Studio Build Blog: Twin Cities

Notes for Notes is excited to announce Studio #15 in the Twin Cities (technically St. Paul, MN) softly opening to youth in December 2016. The new Notes for Notes Studio powered by the CMA Foundation is located at the Al Lenzmeier Clubhouse at the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities. Funds for the construction of the studio were provided by a Lowes & BGCA Renovation Across the Nation grant.  We are excited to work along side John Hardeman and his team at the Club as well as the organization’s leadership to provide youth of the Twin Cities with an environment to explore, create, and record music for FREE.


For a Denver Construction update, please Click Here.


The Twin Cities Studio marks our 15th Studio in 12 cities (8 States) around the country and wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the CMA Foundation, Bentson Kauth Foundation and our instruments and equipment sponsors; Gibson Foundation, Casio, Audio Technica, DW Drums, Native Instruments, Dell, Stagg, GIK Acoustics, Presonus, Novation, and Zildjian.

Check out some slides of the recently finished Studio:

While the finished studio marks our most ambitious build to date, “Custom” as we call it, it was not without an aggressive week of unpacking, inventory, building, troubleshooting, plugging in, multiple Home Depot runs, and Orange and Red Powerade! Below you will find a tale of the build.

Jarrad and I landed on a Thursday and after a successful Ikea run, including a lunch of Swedish meatballs, we made our way to the studio where a Raiders of the Ark warehouse of boxes awaited us. Where in the world (of boxes) is Jarrad?

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The poster walls in all N4N studios has become a trademark so when the space lacked a drywall to poster over we had to create our own poster ready wall. We did so by building panels raised from the wall, which in addition to having some mild acoustic properties gave us the opportunity to get even more “custom”. Behind the panels are red lights remote controlled to add the ultimate vibe to our poster wall boasting a variety of artists from all generations and genres. Front and center is the Twin Cities favorite son; RIP Prince.

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I mentioned we went extremely “custom” on this build which in addition to an N4N first with the illuminated poster wall included backlit signs denoting each room. The Track Room was not spared any vibe boasting color changing LEDs, GIK Panels, and an abundance of acoustic foam.

20161113_133550After an aggressive four days on the ground Jarrad and I handed the Studio to our COO, Raymond Jacobs to plug everything in so that it didn’t just look good but sounded so too. The Studio install has multiple phases but the most rewarding is finally getting to unbox the gear and lay it out. Prior to that we were buried in boxes and packing material with what felt like no end in sight. By day four it started to come together and we were able to fly home with a true sense of accomplishment and excitement for the youth to see the space for the first time on Monday.

While the design was modified slightly, here is how it stacks up to the original vision as we designed it in Sketchup:

This new studio marks the start of a wonderful partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities!

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And me taking a photo of Jarrad taking this photo.

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New Studio Development: Denver, CO

Notes for Notes is excited to be partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver on a new Notes for Notes Studio at their Cope Clubhouse. The Studio will feature all the musical amenities N4N is known for as well as incorporating the history and music community of Denver. One never knows if THE NEXT Ryan Tedder, Lumineers, or Fray are ready to record their career launching first track in the upcoming studio… followed by a performance at Red Rocks! We anticipate a grand opening within the 1st quarter of 2017.

Special thanks to Clark Construction for all their help in the studio build process!


For a Twin Cities Construction Update, please Click Here.


Check out this 3D rendering of the studio to be:

In the News: Hearing Health

Grateful for the Les Paul Foundation’s support of Notes For Notes and their emphasis on the importance of hearing protection for all ages!

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Studio Stunts

My experience when I visited Notes for Notes® in Monterey Park was nothing short of life giving and life changing. Before you think these words are embellished let me explain…

When asked if I wanted to visit an N4N Studio I initially thought to myself, “Sure. What a cool break from the grind of LA, and to be able to share work and life experiences with kids would be a small way for me to give back.”

What I didn’t realize was how much I was going to receive from the experience.

Upon arrival at the Boys & Girls Club entrance, we were greeted with a ton of chatty, eager kids who were enjoying a day of summer fun. We were a small group that consisted of myself, my two year­ old little boy, my friend Courtney Munch who is an actress and stuntwoman, and my friend Kristin Myers, N4N SoundBoard Relations. We were guided upstairs to the music studio where there was a room full of young musicians eager and waiting to hear about our experiences as stunt actresses. We met N4N Program Director Alex Kiess and COO Raymond Jacob who both have awesome personalities, and we were given a very impressive tour of the Studio.

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The short little speech I had prepared quickly turned into a conversation and collaboration between N4N students, staff, Courtney and me. It was a beautiful chorus of artists from all different backgrounds sharing stories and advice. Magic was literally happening ­ An organic experience of everyone respectfully sharing experiences as students listened to our suggestions as to how to navigate through the entertainment and music industry with integrity while also staying true to themselves and their craft. Honestly, this was one time in my life when I felt my soul had been touched. The kids were so eager to listen and learn, and for almost two hours! They also showed how brave they were by openly sharing their struggles and vulnerabilities. It was obvious they were open to learning from our experiences and the possibility that music could very well offer an avenue to them to make a better life for themselves.

I did not walk into just another studio that day. No, not at all. Notes for Notes is a magical space that provides a healthy, safe place for kids to go to dream bigger dreams, while providing the access, tools, equipment and instructors to work toward achieving them each and every day. I was witnessing dreams coming true before my very eyes, as well as young lives being changed as this group of kids and instructors shared a bond much deeper than just an afternoon hangout. Notes for Notes is an extension of their families, something that is truly life changing and just beautiful to see.

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I left the N4N studio feeling full, simply because of how amazing the staff and students were. And I can’t wait to go back.

Chrissy Weathersby Ball

Chrissy Weathersby Ball, Founder and CEO of Cheer Yogi, is an accomplished gymnast and Stunt Actress with film credits that include The Dark Knight Rises, X­Men: First Class, Fast and Furious 4, Inception, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation,and many more. She created CheerYogi as a reflection of her professional experiences and personal growth in a grueling sport and trade.

Super Bowl of Music: OTF Rocks N4N!

Excitement and anticipation are the best words to describe last Saturday’s morning in San Francisco. The always fabulous members of Off The Field Players’ Wives Association toured the Notes For Notes® Studio at the Don Fisher Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco. Off the Field (OTF) is the national football player wives association comprised of talented and diverse wives of active and retired professional football players.

Notes for Notes (N4N) was thrilled a couple months earlier when OTF board members Ericka Lassiter and Romonda Jordan selected N4N as their Super Bowl community service organization. The Studio visit was the day before the Super Bowl, and it was the morning after OTF’s annual fund raising fashion show. Pre Super Bowl week is always a whirlwind of charitable activity for these powerhouse women.

On a personal level, I couldn’t wait to show off the N4N Studio, and especially the talent of the youth members. It was just last November that I myself toured the Detroit Notes For Notes Studio as an OTF member, and after that day I knew I had to become part of the Notes for Notes team and share this awesome program with my NFL wives’ friends.

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The highlight of the day was when N4N youth artist Dell performed two original songs while OTF members crowded around. By song’s end, there were tears, smiles and hugs to go around. These women were genuinely surprised and impressed by Dell’s level of talent and passion. Then a few of the wives just couldn’t help themselves. Up to the microphone they marched in the Notes for Notes state of the art recording studio to lay down vocals on a new and improved version of the NFL theme song.

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It was a productive and inspirational day. Notes for Notes is honored to have been chosen by OTF and very excited to work with their members throughout the country because “together we are stronger!”

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Shannon O’Toole
Notesfornotes.org

Off The Field Players’ Wives Association’s mission is to unite and empower our members to perform and support philanthropic initiatives that enhance the quality of life for families in our communities. To learn more, visit: offthefieldpwa.org

*Photo credit to renowned photographer and coach’s wife Cindy Zordich

More pictures can be found HERE.

Let the Sonic Adventure Begin!

Casio Watches!!! - NOTES_ATL
I used to have a Calculator watch, I got it for Christmas one year in elementary school (I swear NOT to cheat on math tests, although it probably would’ve helped because I’m horrible at math). I felt like sleuth Dick Tracy. No matter how you calculate it, those watches were cool and at 32 years old I’d still rather have one over a smartwatch… but now I see Casio in a whole different “back lit” light than I used to! Before I ever picked up a musical instrument that digital wrist computer was all I knew of the company that has NOW so generously outfitted Notes for Notes current (and upcoming studios) with incredible digital pianos and synthesizers. I’m sure there are teams of white coat scientists developing (and sporting calculator watches) Casio’s insanely beautiful sounding instruments but I’m fortunate enough to know the wonderful people behind this company that believe with a passion the importance of creating more musicians in and for this world.

A little trip in the way back machine…As a youth I wanted to compose film scores but without the ability to read music I was left behind in traditional music education. If all I knew I needed was a digital piano or synthesizer like the PX-5S and XW-G1 to explore creating all sort of synthesized sound by ear I might have been on a whole different path. Alas, while that was not the trajectory of my musical path it does explain a bit about the “why” of Notes for Notes. The power of a synthesizer holds a place in my heart because hopefully the youth we (and Casio) serve with this gear just may find something that unlocks their passion to explore music further. The sounds these instruments create will be that of dreams (literally and figuratively- what is the sound of a dream, hmmmm?) A young person can step up to these instruments and just explore a universe of sounds. Just as an astronomer has a telescope, our musicians have a synthesizer. Let the sonic adventure begin!

Now, it was the summer of ’12 in Nashville, TN: Summer NAMM! I was lucky enough to connect with some wonderful people from Casio’s Musical Instrument division who were our first advocates helping get CTK7000s into every one of our studios at the time. Fast forward to 2015, Notes for Notes biggest year of growth to date with 8 studios slated to open around the country all boasting the latest and loudest Casio digital pianos and synthesizers. On track, we’ve opened the first 5 in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Ventura, Atlanta, and Detroit with Austin, Cleveland, and San Diego on the way. It is with great pleasure that every Notes for Notes Studio is equipped with a Casio offering youth, who may not even know they are musicians yet, the opportunity to explore sonic universes for the very first time.
Playing the Casio - NOTES_ATL

In the sweltering Atlanta heat on July 18, 2015, Notes for Notes had the coolest place in town: The new Notes for Notes Studio at the Joseph B. Whitehead Boys & Girls Club! On this day we were honored to welcome award winning country artist Hunter Hayes to open the studio with the rocking of the first song. Now that the studio was open it was #TimeToRock and thanks to Casio we had the instruments AND the time. We were honored to present Vice-President of Casio’s Music Instrument Division, Stephen Schmidt with a Diamond Record for their continued support and in turn he presented some of the next generation of musicians (and Dick Tracy’s) with some calculator watches.

In August, we triumphantly opened (after nearly 3 years in development) our first Detroit Studio in a wonderful partnership with Mitch Albom and his S.A.Y Detroit Play Center. Christening the studio, in addition to a community of wonderful supporters locally and nationally, was country artist (and Michigan native) Frankie Ballard who shared his energy, stories, and music with the next generation of hit makers. The new Detroit studio boasts some incredible and unique resources unlike any other Notes for Notes Studio such as the Kid Rock Wall and Mojo in the Morning Broadcast Station BUT it of course has all the staples including guitars, drums, DJ gear, full studio… and Casio keyboards. Check out the virtual tour of this new space!
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At Notes for Notes Studios in San Francisco might be the next Ron “Pigpen” Mckernan; in Brooklyn the next Billy Joel; in Ventura the next Sara Bareilles; in Atlanta the next Jermaine Dupri; in Detroit the next Steve Wonder; but one thing is for sure there would not be a musical future for any of our members without the generous support and passion for sound of Casio!

Motor City Studio Opens!

Three years in the making, Notes for Notes® is beyond ecstatic to finally open our first Detroit Studio. On August 12th, 2015 we welcomed country artist (and Michigan native) Frankie Ballard along with lead sponsors CMA Foundation, Hot Topic, Chevrolet, Knight Foundation, Music Rising, Kid Rock Foundation, and Piston’s Come Together Foundation to help us open the new location in Motor City. This is a very special studio in so many ways that has inspired so many wonderful relationships. Our first studio outside of a Boys & Girls Club, we are honored to be inside the S.A.Y Detroit Play Center (in the former Lipke Rec Center) in partnership with Mitch Albom. Their mission for the entire facility is one of true change by addressing areas of positive development from education to athletics to expression and we are proud to be a part of the upward movement of this facility and in the city.

Detroit has been a journey to open but now the real journey begins making music with the next generation of hitmakers. We are so grateful to have the support of so many local and national supporters who share our vision like the CMA Foundation, Hot Topic Foundation, Chevrolet, Knight Foundation, Music Rising, Kid Rock Foundation, Piston’s Come Together Foundation, Schuster Homes, John & Julie Ligon, Mojo in the Morning, Craig Myers, Dr. Tom & Lisa Perkins, and LuLu Lemon. The Studio is equipped with some of the finest instruments and equipment thanks to Presonus, Gibson, DW Drums, Native Instruments, Audio Technica, Casio, Line 6, Stanton, GIK, Third Man Records, Kala, Reverand Guitars, Focusrite, Roland, Akai, and Ladner Amps! Take a (virtual) tour of the studio below:



The opening of the Detroit Studio is only the beginning and we invite you to follow the stories and music that are sure to come from one of the most iconic music cities in the country. Motor on!

 

The Difference Can be Heard

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Country! In Notes for Notes® world there are a couple of ways in which we are: supported by it (thanks to the CMA Foundation) and expanding across it! We just opened our 11th studio (Detroit) in our 5th state. This expands our arsenal of FREE after-school recording studios across Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Francisco, CA; Nashville, TN; Brooklyn, NY; Atlanta, GA; and Detroit, MI. As we expand across the country with support from donors and foundations like CMA and Hot Topic that share our vision of “Producing Tomorrow’s Musicians℠” we would be quite quiet if it were not for the plethora of instruments and gear the studios are so generously equipped with. At our core, we are a recording studio… the place where you create. The creative road is paved with discovery and that discovery is made possible with the right tools in the Mix Room thanks to PreSonus. The company we’ve come to know as one of our biggest supporters by equipping our studios with Digital Mixers, Professional Monitors, and state-of-the-art software is a company that also understands the roots of music. Based in Baton Rouge, LA and culturally (and geographically) the mid point between the Cajun sound of Lafayette, LA and the Jazz of New Orleans PreSonus is watering those roots by supporting Notes for Notes and the next generation of musicians growing up in our studios. We are very thankful to be working with a company that has equipped every one of our five studios built this year and devoted to making sure the next generation is learning on the best to be their best!

Thank you PreSonus! We hear the difference and we hope you too can hear the difference you are making!

Notes for Notes®

P.S. We are coming to your neck of the woods in 2016…

The East Nashvillian

Check it out! The East Nashvillian Mag stopped by at took some shots in our Nashville studios. The article came out great and we wanted to share.

Click Here!

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