Beatboxing Takes Over Middle School

The sounds of bass drums and turntables filled Doc Wilson Hall on Wednesday, February 12, but the only instruments present were the voices of champion beatboxers Kaila Mullady and Mark Martin.

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The duo showcased their formidable skills and taught Middle School students the basics of the vocal percussion technique.

Mullady, a two-time World Beatbox Champion, and Martin, an American Beatbox Champion, delighted the audience with impressive tunes, and taught students not just how to beatbox, but also the genesis of the art form. The musicians also highlighted the importance of confidence and owning your voice: Mullady shared a story about negative comments she has received for being a woman in the beatboxing world, and said that “If anyone ever tells you that you can’t do something, just block them out.” 

After the assembly, eighth grade students met with the beatboxers for in-depth musical workshops, where they used beatboxing as a jumping-off point to dive into the process of writing music and lyrics. “Beatboxing is a wonderful way for young students to experience stepping outside their comfort zone,” middle school music teacher John-Alec Raubeson explained. “It is my hope that students feel empowered to take some risks, be a little (or a lot) silly, and have some fun exploring the power of their voices, realizing that it’s okay to feel a little vulnerable.” Indeed, it seems that the day made quite the impact: Raubeson has heard students throughout the Middle School honing their beatboxing skills. 

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