Article | Onlythebeat

Summer School in Ibiza for Music Producers

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Josh Habursky

A new music production program is launching in July of 2016 called Ibiza Summer Session. The program will take students from the classroom setting and out into the iconic nightclubs of the Spanish island to perfect the art of production and performance.  The two-week course taught by veterans of dance music was co-founded by Dan Freeman who was gracious enough to give us the scoop on the new program in an exclusive interview. Dan is an artist/producer, Ableton Certified Trainer, faculty at Dubspot, NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and director of the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory.

Welcome to Ibiza Summer Sessions 2016

Only The Beat: What inspired you to create this unique experience in learning music production?
Dan Freeman: I've had the privilege of working with some of the world's best electronic music instructors at Dubspot and some of my production heroes at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music where I currently teach. In both of these communities, we have what I call teacher/artists - people who are both incredible teachers and fantastic artists. I'm also the director of the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory which is a platform that runs pop-up courses at production schools globally where we bring some of the best teacher/artists from the United States to different production schools worldwide.
Last summer, I held an event with Dubspot and the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona with Carles Reixach, the director of EUMES which is Spain's largest school focusing on electronic music production. Carles, introduced me to Alex Montoya, the director of Magnum Booking, who has worked extensively in Ibiza representing artists like John Digweed. Over drinks in the Plaza de España in Barcelona we imagined the ultimate pop-up electronic music school, one that would bring the best teacher/artists from around the world to Ibiza. And it would provide participants with workshops with the DJ/producers who were in Ibiza for the Summer and give the participants opportunities to spend the day learning and then seeing some of these DJ/producers performing at night at our partner clubs. We've been working on it since last summer and it's been a blast.
OTB: Why did you choose Ibiza? Any hopes of expanding a similar experience to dance music hubs like Miami, Las Vegas or Chicago?
Dan Freeman: We chose Ibiza because during July and August it's a place where almost every night some of the world's top DJ/producers are playing and hanging out on what is a small island. It also has absolutely world class recording facilities and is obviously a beautiful place. The goal of the program is to not only learn production skills, but to meet some of the best artists in the world who will be dropping by the workshops that we're offering and then to be able to go and see them play. There are very few places on earth with such a wealth of opportunities for electronic music producers. I really like all those other three cities, especially Miami where I usually end up for a bit every year, so after this summer perhaps we’ll see about some winter sessions.
OTB: Can you tell us a little more about the instructors for the program?
Dan Freeman: We chose our instructors from some of the world's best schools devoted to music production including Dubspot, Berklee College of Music, EUMES (Spain) and NYU. We have seven Ableton Certified Trainers, more than any other school in the world. All of our instructors are teacher/artists meaning that they are top notch instructors but also serious artists as well.
OTB: I have never produced music or DJ'd for an audience outside of my apartment. Is this program for me?
Dan Freeman: Yes - if you have an intense desire to learn how to produce the music you are playing. The course is an intense exposure to producing music with Abelton Live and over the course of two weeks we cover the basics of the program, beat building, sound designing and writing bass lines, chord progressions and melodies, recording vocals and mixing. It's 4 hours of class a day, starting at 3 PM, and then 2 hours of time in which you can spend in a fully-equipped classroom space working on your track with your instructor by your side, there to answer any questions you might have.
Over the course of a two-week session, 4 top DJ/producers will drop by to speak to the participants and of course, there will be opportunities to catch performances nightly - or work on your music. It will be a good course for beginners with a desire to learn and those familiar with production who want to really solidify their skills. If you're looking to just come to Ibiza and party, there are definitely cheaper and easier ways to do it, but if you really want to come out knowing how the music you love is made and be inspired by top artists, than I think it’s the program for you.
OTB: I noticed that you have some major partners for the program such as the historic Cafe Mambo. Is it possible for an exceptional student to end up playing a set at Cafe Mambo?
Dan Freeman: We have very close connections to some of Ibiza's promoters and venues, if a participant is a badass DJ and submits his or her materials to us and expresses a desire to gig, we can definitely get them into the the hands of the right people.
OTB: What preparation do you recommend for students planning to attend Ibiza Summer Sessions?
Dan Freeman: To prepare for the sessions, I would get Ableton Live and start checking out some of the tutorials that our instructors have online if you want to get an idea of their teaching styles. If you are new to Ableton Live, get Ableton Live 9 Power, the best book on learning Ableton Live which was written by one of our instructors, Jon Margulies. Really, just get yourself ready to be immersed into an intense educational and artistic experience in one of the world's very unique places.
OTB: Do you think this program will give aspiring producers an advantage to compete in the industry?
Dan Freeman: As someone who's been in the music industry for almost two decades, I think one of the most important things that a young artist can find is other young artists who are talented and driven to succeed along with mentors and role models. At Ibiza Summer Sessions aspiring producers will find all three. They will be surrounded by other aspiring producers driven to learn music, they will have the opportunities to form close personal connections to some of the world's best instructors who are quite connected with different scenes around the globe and they will meet very successful DJ/producers who will share knowledge about their careers.
If a participant takes full advantage of what we are offering,in two weeks there is a chance of making contacts and meeting people that will have a significant impact on their career.  

For more information:

The program offers multiple two-week sessions throughout the summer at the cost of $4,989 per person. Please visit Ibiza Summer Sessions site for course dates, details and registration.

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