress.   

The extracurricular you just walked into was Beats, a music club in room 221 that meets on Wednesdays from 3:15 to 4:15.   

In Beats, you can see multiple students hard at work on making instrumental backtracks and samples. Students receive help and help others with procedures in addition to looking at the process behind creating music. 

“It’s basically like holistic music direction,” said Brendon Smith, a social studies teacher in charge of the club. “We kind of hone those skills and teach them different techniques to make melodies or different chord progressions.”  

The club was established in 2018 by Smith and Anthony Sherrod, a Central alumnus. Smith believed there were students at Central who were interested in the idea of creating music that differed from opportunities already offered at the school. 

“Since I knew those kids were out there, I was trying to make a club attractive for them,” he said.  

Although there are 28 members on the Teams page of the Central Beats club, less than half of those members are active members. 

“We’ve pretty much had anywhere between like five to eight kids who are like regular,” Smith said. “This year it’s been pretty small. We’ve only had like four kids showing up regularly, but I think part of the reason is that kids don’t know about it.”  

Senior Matibay Seldera and junior Peter Jensen are two active members of the club. They have been involved since last year’s second semester, introduced by teachers and student initiator of Beats, Anthony Sherrod. 

“I’ve always been interested in music, but I think this club boosted my interest,” Seldera said. When it comes to Beats, he likes “being around different artists and different styles of artists” and “having that kind of musical diversity.”   

Jensen similarly enjoys being around people who in turn give him tips and “seeing what other people are doing.”  

Current Beats members are not the only ones who are benefiting from their membership. Alumni involved in the club have been on bright, promising paths since their graduation. Sherrod is one of them. 

“He loved music technology so much that he went to (University of Nebraska at Omaha) and he’s studying music technology there,” Smith said. “There’s also Jack Gray, who was in the club last year, and he’s taking classes at the online school of music for Berkeley.”  

Both significant contributors to the club went on to do music production, assisting each of them with their artistic journeys.   

Beats is a place to make contemporary music, deconstruct, reverse engineer, and then recreate, or even emulate music. For people looking to pursue their fiery passion for music or simply looking to douse their curiosity, Beats could be the perfect start to discovering a new part of themselves.  

“It’s a club where there’s literally no judgement, so we’re just really happy that there are kids making music, and that they’re comfortable enough sharing their creations,” Smith said. “Whatever music you’re making, we want to hear it.”