How Math Thru Music used Jay-D
to organize workshops for kids
“Math Thru Music came out of another program called Basketball 4 Life. We would always be playing music while youth participants were playing the sport. I decided to bring DJ equipment and that was when we started to have our young DJs spinning while the ball players did their thing on the court. As basketball programs were a dime a dozen, I decided to develop the DJ program since it was more unique and in 2010, DJ 4 Life was born.
We then started competitions and spinning at events while the program grew from one turntable to many. I noticed that there was lots of math involved and changed the name to Math Thru Music in 2014. Tens of thousands of participants and 7yrs later, we’re not only teaching Math, but Entrepreneurship, Coding and Social Justice through the art of DJing.”
President, Math Thru Music
What’s the most important aspect of STEM teaching for you and Math Thru Music?
Making sure our young people become innovators rather than just consumers. We’re on a mission to show how the art of DJing started in the midst of an on-going struggle for people of colour (Social Justice), how you can make money off of your passion for music (Entrepreneurship), how you can understand what’s inside the equipment/how it revolutionized the music industry (Coding) and finally- how to better understand numbers while using them to be creative on the turntables (Math).
How did you decide on partnering with CircuitMess?
First off, this partnership is an honour! It’s amazing to collaborate with young talent and get to share your passion! The entire team at CicuitMess is extremely dedicated and continue to show consistency through their products. I saw the marketing on Instagram and decided to reach out as we were developing the coding side of our mission. Their Jay-D kit was everything I dreamt of for our program and I went for it. The connection was automatic and our missions aligned. It’s been just a few months and we’ve impacted many summer camps with the 80 Jay-D kits! We’re just scratching the surface.
What does a typical lesson with Jay-D kits look like?
Most participants have never soldered, or used tools, much less put something like this together before. We give an in-depth look at how things work and their purpose. We basically bring the Jay-D manual to life. Having put the kit together, we have experience and want to encourage young people to preserve along with being knowledgeable on their journey. This has all been done online using Zoom or Microsoft Teams due to Covid restrictions. We’ve been able to communicate and coordinate throughout the process that leads to building confidence and learning along the way all thanks to the partnership with CircuitMess.
What are your impressions of working with Jay-D kits? Which part did they find most challenging and what was their favorite part?
I love the Jay-D kit or the “coding kit” as we call it on our website. I actually feel way more confident and comfortable opening the back of our actual turntables should anything go wrong.
I have the tools and I have the knowledge. I can’t wait to explore the other products CircuitMess has.
Soldering was the most challenging as they used too much or too little. Everyones favourite part was getting it to work!