I started Youth On Record Alaska (YORAK) five years ago in collaboration with South Peninsula Haven House and Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic's R.E.C. Room which is a youth resource and enrichment co-op. YORAK is a music production and recording program for teens age 12- 18 that teaches teens to produce various types of music using Logic Pro, Midi keyboards, microphones, and other devices. Our program reaches music and artistic expression in many different forms whether youth come to work on melodies or lyrics; it's a safe space to encourage teens' differences to shine through.
15 yr. old Colton Morris, a student of two years said of the program, "YORAK is all about music. It's a passion. It's one of my best joys. It's about listening and making music and having a choice on how you create your music."
If a person walks into the R.E.C. Room on a typical Friday afternoon YORAK they would see between 3 and 15 students with headphones on, laptops open sitting at the table all together- laughing and talking in a way that helps them collaborate and grow their projects. They are sharing their lyrics and I am playing different samples of what they're working on with positive feedback and support coming from all students in the room. There may be other students in the closed-in office section recording their parts of a collaborative song.
As the founder of this program, my goal has always been to see my students grow and become mentors of their peers. Two of my students have officially become part of the leadership team, one as a sound design specialist, and one as our development coordinator. We're all about allowing opportunities for youth to go beyond their own creative development to inspire their peers to grow further in their talents as young musicians and positive role models.
My goal for YORAK is to continue to collect donations and funding which will be used primarily to update equipment so that more students can participate in these weekly classes.
Funded by Alaska (December 2016)