With an upbeat melody and lyrics that describe the solar-energy process, a song written by Los Angeles Senior High School senior Arnold Sung has been selected as a winner in the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Digital Voice Awards contest.

Sung composed the music and lyrics for his submission on renewable energy, titled “It Begins with the Sun.” He played all of the instruments and provided the vocals for both the primary and backup tracks. Sung also mixed the music and vocals using Apple’s GarageBand program.

“The project was a fun!” said Sung, a senior in the school’s Math/Science/Technology Magnet. “We need to get the message out that ‘Earth Day is everyday.’ I’m glad I can express it through music.”


Click here to listen to “It Begins with the Sun.”


With the theme, “Celebrate Student Voice!” the county event recognized teachers and students from across Los Angeles County who are utilizing technology in innovative, creative and instructionally sound ways. An award was giving in each category to a primary and secondary student in categories includes English-language arts, math, history and science.

“It Begins with the Sun” was part of a renewable energy project taught by Paul Shirey, who teaches the Environmental Technology at L.A. High. In collaboration with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the project took a cross-curricular approach that integrated standards-based English, science, music and career/technical education.

“Students were motivated to be as creative as they can be,“ Shirey said.

James Ng, the teacher-librarian at L.A. High, helped Sung with the research and production of his award-winning song.

“This innovative blended learning project included library research and technology that was engaging and relevant,” Ng said. “Because of Arnold’s project, we’ve made a recording studio out of an office and are exploring more ways to further student creativity in the future.”

The contest was opened to all Los Angeles County schools, and marks the final year of the award, ending a 12-year endeavor.

Sung will receive a trophy and certificate from the County Office of Education and the LADWP during a ceremony that will be held this month in the L.A. High Library.

“I want to give special thanks to my teachers,” Sung said. “it wouldn’t have happened without their help.”