Q&A with the Parents of a Young Superstar Producer

Teenage Beats by DJ HEATHBARZ

4:30pm – 5:00pm | Atrium

Thirteen-year-old DJ HEATHBARZ spins an opening set. Heath has been developing his skills at Mmmmaven, a Cambridge-based music education organization and event producer.

For years, our music technology lab has proudly assisted many young minds and young producers in and around greater Boston.

Occasionally, some break out into the larger world. For example, here’s GalaxZ and Rubix via Neighbor Media.

DJ HEARTHBARZ (!!) is just the latest, playing Peabody Essex Museum this Sunday as a part of their Little Voices, Big Ideas event.

We were able to speak with the parental units of DJ Hearthbarz about his time inside our lab and what it meant to him….

In your opinion as parents, how important is music in Heath’s education?
Music, like all arts, is fundamental. There is a lot of research of the connection of music with math and other disciplines, and we feel that music augments Heath’s overall persona, even beyond education.

It makes him a fuller, more interesting person 🙂

Does music technology have a place in STEAM and how so?

We were struck by how fantastic the incorporation of “A” in STEAM brought deeper meaning by integrating arts with technology, and music technology is a tangible example.

Thank YOU @Kenji7955! 🙂 “Thank you #mmmmaven for a wonderful digital music program that has been immensely stimulating for my younger daughter! Also gave me several days to enjoy #boston, which I hadn’t done in many years.”

Did or does Heath also have traditional music lessons? How did or do they combine with music technology lessons?

Heath took piano lessons from age 5-8 and guitar at age 12. While he has always had a natural “ear” for music and has always enjoyed it, he didn’t “love” either instrument and getting him to practice was a chore.

In contrast, his attraction to music technology was magnetic and we love to see him finally marrying some of what we recognized as some raw ability into some focused efforts.

#BBGBoston is back this Fall at @MMMMAVEN! Classes start September 24th at 4pm. 🌸 If you are or know anyone interested in learning music production and beat making skills, go to our website or email polina@mmmmaven.com

Is there one particular thing he latched onto or enjoyed the most?

Since setting foot in Mmmmaven, he was finally able to realize his true interest and the enthusiasm was instant. We were thrilled he found something creative that he truly enjoys and are fully supportive with this as his form of expression.

Do you have any advice for parents out there who might be looking for music lessons or other creative outlets for their child?

Exposure, exposure, exposure! While at first we started Heath on more traditional paths, put him in musical theater camps, taken him to multiple shows

It wasn’t until music technology crossed his path that he is finally able to embrace what he loves.

We knew he was interested in “DJing” and found the Mmmmaven camp hoping to ignite the spark, and we are thrilled that it did!

Have a young one who wants to dive into #DigitalMusic? Schedule your free tour:

[bookly-form category_id=”0″ service_id=”2″ hide=”categories”]

3 New Features in Max 7.1

Max Msp

Yesterday, Cycling ’74 released an updated version of their flagship programming application, Max.  Version 7.1 comes with a ton of new features, here are 3 of our favorites:

Max 7.1 Collections

1. Collections/Tags And Searches

Cycling’s website reads, “A collection is Max’s version of a playlist and can be made up of files that fit a certain criteria (for example, all audio files from 2011, back when audio files sounded better) or a simple list of things you want to organize”.

Essentially, Max now allows you to sort your patches in any way you choose, and recall them at a moment’s notice.

Building off of the concept of a collection, Max now allows you to tag a patch or project with keywords or phrases. This will allow for a more organized recall system, as tagging multiple patches you’ll need later with the same keyword will making finding them a lot easier.

Max 7.1 Workspaces

2. Workspaces

Max’s new workspace feature lets you keep working right where you left off with a new workspace feature that re-opens all the documents you were using when you last quit. This feature will certainly save a lot of time and headache.

Max 7.1 Plugins

3. Plug-in Integration

Max now allows you to access all your VST and AU plug-ins from the patcher frame. Additionally, Max for Live devices can now be used directly in your Max patcher. A new inline plug-in view allows you to configure a custom view of parameters you care about – and hide the rest. And, you can easily automate plug-in parameters with Max messages.

Max For Live

4. Bonus!

And, of course, Max for Live has received a big overhaul as well.

Check out the full list of updates on Cycling ’74’s website.


Interested in learning to use Ableton Live to produce music? Take a look at some of our classes! We offer classes in production, synthesis and DJing. Swing by and chat with us!

We also offer gift certificates, which are great christmas gifts.

Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

STEAM in the Port!

February 12 kids of all ages came together at the Fletcher Maynard Academy Gym in Cambridge to get some hands-on experience with what the creators of STEAM are all about.


Kids and their families came out and, with the help of places like danger!awesome, and the Science Club for Boys and Girls, got their feet wet with different forms of science and technology. Children were given the opportunity to create colorful mobiles that spun in the air, race wind-powered vehicles, and mix some beats at a DJ station (as well as enjoy a dinner with their families).

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The Cambridge Expanded Learning STEAM Network was created in order to pool the resources Cambridge has to offer to support children’s growth and exploration of intellectual pursuits

We believe that the intentional integration of arts and sciences opens pathways for young people to participate in robust learning experiences that add to the quality of their lives and communities, and their chances for future success both in and out of school.

To learn more about what the STEAM Network is all about, check out their website.


To learn about our opportunities for children, check out our year-round Beat Academy! Give Sarah a call to get your kids signed up!