The Foxgrove is a new boutique electronic music and DJ school that opened late last year in New York City. It was created for beginner-level music lovers, who have absolutely no production skills and probably never imagined being able to make their own music. Co-founder Natalie Lam, who originally is from Hong Kong and previously had worked 20 years in the advertising industry, actually prefers to think of The Foxgrove not as a school, but more as a “music social club” or a “fine learning experience”.
The Foxgrove是一所电子音乐和DJ的精品学校，于去年年底开设于美国纽约。这间学校是为毫无制作经验，甚至可能从未想象过拥有能力制作自己的音乐的入门级音乐爱好者们所设。联合创始人Natalie Lam，这位前20年致力于广告业的原香港人，更乐于不把The Foxgrove看成一所学校，而更多是一个“音乐社交俱乐部”，或者是一个“极佳的学习体验”。
She believes that most people’s knee-jerk reaction to the idea of schools is not necessarily a positive one, but aside from the learning part, how The Foxgrove functions is unlike how traditional schools work. For both Natalie and co-founder David Maurice, creating a comfortable learning environment was really important. They decided at the beginning to get rid of the things that they didn’t like about schools, namely the “bad lighting, coldness, rigidness, discipline, (and) pressure”, and add the things that they would have liked to have had in school.
她相信，大多数人对于学校这个概念的本能反应不见得是积极的，但是除开学习部分，The Foxgrove的运作与传统学校则是大相径庭。不管是对于Natalie，还是另一位联合创始人David Maurice来说，创造一个舒适的学习环境相当重要。他们一开始就决定去除学校中他们不喜欢的东西，即“糟糕的光线，冷清，坚硬，纪律，(以及)压力”，加入他们希望一些学校有的东西。
The space of The Foxgrove was designed with “organic luxury in mind”. They used “ample wood, leather and fabric elements to create an intimate, relaxing space to offset the brand new music gear”. For Natalie, it was important that people didn’t feel intimidated by some of the challenges of having to learn and work with new technology. Some of their past students have likened the experience of attending a class at The Foxgrove to “learning to remix EDM in a spa”, while Natalie herself likes to describe it as a “boutique hotel meets recording studio”.
The Foxgrove的空间设计上应用了“有机奢华”。他们用“大量木料、皮料以及织物元素去营造一个私密放松的空间去陪衬崭新的音乐器材”。对于Natalie来说，让人们不被应用新技术所遇到的挑战吓退是很重要的。他们过去的一些学生曾将在The Foxgrove上课比作“在SPA中学习电子混曲”，而Natalie自己本人则喜欢说它是“精品酒店遇见录音工作室”。
The Foxgrove believes that the future of music in this digital age will go beyond streaming music and will also involve the democratization of music production. Natalie says, “We all love music. A hundred years ago, many people played music in their homes. It was only in the past fifty years that music was monopolized and commoditized by the record industry – music was put on a high pedestal. Music creation was reserved by the industry for the few who are ‘talented, charismatic, and connected’ in order to make massive profits.” The Foxgrove believes that with the current advancement of electronic music technology, more and more people can become the creators of music without even relying on record labels. With the technology becoming more accessible and affordable, the future of music may soon lie in the hands of music lovers and amateur producers. Natalie says, “We want to be the portal for those who never thought of touching music to get the first sweet taste.”
The Foxgrove相信在这个数码时代中，音乐的未来会超逾流媒体音乐，也将迎来音乐创作的普及化。Natalie说: “我们都爱音乐。一百年前，很多人在自己家中演奏音乐。仅在过去的五十年间，音乐就被唱片行业垄断和商业化了，音乐被高置神坛上了。音乐创作被预留给‘有才华、有魅力、有关系’的少数人以大举逐利”。The Foxgrove认为当下电子音乐技术的发展中，越来越多的人可以无需依赖音乐厂牌就能成为音乐创作人。随着技术的越来越触手可及，音乐的未来可能很快就被掌握在音乐爱好者和业余创作人的手中。Natalie说: “我们想要当一个传送门，让那些从未想过触碰音乐的人得到美好的音乐创作初体验。”
So far, The Foxgrove have had over 300 students attend their school. They are mostly young professionals looking for a new hobby or teens from high school. Their approach to classes and workshops is to provide their students with useful music education in digestible quantities that are short and sweet. There are music introduction classes that cover about 80% of the basics of music production and DJing, and there are also more advanced courses for those who are more serious. The focus is mostly on having fun, and turning the idea of music production into a mainstream hobby, like going for yoga class after work or going to catch a movie during the weekend. Similar to how Instagram and digital photography have in recent years helped democratized and popularized photography, The Foxgrove is looking to help bring music creation back into the lives of people. In the future, they are looking to expand globally to other important creative hubs, in cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and elsewhere in Europe.
迄今，The Foxgrove已有超过300个学生加入他们的学校。这些学生多数是寻求一个新爱好的年轻职业人士或高中青少年。学校的课程和研讨班，以短而精易为消化的数量，为学生们提供有用的音乐教育。这里拥有初阶课程，其包含了80%的音乐制作和DJ基础知识；也有更高阶的课程，以满足有更进一步追求的学生。这里的注重点多数还是在于享受乐趣，以及将音乐创作转化为一个更为主流的爱好，好比下班后上瑜伽课或者周末看场电影。与Instagram和数码摄影近年为摄影的普及化和流行化助力相似，The Foxgrove期望可以将音乐带回人们的生活里。他们期待着在未来可以扩展到全球其他重要的创意中心去，例如上海、北京、香港这样的城市，以及欧洲。