The art of making music is more than creating a song; it’s an audible expression of creativity. For 17-year-old Michael Goddard, music is an extension of himself. It is an art form in which he can truly express himself. His pain, happiness, struggles, and conquests become tangible emotions people can empathize with. For many young aspiring artists becoming a musician all starts with a fantasy—a dream to become a superstar whose craft touches all. But that’s where it starts and sometimes ends. The novelty of it dissipates when the harsh reality of all of the hard work and numerous obstacles begins to form. Many just give up when these hurdles appear and creating music just becomes too cumbersome. This is not the case for Goddard. Sure music was always something he toyed with for years, writing down poetic verses that he would spit out with his friends during lunch. Then one day, that feeling of his lyrics being heard fueled his passion to pursue his dream. He felt that he had a voice that needed to be heard, and music gave him the chance to do that.
Goddard knew that music was not just a passing fad for him. He understood the responsibility and difficulty of creating, editing, and re-writing rap songs. He continues to stand tall amid the stereotypes of failed musicians, the rocky path of rejections, the hours of dedication, and naysayers who do not believe in him. Goddard does not let these negative vibes get him down. “If someone was to tell me to stop or to just quit my dream, I wouldn’t even listen to them,” Goddard said.
Goddard continues to pen numerous songs, and he even had a friend help him produce music to accompany his phone recordings. But sometimes, one song could take up to a week to make because he had to work on someone else’s time.
All of that changed last year with the help of Spring Creek Teen Central (TC). Since Goddard was 13 years old, he has been a member of Teen Central. In 2017, the teen group launched TC Vision, a pro-gram that teaches pre-production music recording (with their very own studio), lessons on songwriting and composing, arranging, and mixing music, podcasting, an introduction to using DJ equipment, DSLR digital photography and videography, talk show programming, digital film editing, and so much more. Once Goddard was in-formed about this new, cutting-edge program, he knew it would change his life.
“The TC Vision Media Lab has been such a blessing for me be-cause without that, I can honestly say that I don’t know what I would be doing with myself,” Goddard said candidly. He admits that the lab has strengthened his purpose in music. It also inspired him to come up with a side plan so that he can continue his education and work on his craft. He decided that he would study engineering in college, so that he can support himself while he continues to work on his music. Ideally, Goddard who now goes by the stage name “Mike Guap,” wants to earn an income as a musician, but he understands that this will be a difficult task. However, he is a strong believer that with steadfast work, unwavering dedication, and faith, he can achieve his goal.
Since the program’s inception, Goddard has taken to learning how to produce and create music using cutting-edge software and editing tools. One song would take him one week to make with someone else producing it, but now it only takes a few hours on his own. His technological skills have vastly increased. He knows how to work computer programs that would take most many years to comprehend. He can cut and edit audio using FL Studio. He is also learning the creative and technical components of developing a music video using Adobe Premiere.
“I now do everything on my own time. When I get out of school I come straight to TC Vision’s lab and work from 3pm to 7pm. It’s really helped me express myself,” Goddard said proudly. Many of the songs Goddard produces in the TC Vision Media Lab are uploaded to his YouTube Channel (there are songs that have over a thousand views) and social media accounts (if you are interested in hearing his songs type in Mike Guap into the YouTube search engine).
The program has also taught him the importance of branding, and using social media to share his music and his message to all of his followers. He also learned business concepts, such as the legality of copyright and intellectual property.
TC Vision not only teaches teens from middle school to high school. The program also instructs stu-dents, grades four and five, from the Spring Creek Afterschool Pro-gram. The children learn the basic concepts of digital photography in the first semester, which includes, setting up and managing equipment, lenses, F-Stop and aperture functions, shot types, angles, lighting, gels, portraits and backdrops. Then in the second semester, the students hone their craft and learn videography, including script writing, directing, producing, and editing film.
If you are a Spring Creek Towers’ resident and your child is interested in joining TC Vision, please contact Lonai Mosley at 347-524-8664 or 718-642-7168. The program is free and open Mon. through Thurs.
Photos courtesy of TC Vision Media