Do you remember the first time you picked up an instrument or had that music awakening?
I’m sure you do or perhaps it was an experience that dissuaded you from trying it. Every day in every MusicBox across the country our goal is to be that first positive experience for a young aspiring musician. The goal is to inspire and make every youth realize the music potential within themselves to explore a variety of musical avenues. The only way that experience is possible is through the connection established with the Notes for Notes team of Program Directors and Instructors.
To say we are extremely proud of the N4N team is a gross understatement because the truth is it’s impossible to put into words the gratitude we have for this incredible team. We look to every one of our team members for unique and valuable skills that contribute to the vitality and culture of Notes for Notes. We have said it a 1,000 times and it rings true every time… “without our staff, the MusicBoxes would be just really cool rooms filled with really cool gear!” It is every Program Director and Instructor that makes each studio so special and in turn Notes for Notes a force for good. It is through music that we strive to impact lives but it would be but an unattainable dream if it were not for our team in the studios every day. They collaborate, teach, impact and inspire youth every day through music.
We want to take this opportunity to recognize the team that perhaps you don’t get to see all the time. They are the ones behind the camera in videos, behind the mixing board on recordings and backstage as the youth they have rock-trained kill it out on stage opening for Los Lobos and Joe Bonamassa! They are the unsung heroes, that as a music organization we should take this time to SING about! Notes for Notes team of Program Directors (PD) and Staff include Kris Ehrman (PD @ MusicBox East in SB), Taylor Hurtado (PD @ MusicBox West in SB), Jen Hodges (PD @ MusicBox Nashville South), Nick Oldham (PD @ MusicBox Nashville North), Bre Wright (SB Instructor/ Songwriter), Dakota Gartner (Instructor), Hayden Bush (Engineer), Jaan Landheer (SB Outreach Coordinator) and Juliana Lee (our Director of Making Awesome Things Happen)
Since Kris joined N4N he has molded the studio into a versatile space that successfully accommodates a variety of skills and blending of genres. Visit the MusicBox East and you will see a space that is often overflowing with Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder covers (also courtesy of RICO-you all know Rico) to live hip-hop freestyles to epic Metallica jams! Come Studio Time the booth radiates talent and becomes a meeting of the minds to spawn original works. One of our newest team members, Bre Wright, along with Kris and Caesar have helped Rico create his first finished song (it only took Rico 5 years). Constantly creating a welcoming environment that inspires and generates productivity, Kris is a valuable member of the team and the key to the MusicBox East’s success. Thank you Kris for your tireless efforts to inspire through music!
Taylor Hurtado joined N4N during the build-out of the MusicBox West and was there from the beginning painting walls and hauling gear! A piece of him is in that studio which is what makes it so special. Taylor, a drummer for Naked Walrus-a boot stomping rock band also comprised of fellow N4N team Dakota and Hayden, has infused his energetic and magnanimous personality throughout the studio. The team of Taylor, Dakota and Hayden have been so crucial in preparing the bands for some big performances this past year. Whether it is teaching drums, directing N4N band rehearsals or driving the Pro tools rig, Taylor shows what it means to be a musician because music is not just about playing but sharing yourself through music! As the studio continues to grow in popularity in a much needed area of town, Taylor is always ready to open the door to the studio and a future in music for a hungry young musician.
Jen became the first member of our Nashville team earlier this year when she took over as PD for MusicBox Nashville North. A Berklee Graduate, Jen is versed in a variety of instruments making it possible for her to connect with everyone through one instrument or another. Dominating on the ss guitar she can shift from a Red Hot Chili Peppers song to a hip-hop freestyle after which she can teach a classical piece on piano. Her personality provides a bridge to our musicians that inspires exploration in their music and lives constantly asking “How does this music represent YOU!” She is always seeking out opportunities for artists to visit and engage with participants. The studio’s energy is palpable and infectious and will always leave you wanting more! Thank you Jen for being the ignition and gas pedal for that energy.
Nick Oldham is the newest edition to the team, with just a few weeks under his belt (officially) at the time of this post. Nick has been volunteering since late August after being referred to the organization from another great volunteer, Hannah Williams. He is a veteran of the industry in number of different areas but what shines the most when you first meet Nick is his professional, laid-back yet driven personality that makes you want to work for him. His skills are unsurpassed in vocal coaching and hook writing. After just five minutes in a vocal workshop youth are locked in as they are looking to increase their vocal capacity just as much as they are seeking that Oldham stamp of approval. In the few short weeks since Nick started, the studio has become that much more effective in operation and production. If you need a hook for your song, count on Nick to draw it out of you in a way that makes you realize your own potential!
Another recent addition to our SB force is Jaan Landheer, a tireless advocate and N4N Outreach Coordinator. While every studio is capable of selling itself when you walk through the threshold our success is bolstered by spreading the word of the resources available. Jaan has been hitting the streets (literally) setting up studio visits, speaking with classes and organization and building more advocates for N4N in the community. Jaan, who also works at Noah’s Anchorage with homeless youth is sharing a piece of himself that truly shows his capacity to give. His passion for youth and work with N4N is an integral part of our growing success and most importantly the success of future musicians. As Jaan continues to spread the word, new youth come into the studios and are greeted by the rock personality of Bre Wright. Bre continues to infuse the Santa Barbara studios with her unique energy responsible for inspiring new youth and driving the completion of new songs. A versatile musician with indomitable energy we are lucky to have Bre on the team!
A stroke of serendipity brought Juliana Lee to N4N. Knighted Director of M.A.T.H (Making Awesome Things Happen) Juliana embodies this title which puts her at the front lines in taking N4N to the next level! An advocate for N4N for years through her work with Youth Fighting Back Mentor Program she always found a way to create opportunities for the youth she worked with to find their way to the MusicBoxes. Since N4N was able to divert her form her original plans of moving to Washington DC in early June, Juliana has been integral in furthering the name of Notes for Notes in Nashville and Santa Barbara. Building relationships are at the core of the organization, Juliana exemplifies what it means to do so in the community as she is tirelessly out there generating buzz, partnerships and advocacy for the mission. She brings a complimentary personality to the organization that in a very short time has further elevated the professionalism and reputation of N4N locally and abroad!
In the grand scheme of it all, N4N is just getting started yet we have already come so far thanks to this incredible team! “It takes a village” and in that village are amazing people who have made it their passion to ensure that the next generation is inspired by music and all that it can offer. N4N would not be the organization it is without the devotion of each team member infusing the best of the themselves in every MusicBox.
Thank you team… you are Notes for Notes!