N4N Blogs: There is a story everyday…

Take a look inside the studios with our weekly studio blogs written by those witnessing it all. Every N4N Studio has a micro site on notesfornotes.org featuring, amongst many resources, a weekly studio blog showcasing the stories, music, pictures and video of the studio happenings. Check it out and subscribe to the studio of your choice or better yet, all of them!

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Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival to feature tasting, music

Published in Lompoc Record on October 3, 2017

A polo event featuring wine tasting and live music from acclaimed performers will be held at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club Saturday, Oct. 7.

The Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival will feature two polo matches and tastings from several Santa Barbara County wineries.

Tickets for the festival are on sale now; $1 of every ticket sold will be donated to Notes for Notes, a non-profit organization that designs, equips and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys and Girls Clubs. Notes for Notes offers youth opportunities to explore, create and record music for free.

Read the full article HERE.

Making Connections and Building Communities through Music

Published in Nashville Arts Magazine: August 2017

WORDS John Pitcher

PHOTOGRAPHY Anthony Ross Tyler

It has long been known that music is the universal language. Notes for Notes, the national nonprofit that’s opening a flagship music studio at East Nashville’s Boys and Girls Club, believes music is also a powerful tool for social good.

Since its founding a decade ago at a teen center in Santa Barbara, California, Notes for Notes has empowered thousands of young people through music. The program introduces children and teens to the various mysteries of the music industry, from songwriting and instrument playing to sound mixing and recording. Arguably, though, the most important lessons learned in Notes for Notes studios are not about music.

“Of course, we want young people to be good musicians,” program co-founder and CEO Philip Gilley tells Nashville Arts Magazine. “But at the end of the day, it’s more important to us how they grow as people than how well they play an instrument.”

That sentiment has been the driving force behind the program from the beginning. Notes for Notes got its start in the mid-aughts, when Gilley was serving as a mentor in the Big Brothers and Sisters program in Santa Barbara. Gilley wanted to make a connection with his “little brother” and pass on something meaningful to him. At first, Gilley, an accomplished guitarist, thought about introducing the boy to his instrument. The child, however, wanted to learn the drums.

This seeming dilemma inspired Gilley to start a nonprofit, one that would provide access to multiple instruments and recording equipment. Along with his friend Natalie Noone, daughter of music icon and Herman’s Hermits frontman, Peter Noone, Gilley approached a Santa Barbara teen center about a collaboration. Gilley and Noone would provide some of their own used music gear if the center would provide a space for a studio. The center agreed, and Gilley and Noone opened what was then called MusicBox Studio in March 2007.


Going for “Golden”

It was an epic day at the Empire State Building when the King of Bachata Romeo Santos announced his support of Notes for Notes™.  The Bronx native, whose new album “Golden” dropped on the world the following day, celebrated his generous support of our Brooklyn (and forthcoming Bronx) Studio at a “flipping of the switch” ceremony at the Empire State Building. Romeo’s support of our New York programming marks the most generous gift we’ve received since opening the Brooklyn Studio as well as the first Latin artist to partner with us.

Today at the Empire State Building we showcased a wonderful program that continues to emphasize something that is near and dear to my heart, the gift of music. Notes for Notes ~Romeo Santos via Facebook

In the lobby of one of the country’s most iconic buildings defining the NYC skyline we stood for dozens of camera’s capturing the moment. A group of some of our most talented Brooklyn members were in attendance to celebrate the partnership. Standing next to one of the most successful Latin musicians on the scene our members got a glimpse of where a fellow New York musician can go.  That night ESB’s lights synced to his newest single, Carmin, making Romeo the first Latin musician to receive the honor.

Empire State- Romoeo

It’s nearly impossible to describe the feeling of how far Notes for Notes has come to receive such an honor. Ten years ago we could have never imagined that the opening of one studio in Santa Barbara would lead to 17 studios nationwide and the support of one of Latin’s biggest stars.  As Notes for Notes is a testament to dreams coming true so was this event for our members who got a taste of what is to come if they continue to follow the music.


Thank you to Romeo, Roc Nation, the Empire State Building team and all those who in attendance to share is such a monumental day. Thank you for making our 10th anniversary a “Golden” one!



N4N Team Member Spotlight: Ryan Venable

Born in Detroit, and raised in Nashville, Ryan Venable performs and produces his own original music. After studying Communications, Photography, and Video and Audio Production at High Point University, he moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music and film. Ryan has been performing and also taking on freelance videography projects since he has moved to the west coast. Ryan’s true passion lies in his music, making his own beats and writing songs for acoustic guitar or piano. He is proud to be able to positively influence the youth as a part of the Notes for Notes team.

1. You’re from Detroit, and raised in Nashville…which city influenced you the most? How so?

I would have to say Nashville has influenced me the most, at least musically. I picked up the guitar shortly after moving to Nashville and country music was definitely a big inspiration to me lyrically.

2. Life then brought you out to LA as you pursued a career in film and music…what did you envision when you made the choice to move here? How did that play out?

I’ve always wanted to come to LA for as long as I could remember to pursue music and film. After studying both in college, I realized I was actually able to move out there on my own and basically make my own path. It wasn’t easy at first of course. I’ve definitely gotten lost a few times on the journey, but considering where I am now, I wouldn’t change a thing.

3. Are you currently working on any film projects? What are they about? Or what was your most recent project?

I’m currently waiting on getting the shooting schedule for a short cooking show series with a professional chef and caterer. One of my latest big projects was a short interview series with the Inner City Law Center of downtown LA.

4. When did you decide that music would be a career for you?

I’ve sort of always known music would be my career. As a kid, I would hear nothing but how tough it is to be a successful musician so I would constantly think of how I can make a career out of it. Through my experience the only real answer is practice and persistence.

5. Outside of music, what motivates you?

People motivate me! It always amazes me what people are capable of. I love seeing people pursue their dream no matter what it is or where they may be at in life.

6. Do you have a link to share where we can hear your music?

My latest 3 albums.

7. Share a lyric that inspires you.

“Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.”

~ Stevie Wonder

8. What are you most excited about working with the Notes for Notes team?

I’m so excited to produce a brand new song with some of the talented youth. Every single music session has so much potential to create something amazing.

9. How can the team support you?

Honestly everyone’s attitude and openness is all I could ask for! I also play live shows occasionally, and the team has already come out to support so thanks!

10. Lastly, what’s your spirit animal?

Haha oooo that’s a hard one… I’d have to say a leopard.

Get in touch with Ryan to set up a tour or learn how you can get involved!


Musical Chair with the Grand Ole Opry

Notes For Notes™ (N4N™) is thrilled to announce Musical Chairs – A “fan”tastically fun way to partner with venues and touring musicians! Through this project, N4N will partner with hosting sites and musicians to raise money for the organization by bringing ordinary chairs to life through music.

At the end of the year, the chair will go up for auction, and all proceeds will benefit N4N!

We’re honored to launch this campaign with The Grand Ole Opry with a rocking chair from a Nashville vintage store and participating artists Kane Brown, Seth Ennis, Luke Combs, and Keith Urban.

We kicked off the campaign with rising star Kane Brown in the Nashville North N4N Studio. There he engaged with youth through Q&A and provided insight in to his world that’s quickly changing! He signed the back before we moved the chair backstage at the Opry. There it will stay throughout 2017 for Opry guest musicians to sit, sing, and sign!
Our first #MusicalChair guest backstage was Seth Ennis and we’re so grateful to him and his team for participating!

The Opry engaged Seth’s fans through their “Tweet Your Seat” campaign on Twitter. The winning audience members were brought back stage for an intimate in-person performance with Seth and a couple of his band members and The Opry streamed it live to thousands of viewers on Periscope!

A great big thanks to the Opry for capturing this up close and personal fan experience!

The N4N Musical Chair will live backstage at the Opry the rest of 2017 to collect as many songs, signatures, and experiences as possible before being auctioned off at the end of the year. Be sure to follow the campaign with #MusicalChair and @opry and @notesfornotes.

The Big Payback: May 3, 2017

Notes for Notes™ is participating in Middle Tennessee’s day of giving, The Big Payback, for the 4th year on Wednesday, May 3rd!

Funds raised during this day will help support Nashville’s 3rd Studio, which will be located in East Nashville’s Cleveland Park neighborhood.

Our pup friend, Beast, is hopping around East Nashville to help spread the word and get your support! Give any amount over $10, anytime between 12am and 11:59pm (Central Standard Time), from any city in any state, and you’ll help us top the leaderboard!!

Beast in EastAbout The Big Payback

The Big Payback is a community-wide, 24-hour online giving challenge hosted by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. This charitable event will help area nonprofits raise much-needed dollars and bring awareness to pressing needs in our community.

In the past three years, The Big Payback has helped raise more than $6.5 million dollars for nearly 800 local nonprofits – including schools and religious institutions.

On Wednesday, May 3rd, let’s show everyone just how generous Middle Tennessee residents are when we support each other.

This year, donors will have the ability to pre-schedule gifts for The Big Payback. If you will not be able to make a donation on May 3, 2017 but still want to support Notes for Notes, you can go to TheBigPayback.org and set up your gift starting on Wednesday, April 26. Your gift will be processed when the giving day officially opens at midnight on May 3, 2017. Please note, pre-scheduled donations will not be eligible for incentives, bonuses and additional prizes.