The legendary audio-engineer also reflects on his experience as a teacher.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has tapped renowned audio engineer, professor and DJ Young Guru for the first installment of its “Hip Hop Speaker” series.
MIT’s newly founded “Hip Hop Speaker” programming aims to pair leaders in Hip Hop with faculty and students at the university for insightful dialogue.
Guru is scheduled to lecture at the prestigious university in Cambridge, Massachusetts next month. He’ll reflect on the growing gap between the intentions and final execution of innovation and the ultimate execution as design and tech continue to create and recreate new realities. Guru is also slated to shed light on how design and innovation impacted music and how that impact is now spreading to other aspects of design, innovation and tech.
In addition to lecturing at MIT in March, Guru is also entering into his second year as an artist-in-residence at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.
HipHopDX recently spoke with the music-educator about his teaching endeavors and the reception he has received from students in the classroom.
“Teaching is one of the things I’ve grown to love,” he says during an interview with HipHopDX. “My focus isn’t just on engineering, even though a lot of my class does cover that. They vary in range of the subject matter… We cover digital audio workstation, all the way to music history to critiquing the student’s songs and performances. It varies.”
Guru says that the students “love it” and that he’s received a “warm reception” thus far. He’s been asked to cater to students that aspire to perform a multitude of genres, such as bluegrass and alternative music.
In 2013, the Grammy-nominated audio engineer teamed with Grammy U to speak at 13 different schools – including New York University, Loyola University and Drexel, among others – about the importance of his craft and music creation.
Guru believes it’s “inevitable”– because the genre is getting older – that more-and-more universities are choosing to embrace Hip Hop and add it to the curriculum.
“It’s just the normal maturation of what the genre should go through in terms of being studied,” he says. “It’s so rich with lyrics that there’s so much to study.”
In terms of grading his own teaching methods, Guru will leave that for the students. The qualifications of a “good teacher” in Guru’s book means having the ability to explain subject matter in different ways and adjusting to multiple learning styles.
“How good of a teacher you are depends on how you can take a concept and break it down,” he says. “I always say that, ‘If you truly understand a concept you can explain it to a baby’…That’s the whole point, is figuring out your students, and waiting for that moment when you can visually see it when the light bulb goes off and they understand it.”
Guru is scheduled to present his “Design and Destruction” lecture to MIT students on Friday, March 6.