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!
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.
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.
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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.
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!
If you are in Cleveland you can visit the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame AND the Notes for Notes™ Studio and the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland. Notes for Notes was honored to open the Cleveland studio thanks to the support of the Hot Topic Foundation as well as locally based Audio Technica. At the time of the opening back in May of 2016, this marked our 12th studio and the first of the year. Generously built by Turner Foundation and led by Mitch Zaharewicz the studio was built perfectly to the N4N designs making this one of our nicest and largest studios to date.
You see, rock and roll isn’t a career or hobby – it’s a life force. It’s something very essential~The Edge
We’ve been at since May rocking and rolling with studio sessions, jam sessions, lessons, podcasts and more. As you’ve heard a thousand times before, our studios would be nothing without our team. Ryan Easter, a Cleveland native and grandson of a Cleveland Indian first basemen, is the difference maker of this studio. A pro behind the board and producer extraordinaire, Ryan is an incredible asset to the N4N team but especially to the youth that come to the studio every day for a dose of music… and life.
Take the studio for a spin with the Google Tour above!
The Cleveland studio is the genesis of an introduction from Dusty Peugeot who in addition to sitting on the Club’s board is the brother of our very own team member Kristin Myers. A few conversations later and we were finding ourselves right at home working with the wonderful BGC organization run by CEO Ron Soeder. This is also one of the few clubs we’ve been fortunate enough to work with that has such a robust dedicated arts program, led by the incomparable Matt Bott! When we shared with our partners at Hot Topic (Joe Emory of course!) that we wanted to open in Cleveland they were extremely supportive providing the resources to open this studio, they even chipped in the man power providing employees from the local stores to volunteer to build some exciting Ikea furniture.
Hot Topic team volunteering on the studio build
This studio also marks the first and only location to feature an Audio Technica Mix Room! Thanks to one of our longest supporting sponsors AT who has sponsored every one of our studios with the BEST mics and headphones, this studio represents a flagship arsenal of the AT line from the wireless guitar and mic setups to top of line broadcast mics. This studio is set UP! It also features custom GIK acoustic panels with printed AT products showcased. In the words of The Dude “It really ties the room together”. Extra special thanks to our microphone angel Roxanne Ricks!
This studio is set UP! Thanks to Audio Technica
Since the opening in May it has been a steady (at times overwhelming) flow of youth coming through the studio. Check out this great article on the opening from Cleveland.com. Be sure to follow all the incredible updates like this ONE from the N4N Cleveland Studio Page that features blogs, music, schedules and the ability to chat with Ryan directly about getting in the studio. So next time you are in Cleveland and after (or before) you’ve checked out the miles of historic guitars at the Rock Hall please stop in and say hi at the studio and hear the next generation making hits!
There were a lot of times in our lives where people doubted us, told us we’re not good at anything, and my sisters, they gave up. But I didn’t. And they told me that even though they gave up that I should keep going to keep our legacy going.
~ Dayshanna, 15
We were extremely saddened to hear about the passing of Alan Thicke yesterday. Alan was a very talented actor as America’s patriarch on ‘Growing Pains’ but most importantly he was a husband and a father off screen. At Notes for Notes we were honored to have spent a little time with Alan since his son Robin was our very first artist to visit our very first Studio in the Boys & Girls Club Studio of Santa Barbara. A proud father in the background watching his son engage with our members, passing on knowledge I’m sure he imparted on his sons.
N4N’s resident golden voice, Rico performs an impromptu a cappella for Robin with Alan, Carter and N4N member Luis looking on.
Alan’s wife Tanya was very welcoming to Notes for Notes in Santa Barbara and helped make the visit with Robin possible. That visit marked the beginning of a connection with the Thicke family because we also met Alan’s youngest son, Carter. Carter would be introduced to Notes for Notes that day and later return as a volunteer. Still in high school but an accomplished guitar player, he would volunteer teaching at our SB West location and was a welcome addition to the team and wonderful personality to have in the studio. It was always a joy to catch up with Alan when he would come to pick up Carter from the studio.
Robin talking music with Luis while Alan hangs in the background unwrapping Robin’s latest album for him to sign and gift to youth.
It is a testament of a great father when his sons strive to make a positive influence in the world around them. We were lucky to see that first hand when Robin and Carter were so generous with their time to the next generation in our Santa Barbara Studios. We were honored to know Alan just a little bit and our organization is all the better for it. Our sincere condolences to the Thicke Family.
It’s amazing it has taken us this long to arrive in a city so synonymous with music. For those that have been you know that the city doesn’t know how to be quiet but it’s not just constant noise, it’s constant music! Any street corner at any time can be the scene of a rousing jazz jam from consummate professionals or young musicians cutting their teeth in the historic capital of jazz. Side note: if you’ve never been make a point of hanging around Frenchmen street for the hotspot of the aforementioned scene.
I remember a conversation Rod and I had back in 2012 about which city would be our next. The duel was between Detroit and NOLA, both worthy and musically iconic in their own right. Thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation at the time we were lucky to pursue developing Detroit first, however, our focus has never wavered to make it to this great city. On September 6th, 2016 we opened the doors to the NOLA Notes for Notes® Studio at the NFL-YET Clubhouse in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana. We were honored to welcome our generous partners from the CMA Foundation as well as country star Eric Paslay to help upon the studio. For those that have been to an N4N grand opening you know we do things a little differently; no ribbon cutting here, we strum the first guitar! This was the first opening in which we had a DOUBLE strum to open the studio with Eric Paslay and Matt Owens of Clark Construction.
Matt Owens and Clark Construction are the saviors of Notes for Notes® NOLA, without them the studio would still be a distant dream of ours. We were extremely lucky in 2015 to be introduced to Clark Construction and receive their support as they built out the Ventura Studio. Clark Construction’s corporate culture is unsurpassed by any contractor we have ever seen. They’re commitment to the communities where they live and work is absolutely amazing and we are so lucky that they stepped in to help make this studio a reality. We were lucky to meet Matt thanks to an intro from our (guitar playing) friend at Clark Construction, Mike Moore. Led by Matt and a very dedicated team including Chris Fava, Wes Nash, Andrew Bichof, Jacob Auer, Brandon Brown, Chad Smith and many more very generous contractors, the studio was transformed over 3 weeks in a hot Louisiana August into the studio you see below.
We are incredibly grateful to the Clark Construction, Matt Owens and the incredible team that made this studio a reality. We call this our first “Craftsman” studio because of the attention to detail that was paid to our original design. The stage and accents around the studio were custom made by wood burning, texturizing with a chain, and staining wood to give the studio a truly special touch. While our job is to open and run these studios, for Matt and his team this was purely a charitable gift to the NOLA community. They were often in the studio until 10 at night if not later, let alone coming in on the weekends! The music that is coming out of and will continue to be for years and years is in huge part thanks to these guys!
This studio marked our 14th location and 6th studio supported by the CMA Foundation. We are so appreciative that Tiffany, Joe, and Victoria with the CMA Foundation made the trip to celebrate the opening as well as Eric Paslay and Wrabel. We were lucky to meet Eric this past CMA Fest where he visited our pop-up studio at FanX but glad he was able to see a full studio and hang with some aspiring musicians at the same time! While we strummed the first guitars (actually Eric and Matt did), gave out Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Records, and welcomed our very first members through the studio doors that day we feel like we will never be able to thank those who have made it possible. We only hope that as more youth enter everyday and are able to explore, create, and record music that that will be the ultimate thank you!
The NOLA Studio features many firsts; the LED lit track room, Craftsman stage, and the Presonus Mix Room. As a supporter of Notes for Notes since 2014 (and a Louisiana based company in Baton Rouge) Presonus provided their state-of-the-art equipment (16.0.2, Eres 8s, Air 10s, and AR12 Mixer) to this hometown location. To honor their support we’ve unveiled the very first Presonus Mix Room! We are very grateful for the technological sonic advances of Presonus as well as their gift to the next generation of musicians. The NOLA Studio like all our other locations are generously equipped thanks to Casio, DW Drums, Zildjian, Audtio Technica, Native Instruments, Gibson Foundation, Dell, GIK Acoustics, and Novation. We are also grateful for the support of Kim Bentson, Bentson Kauth Foundation, and Chevron.
At Notes for Notes® we are all about people. We are looking forward to a long lasting partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Louisiana and all of their team (Carlos, Sid, & Thomas). Our studio would just be a room full of gear was it not for our team comprised of NOLA Relations, Shannon O’Toole and Program Director, Justen Williams. Justen is in the studio everyday inspiring and challenging the next generation of musicians. You may recognize Justen from his very popular Youtube tutorials; needless to say we are extremely lucky to have such a qualified team member at the studio’s helm. Outside the Studio, Shannon is building the connections that will make our NOLA presence known. She knows how to get it done and has been doing an incredible job making friends throughout the musical community. We are lucky to have such a dedicated team, partners, and supporters who all have worked so hard to make this studio available to NOLA youth… for FREE. We invite you to come check out the studio, get involved, and experience the talent that is already emerging!
Some photos courtesy of Erika Goldring