Shannon Murphy: Up in Here, Up in Here!

Written by Charity Ward, N4N Detroit Program Director

Notes for Notes celebrated a whole lot of “Girl Power” recently when Shannon Murphy visited Detroit’s Studio inside S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center.

Shannon, radio host of Channel 955’s Mojo in the Morning show, shared her dynamic and infectious energy with the Detroit N4N youth. Youth members interested in a career in radio broadcasting listened intently as she answered questions like: What did you study in college? Did you always want to be a radio host? What celebrity meeting left you the most star struck? Shannon offered a great deal of information on her journey as a DJ and what a day in her life – juggling motherhood and national radio broadcasting – is like. She also encouraged youth that with hard work and dedication, they too could have careers in radio.

After Shannon’s Q&A session, she visited the Mojo in the Morning Broadcast Station and was featured as a guest co-host on Ni’Asia and Anyla’s podcast entitled “Black Girls Rock the Radio Show”.

Show Segments include:

What’s Up World?: Current Events
Tea Party: Celebrity News
Blackboard: 5th Grade School Updates
Boy, Bye: Boy Talk
New Jams: New Music Premiere and Discussion
Up in Here, Up in Here: Special Guest Interviews

Shannon chatted on-air with these young aspiring radio hosts about the creepy clown fad, the Presidential election, First Lady Michelle Obama’s sense of fashion, and discussed some of the artists that had been nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Ni’Asia and Anyla even developed their own version of Shannon’s famous daily segment “Dirty on the 30” and gave Shannon 30 seconds to share her unrehearsed thoughts on pre-selected topics ranging from her daughter, Lucy Grace, to her obsession with cupcakes.

Shannon offered pointers on engaging with live audiences and gave the girls her best advice to always be themselves. Shannon plans to come back to mentor more youth interested in radio broadcasting and we can’t wait for her return!

Look Both Ways

Olivia Millerschin Shines Both On and Off Stage

Singer/songwriter Olivia Millerschin has been a driving force behind the success of Notes for Notes Detroit’s first year of operation. After stopping by for an introductory visit only a month after opening in October, 2015, Olivia jumped right in to make a positive impact through music.

Along with offering regular ukulele and voice lessons, Olivia has led and participated in impactful musical projects to engage with the youth of Detroit. Last December, she recruited Real Feels to filmJingle Bell Rock and produce a holiday video featuring N4N youth who were just starting to participate in our programs. It proved to be a joyful “Lights, Camera, ACTION” launch of the exciting opportunities present inside the Notes for Notes Studio.

After working with and getting to know Olivia, drop-in youth started to become regular youth. These regular youth began to bring their friends and soon sessions inside the Studio were booked in advance. As a result, N4N staff was able to pinpoint the musical interests of our youth to recruit qualified volunteers for program instruction.

In June, Olivia supported N4N during a period of staff transition by showing up daily to help train and assist Program Director Charity Ward. Since then, Charity and Olivia have continued to work together in amazing ways. They partnered with Hospice Angels Foundation to lead a songwriting session for their Good Grief camp. And most recently, Charity. opened for Olivia’s “Look Both Ways” record release show that also benefitted Notes for Notes.

Olivia Millerschin in Nash

N4N is very lucky to have Olivia as part of our team. While she’s spent most of her time in Detroit’s Studio, she also stopped by for a visit with Nashville’s N4N youth while touring through town for her show at Exit/In with The Voice winner Sawyer Fredericks.

With amazing talent and a kind, generous heart, Olivia Millerschin embodies the qualities of the kind of artist N4N works to produce inside our studios each and every day.

CMA brings Music City to Motor City!

In August, 2015, representatives from the CMA Foundation traveled from Music City to Motor City to launch the grand opening of Detroit’s Notes for Notes® (N4N) Studio, powered by the Country Music Association (CMA). Country music star Frankie Ballard even made the trip to help celebrate the momentous occasion in his native state of Michigan. We were thrilled when just 4 months later he chose to donate all proceeds from his Country Christmas Concert directly to Detroit’s Studio!

With the amazing support of the CMA Foundation and the Hot Topic Foundation, we’ve rallied additional funding from Chevy, Kid Rock Foundation, Music Rising, Gibson Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Detroit Piston’s Foundation, Hard Rock Cafe, Lululemon, Audio-Technica, Reverend Guitar, and others. Now, aspiring musicians have access to N4N’s FREE after-school youth music program inside the  S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center. Programs started in October 2015, spawning amazing projects and partnerships. Read more about all that’s happened this year in Detroit’s 2016 recap!

It’s been a whirlwind of a year at N4N Detroit, and we look forward to more exciting things to come in 2017! We couldn’t have done it without you, CMA! Thank You!

N4N: Turning Nightmares into Dreams

When Javier isn't entertaining us in the Notes for Notes Studio, he 's certain to be found chasing another set of dreams on the Stafford Football Field at Say Detroit Play Center. Also, a big thanks to Xenith, for keeping this songwriter's head safe!

Written by: Charity Ward, N4N Detroit Program Director

Notes for Notes employs a no censorship policy to allow its members an outlet to express themselves in an authentic and unfiltered manner. While youth are not lyrically restrained, N4N staff members offer constructive criticism in efforts of producing their best work.

Recently, Detroit Studio member Javier wrote a song about a nightmare with several violent references. Program Director Charity challenged Javier to revisit his lyrics and remove any lines that weren’t a reflection of his real life. He came to the conclusion that the violent lyrics would not showcase his true self and opted to remove them from the song.

Instead, Javier reminisced on the crazy things that have actually happened in his dreams to create a spooky and entertaining song called “Bad Dream”. Through the writing process Javier learned about hyperbole and metaphors. He also broadened his imagination and vocabulary while writing lines like:

I fell off a cliff, then I turned into a hieroglyph.”

When Javier isn't entertaining us in the Notes for Notes Studio, he 's certain to be found chasing another set of dreams on the Stafford Football Field at Say Detroit Play Center. Also, a big thanks to Xenith, for keeping this songwriter's head safe!

When Javier isn’t entertaining us in the Notes for Notes Studio, he ‘s certain to be found chasing another set of dreams on the Stafford Football Field at Say Detroit Play Center. Also, a big thanks to Xenith, for keeping this songwriter’s head safe!

“A tarantula recorded me with all 8 of his phones.
Probably going to end up with a thousand broken bones.”
Javier’s lyrical adventure concludes when he wakes up in his bed and returns to reality. A reality in which he very proudly debuted his original song “Bad Dream” live for an audience full of excited peers at the Say Detroit Play Center Halloween Party.

Listen to “Bad Dream” here:

N4N Spreads GOOD Grief

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Written by: Charity Ward, N4N Detroit Program Director

Detroit studio volunteer and artist, Olivia Millerschin, along with Detroit Notes for Notes Studio Program Director, Charity, spent the day with the participants of Hospice Angels Foundation “Camp Good Grief” leading creative songwriting sessions. 

The majority of the youth present lost a parent in a traumatic way and attended Camp Good Grief to participate in gym, art, yoga and songwriting sessions to assist them in processing and expressing their grief through positive outlets. 

Youth participants shared vulnerable and personal stories of loss and collaborated with one another to create songs that would bring them happiness to replace their sorrow. 

Olivia and Charity encouraged youth to remember moments with their loved ones that made them smile and to use them as a source of joy. 

The elementary group wrote the following lyrics to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Smile” and pledged to sing them when they feel down – 

Think of the sunny weather, the times that we had together

When I am blue, I just stop – think of you

All the times that we had together

Memories last forever

You know I’d walk a hundred miles

To see you smile