Studio Update-August 8-12

Please take a look at the studio update from the MusicBox East by our Program Director Kris Ehrman. Kris just joined the Notes for Notes team in July and is doing a phenomenal job elevating the studio and program.-Phil
Musicbox East
Studio Update Aug. 8th – 12th
Music Research Stations:
After spending my first few weeks observing the natural flow and character of Musicbox East, it felt right to try implementing some of the ideas that have been forming in my head.  When teaching music, I always look for opportunities to expand the student’s awareness of the music they appreciate.  I like to draw parallels between geographic locations, genres and generations.   So, after observing which musical artists the kids were gravitating to day after day on Youtube, I decided it was time to get deep.
I started out the day by passing out one index card to each student who wanted to research music on Youtube.  The kids were asked to watch and write down the artist and song name to 3 videos of their choice.   As expected, many of the kids turned in index cards with current top artists like Katy Perry, Beyonce, Adele, Nicki Manaj, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.  However, I was surprised to see the Black Veil Brides from Hollywood, CA and Miku & Kaito from Japan make it into the mix.
I asked the kids to start thinking about the artists they wrote down on their index card and to wonder what kind of music these artists may have listened to when they were their age.  Basically, what influences these artists to make the music they do?
We will pick up from where we left off next week when we begin researching and learning more about the artists we like.   We will be exploring a lot of old music to new ears while we discuss innovation vs. imitation at the pre-teen level.
Performance Room:
After learning that a live Salsa band & dance ensemble was giving a workshop in September, I thought it would be perfect timing to introduce the kids to Afro-Latin percussion.   So I brought in a conga drum, a mini-djembe and set of claves.  The kids learned how to play a 2-3 clave and a 3-2 clave but had a hard time with Rumba clave (we all do at first).  One of the littler girls adapted very quick on the conga.  I won’t be surprised if she is the first to play the basic conga rhythm for Salsa, tumbao.
I had a great jam with a couple of brothers from the N4N band upon our first official meeting.  We broke the ice by playing a few Led Zepplin tunes until their dad came to pick them up.  I was very happy to see adept musicians at such a young age and I can’t wait to work with them again.
We also had an awesome soul jam with Aaron, Michael and Rico.  They brought a friend with them that can play drums and guitar pretty well too.  Hopefully they continue to work together and set aside a few songs to get down.
This week I worked with Christian on a demo he wanted to enter into a contest that focuses on music that promotes a drug-free lifestyle.  The grand prize is $500 and I wish him the best of luck.
This week was also Michaels first session in the studio.  He came with ideas and wanted to create his own music so we spent some time going over how to make a beat on Reason.  We learned a lot and we’ll pick up where we left off next time.

The N4N theme…

The N4N theme is in the works… C-wreck has come through with another killer beat while C-rush, Dulani Rho (Joey) and Emily L write and rehearse to perform live on July 19, 2011 for the big show, Seymour Duncan’s 35th Anniversary featuring the Steve Miller Band to benefit Notes for Notes! The crew will open the show and if you were lucky enough to score a ticket you will get to see them perform, if not… I’m sure we will catch some great video of their performance to post on the site. Emily will also be performing with the N4N band singing “Crossroads” and ” Rhiannon”

P-Nut (of 311) Visits Notes for Notes

On May 6th, P-Nut (Bassist for the band 311) came to visit both MusicBox East and West to jam with the kids, instruct and share his wisdom about music and life. First of all a big THANK YOU to P-Nut, Peter Raspler and Evan Skopp for making the whole experience possible.  I don’t even know how to begin sharing what an amazing day it was.

P-Nut totally nailed the vibe of Notes for Notes. He jammed with the kids on “Love Song”, “Lucky” and “Amber”. The kids practiced for weeks and had a blast. How many people can say they have had the opportunity to jam with one of the best bass players in the world?

P-Nut also shared his wisdom and experiences with Caesar and Joey about his music and their music. It was an inspiring and eye-opening experience for those two guys who got solid feedback on their tracks and the future of their music. I can’t put into words all the cool moments, check out this video below and live some of that day.

We also welcome P-Nut to the Advisory Board!


Welcome to the Blog for SB East!

This post marks the inaugural blog for MusicBox East located at the Santa Barbara Boys and Girls club (near SB High). This MusicBox was the first studio ever at the Boys and Girls Club and has since inspired and on-going organization with the clubs locally and abroad. Since we are on the topic of the clubs, I would like to give a big shout out to them as well as the Club’s Executive Director, Carolyn Brown-She Rocks and remains one of Notes for Notes’ biggest supporters. Thanks Carolyn for all you do!

Ian Putnam, Program Director at the MusicBox East has been running the location for just about one year and has elevated the programming, structure and music coming from the studio. He has also been “instrumental” in the formation of various incarnations of the Notes for Notes’ band which has jammed with Jack Johnson, P-Nut and will open for the Steve Miller Band at the July 19th Seymour Duncan Concert benefitting Notes for Notes.

Big Thanks to Seymour Duncan too! They Rock, literally! While I craft this first blog, expect Ian to being bringing you the news from here on.

So many cools things happen in the studio everyday that it is difficult to document them all, however the goal of these weekly Studio Updates is to try and catch as many of them as we can and share them with you through entertaining prose and riveting photos, videos and new tracks.

Stay tuned for more news from the studio…



Music from the Studios

One of the coolest forms of proof of Notes for Notes’ mission and success is the music coming out of the studios. Amazingly introspective, passionate and inspiring tracks get recorded everyday. We will be posting new tracks to the site via our SoundCloud player as soon as we get them. Listen to them and feel free to comment as well because the artists need feedback and perhaps you might want to purchase a track or license one or offer a performance opportunity.

Listen and enjoy on the Music page of this site!