September 30, 2012 N4N

Studio Update- MusicBox East Aug/Sept 2012

MusicBox Studio Monthly Report

Month: August/ September 2012  Studio Location: SB East
Program Director: Kris Ehrman

In-Studio Highlights:

The past several weeks inside the Eastside MusicBox have been pretty amazing to say the least.  At the beginning of August, we began tossing around ideas for a song to perform at the Seymour Duncan benefit concert at the Lobero Theater.  The guys in the band decided on “Fade To Black” by Metallica.

It was awesome to see them really focus up and learn their parts.  They worked their butts off getting ready for that gig and not only did it make them stronger musicians but it gave them a memory for life.

We’re happy to have completed renovations to our practice room.  Hector and Taylor built us a drum riser, a DJ workstation and they mounted the speakers on shelves.  It makes it much more spacious and easier to keep organized, we love it.  We also have fresh paint on the walls and a wide variety of posters of musical legends that Bre did a great job on.

As with most things, it’s good to switch up the routine once in a while.  So I designed a weekly schedule with the intent to improve on our musicianship as well as broaden our appreciation for music.  In just the past four weeks I have seen a lot of lights turn on.  This routine not only gives us ample opportunity to learn music theory but kids are becoming aware of the encompassing power of music as it relates to history and geography.  This will without a doubt carry over into their classrooms and give them a unique perspective.

Monday: Blues
Tuesday: Karaoke / Singing
Wednesday: Song Writing
Thursday: Song Writing
Friday: Ukulele / Piano


A new face walked through the door the other day and sat down at one of our new Casio keyboards and began playing Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.  I’ve always wanted to do a twist on that song so I grabbed Rico and showed the youngins that this 200 year old piece of music was still valid.

Moonlight Sonata.. Casio Keyboard Sounded Great!

Our newest volunteer, David Rojas is a local musician who comes from a musical family.  His patience and ability to get first time songwriters to open up is highly valued at MusicBox East.  Check out this track that is going to make Alona’s parents very happy.

 Family Song: By Alona and David

We’re super proud of Rico on this one because for the first time, he has recorded an original song that he can call his own.  His goal was to make an R&B ballad with influences from the Isley Brothers and R. Kelly.  For those of you that don’t know, Rico is 80% blind so writing and organizing verses for this was a challenge for us.  So after the music was recorded we had him “scat” or sing off the top of his head, even if the words were incomprehensible.  Bre wrote words to fit his improvised melodies and we began to record them line for line.
Here is where we’re at with the song so far…

Original Song, Rewind:  This was a collaborative track that a couple of young singers brought in.  Rico helped accompany keys and vocals while C-wrek got inspired to write a verse for it.

Outreach/ Outside Collaborations:
The long awaited C-Wrek album has taken on a new dimension.  The Notes For Notes team has put their resources together and designed artwork for his soon to be released 15-track album.

We’ve also lined up Hayden to master the final mixes and continue to have talks about distribution and the different markets in which music can be sold.

Attended a free backpack give away just before school started.  Met some parents of MusicBox members who were very grateful for our organization.  Passed out flyers and spread the word.

MusicBox musicians from both SB East and West performed a few songs at Bohnett Park’s block party on September 22nd put on by the City of Santa Barbara. Video here:

Cross-Country Collaborations:

Chimaway Recorded Guitar Solo for a song that Jen sent over from Nashville.  Chim is getting more comfortable behind the board.  He engineered 80% of his session.


This month’s statistics are not an accurate representation of youth participation at MusicBox East, we will be back next month with those numbers!