The Sound of Music: How a Millbrook Course Inspired a Student to Pursue His Own Melody


Cover art provided by: Silas Mann

The Music Production course here at Millbrook does a ton of cool work behind the scenes teaching students what goes into making the music they love. One of the students shares his upcoming album as a result of the class.

Emsley Jackson, Section Editor

The Music Production course is a hidden gem at Millbrook that at the same time is receiving huge recognition outside of the school. In the 100 building, you’ll find a small classroom with an abundance of technology and music equipment for students to use, free of charge. Through VH1 and the Save the Music Foundation, Millbrook’s music production program received a grant of around $200,000 in 2022. This allowed for amazing access to high-level equipment for all Music Production students.

   What IS Music Production though? The course teacher Mr. Hathcock explains, “If you’ve never done anything with it, the idea is to learn all the different factors that go into making the music you listen to. You have things like melody, rhythm, harmony, that kind of thing. Still, when we think about what we listen to regularly, WE are talking about samples, midi programming, recording, mixing, that kind of stuff.”

   He explains that it is an “equal opportunity” music-making course where anyone interested in music can find their groove, even with no prior experience. The class has three levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Proficient for those who want to move up in ranks. Hathcock says, “As Silas can tell you, the whole premise at each level of my class is to walk out of here with songs you’ve created.” 

 One of his students, rising senior Silas Mann did tell me that, and so much more. First, Silas can play eight different instruments, has been producing music for three years through this course, and plans to study Music Production and Engineering (MP&E) at Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a Proficient Music Production student, he had to produce his own album as a major project for the year. Silas is taking it one step further and releasing this album publicly as an ode to his passion for music. 

  When asked about the overall genre/vibe of his upcoming album Pareidolia, Silas responded, “The overall genre would be Alternative, but the sub-genres would be Experimental Folk and Alternative Folk.” I prodded with more questions about the song list and personal favorites, a tough question given that all of the tracks were personally crafted. Silas stated, “It has 10 songs total, and each of them are about different things and stories that matter to me. My favorite would have to be Darker Side, it’s a very personal song to me and I had a lot of emotions going on when I was writing it.” While the track list is fluid at the moment, his album is set to release on July 29. 

  You can find Pareidolia anywhere you stream music and more information on Silas’ Instagram account @silas_mann_music, his TikTok, and his Spotify profile under “Silas Mann!”