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Make a Joyful Noize

Chapter One: We Got That

Lesson Two: Finding the Heartbeat

Listen deeply to your favorite music and define a musical “heartbeat” that you can use as a seed for your own piece of music.

Your Assignment

  1. Watch the video in which Soul Science Lab explores the heartbeat of their song “We Got That.”
  2. Note how Asante tracks the development of the beat for “We Got That” from its African, Caribbean, and popular music roots.
  3. After watching Soul Science Lab’s video, start to think about how you will create your own musical heartbeat.
    • If you want some inspiration to see how rhythms can create a heartbeat in music, watch this fantastic video about rhythms created by the Malinke people in West Africa.
  4. Identify a piece of music that you like. It can be old or new.
  5. Pull out the heartbeat of that song—something that makes the song tick. You can also make your own new heartbeat if you want.
  6. Use your phone or a digital audio workstation to record your musical heartbeat.
    • Remember, you are just creating the foundation—not the whole song, just the heartbeat.

Explore Other Parts of Make a Joyful Noize

Introduction: Joy in the Artist’s Calling

In this introductory video, Chen and Asante ask you to create your own artistic mission statement as a way of kickstarting your creative process.

Chapter One: We Got That | Lesson One: Community, Context, and Culture

What is your personal definition of culture, and where do you find joy in your life?

Chapter One: We Got That | Lesson Three: For the Culture

Create a lyrical hook that expresses your artistic mission statement in music.

Chapter Two: Free Ya Mind | Lesson One: The Art of Collaboration

Chen and Asante introduce the qualities of strong collaborations and ask you to think about your favorite examples of two artists working together to create music.

Chapter Two: Free Ya Mind | Lesson Two: Reimagine and Remix!

Chen and Asante share some of the musical elements of the song “Free Ya Mind,” and ask you to create your own remix of the song using the stems from the recording session.

Chapter Two: Free Ya Mind | Lesson Three: Flip the Script

How would you create your own original backing track to support the first vocal verse of “Free Ya Mind?”

Chapter Three: Victory | Lesson One: The Mission and Rhythm

Chen and Asante demonstrate how to create a song around the ideas and images expressed in a personal artistic mission statement.

Chapter Three: Victory | Lesson Two: A Soundtrack for Victory

Build the musical accompaniment for the new hook that you created out of your mission statement.

Chapter Three: Victory | Lesson Three: Make a Joyful Noize

Chen and Asante demonstrate how to tell a compelling story through song verses and show you how to shape your new song into a finished artistic statement.

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