ADMIT Teaches Self-sufficiency and Social Responsibility through Music
The ADMIT Program focuses on music industry training with an emphasis on developing economic self sufficiency; social responsibility; life skills; and commitment to public service among its participants. Participants learn to serve their community by collaborating to produce positive songs to influence their peers and enhance their neighborhoods, thereby perpetuating the ADMIT Program's emphasis on education, achievement and self-determination.
Background - In his own words...
Thomas W. Demerritte (a.k.a. Tommi D)
Summary of Music Industry Background
Band Founder and Member: I founded and performed in the musical group Love Unity and Virtue (a.k.a. LUV), which shared the performance stage as an opening act for such groups as Earth Wind and Fire and Shirley Brown. This band toured the Southeast region, recorded at famed T.K. Productions during the era of such artists as Betty Wright and K.C. & the Sunshine Band, and helped launch the successful international recording careers of group members Stevie B and Howard Johnson.
Performing Musician: After receiving training while playing in the Miami-Dade College South Jazz Ensemble, I played lead guitars, piano, keyboards, and drums in many pro bands in Miami, Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale.
Studio Musician: I have worked as a studio musician (union scale) at many Miami area recording studios specializing in playing drums, guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers.
Concert/Show Promoter: I promoted and directed live stage shows for my artists, including my recent Tavette artist showcase, and provided similar services for other bands as required or contracted.
Songwriter: I have a current catalog of over 150 songs (lyrics and music) I have written, including several which were released by other labels or artists. This includes writing or co-writing the current material on the albums by my signed artists Trellini (R&B), Note 2 Note (R&B group), Bonnie Flint (hip-hop), Young Flame (hip-hop), Spencer Wiggins (gospel), L’Mia (hip-hop), and Wetwerx (hip-hop group).
Record Producer: I have served as an independent record producer for many songs in my own professional studio and outside studios such as Hot Productions, Crystal Sounds Recording, Natural Sounds, Criteria and other facilities. I have full responsibility for all aspects of these projects including budgets, musician acquisition, direction of recording activities, music arrangement and all other business and creative aspects.
Sound Engineering: Having received over a year of specialized engineering training at Miami-Dade Community College, I have provided recording and mixing engineering services on numerous music projects.
Recording Studio Owner: From 1993 to present, I have owned and operated D-Lite Productions, a full service professional recording studio that features the latest in equipment and technology.
Record Company Owner: In 2000 I founded and developed Tavette Records, which signed and produced albums for seven (7) exclusively contracted recording artists. We released the first of the company’s four CDs in October, 2001, and sought promotion and distribution deals with other labels to facilitate further releases.
Video Producer: I also own a full service video production studio (including digital video cameras and full video editing suite) and have supervised the production of music videos for the rock group Never On Sunday, the gospel group Bless Praiz, the pop act Inixia, the R&B group Note 2 Note, the rap group Unda Presha ,as well as produced several cable T.V. commercials. Antwan Smith is our video director and he has directed or contributed to videos and commercials for numerous established artists including Trick Daddy, Trina, Jay-Z, and others.
Music Publisher: I have had several songs published and released through other publishing companies and I have my own publishing company, to which my artists are also signed.
Artist Management and Development: I have worked to establish the careers of several recording artists by managing their careers, selecting or creating their songs, developing their stage and media personas, advising them regarding their personal and professional activities, and providing other management and development services.
Consultant/Educator: I have helped to develop several recording studios and record labels by providing direction, insight, and consultation based on my years of industry experience and training. I also developed and implemented the Alternative Directions Music Industry Training program to train youths as well as adults in the music business.
Author: I wrote and self published the book “That’s a Rap! A Music Industry Sourcebook for Generation Next” as a textbook for both The ADMIT Program and other youth oriented reading programs, schools and libraries.
Thomas Demerritte uses the Alternative Directions Music Industry Training (ADMIT) Program to teach youth the technical and business sides of the music industry.
Thomas Demerritte, also known as the Bully-Prevention Maestro has a commitment to excellence in music education, violence prevention, and youth entrepreneurship.
The scoop on Thomas Demerritte
Who is Thomas Demerritte?
Research on the importance of Social Programs like ADMIT
According to a recent study conducted by The National Association for Music Education, the benefits of music education and expression can be grouped into five categories: (1) success in society; (2) success in school; (3) success in developing intelligence; (4) success in life; and (5) cultural enrichment. Various researchers have concluded that music students usually represent the population in school with the lowest lifetime and current usage of drugs, the highest test scores in math and verbal skills, and the highest measured intelligence quotients (I.Q.’s). Music has also been known to be a key societal element for uniting the community with its universal messages. In addition music creates jobs while boosting the tax base and overall economy through participation in various aspects of the industry from record selling and purchasing to performance and other music related activities.
Everyone is aware of the present economic downturn recently gripping the United States. According to theories debated by numerous sociologists and economists, this downturn is caused in part by inflation, the results of the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, uncertainty in the stock market, and various other social and economic factors. Regardless of the cause, nowhere has our country’s troubled economic situation been felt more than in funding for the music, humanities and cultural enhancement activities in our public schools.
While cutbacks in these activities have been prevalent throughout the country, this problem especially adversely affects youths residing in and attending schools located in our inner cities and other socio-economically deprived areas. Musical and artistic activities are very important in giving young people alternatives to becoming involved in gang affiliation and violence, drug abuse, criminal acts, and other dysfunctional behavior. These negative activities create more of a burden on the community and, ultimately, on society as a generation of people often become disenfranchised and rebel against the system by becoming mere statistics in our welfare systems and criminal courts, or obscured and forgotten subjects of negative and often tragic articles or headlines in our newspapers.
While this problem of lack of music funding also affects more affluent communities, the fact remains that when schools in affluent neighborhoods choose to reduce or eliminate music education, the student’s family usually opts to provide the student with private music instruction through tutors. Additionally, because of the nature of the affluent child’s family background, community structure, and environment, their likelihood of continued exposure to significant numbers of positive examples make the wealthy child much less prone to resort to negative activities with a shortage of cultural activities as would the youth from a socio-economically deprived background.
The participation of Blacks, women and other minorities in the business side of the music industry has taken on a new level of importance with the development of music empires started by such luminaries as Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Missy Elliott and Sean “P Diddy” Combs. These individuals began their multi-million dollar companies by selling their own records in their communities; however, it takes an awareness of the business end of the music industry to accomplish this. That is what the ADMIT Program seeks to accomplish – bringing to the participant’s attention other opportunities in the music business other than as performers, which generally do not produce the long term income and artistic control as that enjoyed by producers, music publishers, managers, and label owners.
Since most of the topics are very relative to at-risk youths in the Miami area, these classes and recording sessions would be more prone to hold their attention than more “traditional” music training such as piano lessons and choir participation. Additionally, the youth can apply the knowledge and skills learned in the sessions provided by ADMIT in real life situations if they choose to further their careers in the music industry. There will be constant supervision and evaluation of the progress of the students by our professional staff. The main goal is to foster an overall positive change of direction for our disadvantaged youths by creating educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities that they can benefit from now and in the future.
An additional benefit will be in increasing the involvement of minority youths in other facets of the entertainment industry other than as rappers, singers and musicians. Minorities and females have been historically under represented in music business related areas such as producers, managers, engineers, promoters, songwriters, music publishers, and record company executives. The ADMIT program will expose youths to these critical “behind the scenes” music business areas as alternatives to performance careers, which have more glitz and glamour but less longevity and residual income.