All-kids a cappella training program for dedicated singers
What is Squad Harmonix?
Squad Harmonix is the first ever year - round a cappella training program for dedicated singers and beatboxers aged 7 - 17. It was designed to give singers the highest quality education in singing and beatboxing but also a true vocal team to belong to.
A cappella is the art of singing with no backing tracks. Different to choir, where there are normally 30+ students sharing a 4-part harmony song, in a cappella students are expected to be able to hold their harmony on their own, on an individual microphone, while dancing, blending, staying in pitch and ensuring they are listening to their team (squad) buddy who will be singing a completely different harmony. If you have never studied singing please take our word that this is EXTREMELY ADVANCED.
This technique is so advanced in fact that it is generally not taught to students until they reach their last years in high school or even college because teachers don't expect students to be able to handle it.
However! we have created a unique curriculum that has proven to work wonders in developing young voices and for those that are looking for that extra challenge. The results? Outstanding. So much so that our students who have gone through the entire program have won multiple State awards, been invited to feature at Carnegie Hall, have performed live on TV at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and continue to get booked for multiple shows throughout the year as a group with our top group, Varsity being paid to perform.
Take note. this isn't karaoke. This is for the die-hard singing or beatboxing student who is willing to commit to dedicated practice each week. Talent is not something we are born with, it is a result of hours and hours of dedicated practice and live performing.
HOW was SQUAD HARMONIX born?
Our director, Laura Saggers who started LJMA in 2014 was delighted that so many of her young voice students were achieving lead roles in all the school and local musical theater performances her students would audition for. She then started to look around for a more challenging program to suggest to them and found that there was nothing. Choir doesn't feature many soloists, nor is it particularly challenging to the advanced singer who is really wanting to advance their solo voice. Considering that Los Angeles is the heart of the music biz, she was disappointed that there was nothing at an advanced level for kids. She could suggest the 'get an agent' route but most of her students were not interested in dropping school, they just wanted to progress in an after-school environment but at a super advanced level.
She wanted a sports team environment for singers where her students would have to train weekly with their team in order to improve. Where everyone is held accountable for learning their harmonies, where solos are a privilege for those who have gone the extra mile and dedicated themselves to the group, where students would get more live performances offered than any other program in Los Angeles and would guarantee advancement in ability. She wanted a vocal team that the students could feel part of and valued, where they could grow and perform at professional levels, learn to lovingly support each other, and all while managing to stay clear away from the toxic 'stage mom me me me' mentality.
Having worked with a kids cappella group in Santa Clarita a few years earlier as well as being obsessed with Pitch Perfect, Squad Harmonix was born in 2019 with the aim to give dedicated singers and beatboxers a place to call home.
How does it work?
Squad Harmonix is split up into 4 different training levels. Each Squad increases in difficulty as well as the performances they are eligible for.
As students progress through the levels, the work demand increases as do the performances and opportunities that are offered to them. To advance to different squads students must pass the required criteria for singing, beatboxing and music theory, and sight reading.
Pop Choir Squad
New to harmonizing/beatboxing training
No experience is needed but is best for the singing-obsessed student who wants to grow. Also great for students with an experience that don't have time to commit to the other Squads.
Pop Choir, Junior, and Senior all rehearse together on Saturdays. You are split up into age groups and come together for warm-ups and games.
No audition required
Beginner a cappella level
Suggested - 1 - 2 years of vocal training in choir OR private lessons
Should be comfortable holding their own harmony alone in a three-part harmony song.
Intermediate a cappella level
Suggested - 2 - 4 years of vocal training in choir AND private lessons
Advanced a cappella level
Suggested - 4 - 6 years of vocal training in choir AND private lessons
Officialy released Albums!
We release two professional albums (EPs) every year (Pop and Holiday) as part of our vocal training. Those in Junior, Senior and Varsity Squad will have the opportunity to record the songs they have been working on in the semester in a professional studio with Squad producer Greg Johnson. Our tracks are then mixed by Ed Boyer (Pentatonix mixer) and released on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, etc)
Check out our official Youtube page with over 10'000 subscribers and over 1 mil views!
Now we are fully restored back from Covid we are excited to announce we are now offering in - person music videos each semester for our Junior, Senior and Varsity Squad members. Squadlings LOVE the process of filming a music video which includes outfits, make up artist, camera crew and a professionally edited music video that is released on our YouTube channel alongside our upcoming EP. Excellent for those that want to build up professional looking portfolio but also great for learning how to act and perform in front of the camera! Music Videos are a firm favorite with our Squadlings.