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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!
Casio NFN (1 of 1)

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

Phil Shots (4 of 5)
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!

Hunter Hayes Opens the Atlanta Studio

Notes for Notes® Studio Atlanta marked the 10th Studio (4th in 2015) opened! There to open this exciting new location at the Joseph B Whitehead Boys & Girls Club in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta supported by the CMA Foundation was award winning country artist Hunter Hayes.  Atlanta is an exciting location for us considering the rich musical history and diversity of genres in the city’s roots. From hip-hop to country we are thrilled to be a part of producing Atlanta’s next generation of great musicians and producers.

Hunter Hayes is a consummate performer AND perfect spokesperson for the difference music makes starting at a young age… plus he plays more than 30 instruments! Typically we open a new Notes for Notes Studio with the strumming of the first guitar but thanks to Hunter we opened with the first song. Check out some clips below from the opening! We couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to open the studio with Hunter and the CMA Foundation’s support. We also welcome Hunter to our Advisory Board.

Our studios are packed with a variety of instruments, one of these being synthesizers, and thanks to Casio we have some of the best! We were also honored to welcome Stephen Schmidt (Vice President of Musical Instruments, Casio America) to present Casio with a Diamond Record for their overwhelmingly generous support of Notes for Notes with top of the line synthesizers and digital pianos in all our upcoming studios. Stephen was also on hand to present some aspiring young musicians with another instrument… the calculator watch. Can you say #timetorock!

Notes for Notes® Partners with Empire

Notes for Notes® partners with Fox’s hit show Empire for Fox Presents Empire Behind the Beat to open the organization’s first Notes for Notes Studio in Chicago. The Windy City plays host to Empire’s filming locations but is undoubtedly one of the countries most iconic music towns and Notes for Notes is thrilled to expand to this great city in 2016. Lots of exciting news to follow on this partnership, read some of the Buzz now! Get Behind the Beat and DONATE now!

Mixing Freedom

11728938_10152970004422536_3869779052755282229_o(Hunter Hayes opens the new Atlanta Notes for Notes Studio with the first song!)

Engineers are often the unsung heroes of our favorite music, so imagine the forgotten workhorses at their fingertips… the gear! We owe our new found wireless mixing freedom to the Presonus StudioLive RM 16. While it is just out of sight (in the photo above) the RM 16 is ever present because without it this would have been a pretty quiet opening to our newest Notes for Notes® Studio in Atlanta.

For those that don’t know, Notes for Notes® is a non-profit organization which builds, equips, and staffs after-school recording studios (inside Boys & Girls Clubs and after-school facilities) packed with guitars, drums, keys/synths, DJ gear, digital music stations and full recording studios offering youth completely FREE access to explore, create, and record music.

When building out our studios there are (what feels like) a million pieces to orchestrate, however, the addition of the RM to our arsenal of equipment has solved some pretty huge hurdles. Unlike in a traditional studio build, we are unable to run cables through the floor or the ceiling (drop tiles) so that leaves us in quite a predicament when it comes to preparing the space for live sound. We also can’t run cables along the floor due to doorways and tripping hazards. Enter the RM… problem solved. The moment we unpacked the RM, plugged in a couple mics to test and installed the software we were in (music) business. If I had to clock it… probably 30 minutes, if that to setup. The RM sits side stage in our studio out of view but doing its job.

At our front of house area we’ve got a laptop running the software that beautifully creates the digital mixer surface. On the fly we can mix AND walk around the room testing and making adjustments. Oh… and the Sound is incredible! Like every Presonus product the sound comes first and the RM is no exception. They have again made a product that makes our studios better in every way from design (and organization) to the audio experience. Our youth are learning on gear that reinvents what they imagined was possible in a studio environment.

We are extremely grateful for the support Presonus gives Notes for Notes through the outfitting our studios. They are a company that clearly believes in innovation and inspiration.

Thank you Presonus!

-Phil

(WSB-TV Atlanta News)

 

Soundcheck 2015 with Martin Gore

89.9 KCRW Presents

Notes for Notes & Sonos… Sound Check

Feat. Martin Gore  DJ Set [Depeche Mode]

W/ special guest Sebu Simonian DJ Set [Capital Cities]

Thursday, July 30
Sonos Studio LA
145 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles , CA
7pm / 21+

Hosted beer & wine // silent auction // fun

General Admission and VIP Tickets on sale now at soundcheck.nightout.com

100 % of proceeds benefit Notes For Notes. Providing free after school recording studios for youth.

5th Annual Notes for Notes® Benefit!

Please join us on June 7, 2015 at the 5th Annual Seymour Duncan Benefit Concert to support Notes for Notes®!

Tickets on sale NOW at Lobero.com

100% of proceeds benefit Notes for Notes!

5th Annual Notes For Notes® Benefit poster

Check out a recap from a previous show!