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Soundtrap supports music creation in US juvenile justice facilities

Soundtrap, the Swedish online recording studio developer, has been partnering with the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS) in the USA to support musical creation among young people in American juvenile justice facilities.

Unsung Voices

CEEAS works with instructors in these facilities to maximize teaching and learning in order to help students succeed after release, whether in further education or jobs. Soundtrap provided free licenses the organisation’s initiative, a competition called UNSUNG: The Voices of Youth Justice. The goal of UNSUNG is to inspire imagination by having participants create songs that spur awareness of the issues impacting the lives of these young adults.

CEEAS received 70 submissions from individuals and groups. Judges selected a long-list of 10 favourites from which a short-list of five winners were picked. Topics ranged from social injustice to the desire to turn lives around.

The overall winner was chosen by American musician, songwriter, record producer and philanthropist Aloe Blacc, creator of several international hit songs.

‘Having access to simple, engaging tools that help express emotion creatively is great for all young people and particularly for youth within the justice system. Allowing one’s voice to be heard through music is a time-tested way to generate empathy and inspire others.’ – Aloe Blacc

Kat Crawford, director of technology solutions at CEEAS, said:

‘We encourage students to express themselves, especially as a way for their voices to be heard. Writing songs can be incredibly helpful. The kids had a blast using the tool and lots of them who didn’t create songs were still inspired by the work of those who submitted. We’re very optimistic about teachers continuing to use this tool in the classroom for the rest of the year. Soundtrap will be helpful in their curriculum, both as a song creation tool and as a podcasting tool.’

Daniel Wynne, a teacher at a youth facility in Florida, said:

‘Soundtrap was a unique model for student engagement and critical thinking. The platform requires that students negotiate many higher-order thinking challenges in order to incorporate the many moving parts required in the creative process.’

‘Music is something we can all tap into to express an emotion or feeling. Whether students are in local schools or juvenile justice facilities, Soundtrap helps inspire them to become excited about music and motivated about learning so that they can share their experiences and thoughts in a new and positive way.’ – Per Emanuelsson, Soundtrap Director


  • 1st Place: Unsung by Zakiyyah C., Edson C., Alfonso K., Anthony L., Michael P., Beau W. at New Bridge High School at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon
  • 2nd Place: System Failed by Tofia Vailea at Naselle Youth Camp School, Washington
  • 3rd Place: Fed Up by K.H. at Hogan Street Regional Youth Center, Missouri
  • 4th Place: A His Story Buried in Time by L.M. at Hogan Street Regional Youth Center, Missouri
  • 5th Place: We All Belong by TH at Cypress School at Okeechobee Girls Academy, Florida