DMI Mobile Music Lab – Healing With A Groove 2.0

Healing With A Groove 2.0, administered by the DMI Mobile Lab at Delta State University, promotes racial healing through the creation and production of original songs and recordings among young people of color in the Mississippi Delta through a partnership with the DMI Mobile Lab of Delta State University.

The DMI Mobile Lab began in 2010 with a U.S. Department of Education grant for the procurement of a 26’ bus and its renovation into a mobile digital audio recording studio.  It has also received grant funds from the Annenberg Foundation and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, which currently funds the DMI Mobile Lab’s Healing With A Groove 2.0 project.

The DMI Mobile Lab program provides instruction and application in the areas of songwriting, basic digital audio technology, and basic videography to upper elementary, middle school, and high school students across the Mississippi Delta.  The DMI Mobile Lab partners with schools, afterschool programs, churches, summer programs, arts councils, and community events to reach young people from diverse communities and backgrounds.  Students are encouraged to “find their voice” and “tell their stories” through the creation of original works that are then recorded and produced in the DMI Mobile Lab and disseminated via the ML website at http://dmimobilelab.org.  Students also have the opportunity to experiment with the basics of videography by learning how to tell their stories through the use of digital media. This unique resource offers an engaging way to reinforce student learning and to encourage retention in multiple areas, including language arts, music, and basic digital media skills.

4,000+ students in the Mississippi Delta have been served through the DMI Mobile Lab program, primarily in the counties of Bolivar, Sunflower, Coahoma, Washington, and Leflore counties.  The majority of youth that are served by the DMI Mobile Lab program are from underserved communities and families, with limited resources for exposure to music or digital media education.  This exposure opens opportunities for students to explore these areas that can lead to entrepreneurial ventures in the music and entertainment industry.  The DMI Mobile Lab, through Healing With A Groove, offers creative programming that helps provide foundational skills in media literacy, writing and content production, critical thinking and analysis, all in an attractive and fun learning environment. Furthermore, writing songs is a means for young people to connect their thoughts with their emotions in order to address difficult issues such as racism, bullying, or isolation and to encourage listeners to move towards constructive and productive resolutions.

Not only is there a need to support reinforcement and retention for high school students in the region, but in an ongoing effort to develop and provide peer-to-peer teaching and support, the college students in the DMI Entertainment Industry program, who serve as instructors in the ML program, also benefit from increased academic reinforcement and retention support in the areas of audio technology and digital media offered through the Mobile Lab program.

The links below are an example of the work being done by the DMI Mobile Lab. The song associated with the link was written and performed in a youth workshop facilitated by the DMI Mobile Lab team as part of the 2014 National Civil Rights Conference.

The DMI Mobile Lab is currently working to broaden the outreach and deepen the impact of the Healing With A Groove program by disseminating an HWG 2.0 Tool Kit as a resource for local communities and by developing an HWG alumni network throughout the Delta.