When Steve Buuck stepped into the auditorium of over 200 students at Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School in November to pitch a new after-school offering, he had 90 seconds to win them over.
“I was pitching two new classes that would allow students to immerse themselves in the music industry, both the creative side and the entrepreneurial side,” said Buuck, the school’s CEO.
Buuck said he could sense the students’ enthusiasm and energy. He’d teamed up with Ronnie Lee, founder of the Las Vegas-based B Sharp Foundation, to create an after-school electronic music program.
After meeting several times, Buuck decided he wanted more than an after-school program.
Don Ramos, the director of education at the online Music Alliance Academy, created a curriculum for an elective program at Faith Lutheran. The classes will be offered for the 2019-20 school year. Staff and the curriculum will be provided by the academy, which has hosted workshops in Las Vegas and six other U.S. cities, according to its website.
“We’re going to start with two classes next year — one in electronic music production, which is the more creative side of things where kids will create their own music,” Buuck said. “And we’re going to also offer a course called entrepreneurs in music. This program ties into so many other programs we already have in place. Everyone’s been buzzing about it.”
Tuition for the eight-week after-school program is about $800, according to the foundation’s website. There are multi-payment options available. The classes that begin in 2019 will be included in Faith Lutheran’s base tuition.
The tuition that Faith Lutheran students pay for the class will go to the B Sharp Foundation, which will use it for summer programs, as well as providing scholarships and tuition assistance to students who don’t have access to those resources, Lee said.
He added that the program will also be offered to students in underserved communities throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
“Everyone has a space in this industry,” Lee said. “We plan on providing full scholarships — up to the 90-95 percent range of tuition so they have some commitment to make sure they’re serious about it.”
B Sharp Foundation
Its mission involves engaging students attending at-risk schools in the music industry to encourage them to stay in school. It offers camps, music classes and workshops.
After-school sessions at Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School are set for 3-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 9 through Feb. 27. For more information, visit bsharpfoundation.org/emp-program-signup.
“We’re trying to expose kids to understand that through teamwork, good work ethic, commitment and desire to learn, they can apply what they know, enhance it, and find a place for themselves and then hopefully it will encourage them to stay in school,” B Sharp Foundation founder Ronnie Lee said.