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The MMMMaven Project aspires to be the Harvard of house — or the Dartmouth of dubstep — for DJs and producers

Posted by Scott Kirsner  May 18, 2012 01:52 PM

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The team that organizes the annual Together electronic music festival in Boston is in the process of raising money and scouting locations for a new school that would offer courses in DJing and producing dance music. It'll be called The MMMMaven Project, and founders David Day and Alex Maniatis hope to have a location nailed down next month, and begin teaching some pilot courses in July. (Day is on the left in the picture, Maniatis on the right.)

Electronic dance music, or EDM, "has just blown up," says Day. "Kids today aren't picking up guitars — they're picking up laptops. We wanted to start an educational institution for aspiring fans of EDM," an umbrella term that encompasses genres like dubstep, trance, house, and hardstep. It's music made primarily to get people out on the dance floor.

The school will teach students how to use music-making software from companies like iZotope (based in Cambridge) and Ableton (based in Germany), but Maniatis adds, "We'll also teach methodology and history, not just the software. Everyone will have their own turntable and workstation with a mixer — you won't have to bring your own laptop to school." Among the instructors at the MMMMaven Project will be DJ Baltimoroder.

And for a little history lesson, Maniatis noted that Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" from 1977 is generally regarded as the song that helped spawn the genre of EDM. Day explained that EDM has been gaining in popularity during the recent recession: "It's kind of like jazz was during the Great Depression — a way for people to escape the headlines of the day. And now, like jazz, it's finding mainstream acceptance."

There's no web site yet for The MMMMaven Project, but they do have a profile on AngelList and a Twitter feed.

(Photo above courtesy Mick Murray.)

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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