New Courses, Curriculum + New Teachers: Steve Nalepa & Pat Cupo


Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Patrick Cupo and I am the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Dubspot. My job is to make sure that students are given the chance to succeed in today’s music industry by providing them with the finest course selection and instructors the world of Music Production and DJing has to offer. This is my first post for the Dubspot blog and I’m here to tell you about the exciting new curriculum we are offering, from where the initial concepts came, and what’s in store for our future students.

I came to Dubspot at the beginning of June to teach Ableton Live courses and help design the new and improved Live curriculum, one that would build upon the already stellar curriculum that everyone knew and loved. A daunting task indeed, but the Dubspot team also loves a good challenge. Speaking of our team, one thing I’ve re-learned since working at Dubspot is that teamwork is where it’s at – people are just meant to work together. We have such an amazing team that everyday I find myself thinking about how lucky I am to be working side by side with them.

One person on our team that deserves a special shout out is our newest teacher / course designer – the illustrious Steve Nalepa.

Lately I’ve had the pleasure of conversing with Nalepa on a regular basis, as he is the lead designer of our new Ableton Live curriculum. As a graduate of Yale University, he joins Dubspots’s club of Ivy League graduates as teachers, which includes DJ Shiftee (Harvard), DJ Rupture (Harvard), and Rich Medina (Cornell). Professor Nalepa, a former artist relations specialist for both M-Audio and Ableton, teaches music technology classes at Chapman University where his students compose music using Ableton Live, Reason, and Logic. Granted there are a lot of people in the world who teach similar courses, but no one else is breeding new talent like he is. Let me drop a few names and we’ll take a look at what some of Professor Nalepa’s former students are up to these days…

Virtual Boy have recently signed with Alpha Pup and are now label-mates with artists such as Nosaj Thing, Free The Robots, and Dubspot instructor and Ableton Certified Trainer, Thavius Beck. They are now sharing bills with serious acts like Bassnectar, Devo, and Massive Attack, to name a few. St. Andrew has been Adam Freeland’s producer/engineer for a year. He produces with Skeet Skeet, Frankie Chan and others, and has also done official remixes for The Glitch Mob, Adam Freeland and Yelle. St. Andrew just finished a tour with fellow Chapman University alumni, FuzZ, who is currently working with heavy hitters Rusko and N.A.S.A. Special guests and artists that have visited Nalepa’s class over the years included huge names like Mary Anne Hobbs, Richard Devine, Adam Freeland, Nosaj Thing, Daddy Kev, Boreta and Ooah form The Glitch Mob, Lili Haydn, Steve Tavaglione, Lorn, and Peter Kirn. With this high caliber alumnus and this kind of support, Nalepa is obviously doing something right.

When asked to take the lead and design our new Ableton Live curriculum, Nalepa accepted without delay.  We immediately started writing a hybrid curriculum that united the ideas of the many great Dubspot instructors who had their hands on the Live curriculum with his own ideas on cultivating new talent. Here’s what you can expect to take away from your experience at Dubspot and Dubspot Online once you’ve gone through one of our six level Ableton Live, Reason, or Logic programs:

-A four track EP with all original material

-A remix entered in an active remix contest

-A commercial scored with original musical material for your professional reel

-Insider tips about the ever-evolving music industry

-Advice on how to successfully promote yourself and your new EP

It has been a privilege and an honor working with Steve Nalepa on our new curriculum. From working with him, I’ve learned that the people I enjoy working with the most are those who truly care about their students and are open to sharing their ideas with the world. When I work with a designer on a new program, my main goal is to try and make everyone at Dubspot say, “Wow! This is a course I’d want to take myself!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase over the past month, which tells me that, from working with Steve Nalepa, we’re obviously doing something right. We all feel it, and I know you will too.

To learn more about our programs, you can peruse through the program pages on our brand new website and contact Dubspot directly at To find out more about Steve Nalepa, who will be teaching Ableton Live courses for Dubspot Online and at Dubspot LA (coming soon!), check out his website Also, listen to Nalepa’s music on his MySpace page where you’ll hear collaborations with artists such as Nosaj Thing and The Glitch Mob.

Have a good idea for a course? Send me an email. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Patrick Cupo
Director of Curriculum and Instruction

A bit about myself: I kind of come from a musical family. By that I mean that I had a grandfather who attended Julliard for violin performance when he was eleven years old, an uncle who is a contemporary classical composer, and everyone else are huge music lovers. After attending Arizona School for the Arts, the college preparatory program at Manhattan School of Music, the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program for bass performance, and the Crane School of Music for music education, performance and theory, I had a well-rounded musical experience that would allow me to go in any direction that I desired. I’ve performed all over the United States and have recorded in some of the most well respected recording studios in NYC. But if you asked what my passion is, I would say it’s teaching. I love sharing the wisdom that I’ve gathered over the years, and to me it’s the coolest thing in the world watching my students use that knowledge in their own way. Most recently, I had 180 students in my Music Production class at Pershing Middle School in Houston, TX where they learned to compose music with Ableton Live. In the first year of the program’s existence, we won the 2010 MENC/NSBA Electronic Music Composition Talent Search.

Check out this video my students and I made for Dubspot using BEATERATOR for Sony’s PSP.

Here’s a video my students and I made with stock footage provided by Ableton Certified Trainer, Martin Delaney.

  • Chris Buono
  • 10/24/2010

This is AWESOME news. Steve is a solid citizen and knows his sh#t! I owe my tenure with Cengage Learning to him as he was the one who recommended me back in his M-Audio days. Pat Cupo has come in and done some excellent work thus far and I look forward to what he has in store for Dubspot.

  • J.Outlaw
  • 10/24/2010

Mr. Cupo is the greatest music teacher ever