Behind The Band

Written by Kayla Hawkes, student at STEM High in Highlands Ranch, CO.


I have been interested in music for as long as I can remember. I got involved in a music program in second grade, and I haven’t stopped since. We had an amazing teacher that started a choir program, and we learned about music theory, production, application, and presentation. There was something for everyone.

It was during my eighth grade year that I met my partners on this project for Think It Up. We’ve always connected over music, but during course selection in early December, we all signed up for a college-level music class. Our Executive Director suggested that we come together to produce a full album, and we knew with the resources of Think It Up, we could make it happen. We wanted to show everyone how easy it is to create music. We aren’t amazing musicians; we’re just a group that wanted to pursue our passion. We know there are so many people that want to create music, and now they can see it’s possible.

My role in this project mostly involves digital production, but I play some guitar. Early on in the process, I realized that music theory is based around mathematics, and it’s very technology based. Our STEM school encourages female involvement, and I soon realized that this is my niche.

Throughout this project, we’ve learned a lot about leadership, humility and professionalism. Each perspective is unique, and our communication has improved greatly. We jump at the chance to help one another. Each morning when we experiment with original music, we all contribute. One person might write the lyrics, while another helps with the chord progression or melody. Others might volunteer to perform the vocals. We even have a classmate writing our press releases. We have an entire classroom of about eighteen students who are all contributing. Everyone has a specific skill, and every person has produced something original. Our visions might differ, but the entire concept is “Band Together,” and every issue makes us stronger.

Thanks to Think It Up, we were able to get support from the community around us. Our music began to have a purpose. We have a mentor who has produced dozens of albums and we have work with him a few times each week. It’s been humbling and inspirational. He’s made a lot of technological tweaks, but he’s been most valuable in showing us how to share a message. We have also worked with an outside jazz pianist and an Emmy-winning songwriter who played on some of our tracks. Our final album will be about twelve songs, and we are looking forward to throwing an album release party!

After that, we’re planning to go to other schools and hopefully inspire other students with our message. We’re so excited to share what we’ve worked so hard to create with other high schoolers who are as passionate about music as we are.

Learn more at thinkitup.org.

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