(WCSC) CHARLESTON SC - When school budgets are tight, music programs are often first on the chopping block. But now there's a new way for kids to get their fix- after school. Now Mall Park on the east side of Charleston has its very own music recording studio.
It's part of the Carolina Studios project with Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish.
"This gives kids another option, a way to express their creativity and keep them off the streets after school", Bryan said.
There are 5 different computer stations with music making capabilities, and Bryan says these machines are the real deal. "Almost every recording studio in the world now is working with computers and digital and stuff like that", Bryan said.
With a click of the mouse they can lay down different beats and actually create new music.
"You can bring in a drum part, and bass in and a piano in that sort of thing", Bryan said.
And once they build their track, they write their own lyrics and put it together. These kids can record everything from freestyle and rap to rock and roll, and at the end of the day they can put it all on a disk and take it home.
It's a process that teaches them a range of skills for the future.
"We'll have artists and engineers come out of this we also want to offer graphics arts package so kids can make their own CD covers", Bryan said. " It's a foundation for a lot of things in the music industry", all while giving them a good, free outlet for the here and now.
"I think when a kid finds music and finds their niche in music it's a great release for a kid", Bryan said.
The City of Charleston donated the space, and the rest of the money for the equipment came from grants.