On Record for Youth

studio owner aims to create mentorship program for kids

Parker Reed, photos by Kyle Lehman

FOR THE KIDS. Sprinter Studios wants to open its doors to help train kids in music recording and production.
FOR THE KIDS. Sprinter Studios wants to open its doors to help train kids in music recording and production.

Collaboration is key for an Eau Claire recording studio owner who is calling community members into action to benefit area youth.

Kyle Culver owns Sprinter Studios, a recording studio nestled in downtown Eau Claire with aspirations aimed at inspiring area kids and young adults. Over the course of the last six months, Culver has hosted a plethora of recording projects at Sprinter Studios including a Christmas album, an audio book recording, and a number of singles and albums in a variety of genres. And while this process is personally and professionally fulfilling for Culver, he said community leaders need to come together to help inspire area youth to pursue their passions if the Chippewa Valley is to succeed. 

“Your art is your art, and you’ll carry that with you as you become an adult.” – Kyle Culver, owner of Sprinter Studios

“We need to have a bottom-to-top approach to getting the kids in this community involved in projects, job shadowing opportunities, and public and private programs,” Culver said. “If you get kids who have good leadership skills and get them involved here and let them breathe and figure stuff out, they’re going to take that to their high school or middle school and influence a lot of people. They’ll inspire others to get involved, and it will trickle down from there.”

Culver’s goal is to start a mentorship program in the near future at Sprinter Studios to do his part in the initiative. This in-development program will see students from area middle and high schools sitting in on recording sessions to learn the diligence and hard work required to write, record, and perform music. In addition to inviting kids to observe professional recordings, Culver said the hope is to be able to rent out interfaces and laptops to kids to take home and work on material. This will help young people who aren’t fortunate enough to buy their own recording equipment. 

Culver said he has been conceptualizing what the program will look like for years and said getting involved with music outside of school music programs is key to helping kids find their voice personally and musically. 

“There’s something about being in a rock band and there’s something about spending your own money on a MacBook and an interface and just sitting and writing stuff,” Culver said. “It just helps a certain part of the brain flourish, and I think kids really need that. Your art is your art, and you’ll carry that with you as you become an adult.” 

While the mentorship program is great and similar opportunities could arise in other areas of Eau Claire, Culver said the program is dead in the water without help and contributions from other community members. Culver said community members’ contributing dollars help rent out interfaces and Macs, subsidize lessons, and purchase gear for kids. He said reaching out to him personally is the best way to help a mentorship program at Sprinter Studios succeed. 

“Reach out to me for coffee,” Culver said. “A lot of people in this community graciously have a lot to offer, and I want to be the pipeline to get things to the necessary channels. I think we can get together to encourage kids to want to stay here and inspire them to not only want to make music but be a part of our community. Because when they attach themselves to the community, that’s when great things start to happen.” 

Those interested in contributing to a mentorship program at Sprinter Studios can contact Kyle Culver at kyle@sprinterstudios.com.