It's been called the gateway to Juilliard. Canyon Crest Academy in the San Dieguito School District is making a name for itself in the artistic world, offering courses to train and inspire future artists.

In Canyon Crest Academy's MIDI lab, students are creating musical compositions on state-of-the-art industry software while inspiring their artistic passion.

"What you're seeing are students using a digital software program to compose complete ensembles of music," instructor Vikas Srivastava said.

"Right now I'm working on a piece that has many different things and you can kind of experiment and me and my partner have been just working and seeing what sounds best in this work," student Ryder said.

Their instructor designed the studio to mirror recording industry standards.

"This is the real world. We had the producer of the soundtrack Sound Series, the sound for soundtrack for the last 16 years, come in here and explicitly tell us these are the programs he uses," Srivastava said.

This class is just one course offered through CCA's Envision Program, an extensive visual and performing arts curriculum.

"At this school it's really amazing to be really accepted and encouraged to pursue your different artistic mediums and to explore different boundaries," Ryder said.

Students are also learning digital and film production in the Envision cinema class.

"My favorite part is the editing cause I like to see the whole project come together," student Reid said.

"It's more than just programs, it's real world applications," San Dieguito School District ROP Director Stephen Levy said. "They are ready to go right into some television internships as well as in your station."

Students learn from industry professionals like instructor Mark Raines, a former TV anchor and reporter who was recently recognized as the 2008 national outstanding new career and technical teacher of the year.

"We have to get incredible educators who will keep these programs alive and well and building," Levy said.

"It's really an amazing opportunity... absolutely phenomenal," Ryder said.

Congratulations to Canyon Crest Academy, 8's Cool School of the Week.