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Waking the Sleeping Giants

This has been a pretty monumental week at MVG. The younger students have been motivating each other to produce more content, whether it’s a video, a new dance, a new beat, or even a concept for songwriting. Every single student has something they are good at, and as time goes on they are slowly leveling up and showing us what they are capable of.

Dareon has been working hard all week on his DJ skills, and his progression is already apparent. He loves to mix songs together and experiment until he gets the perfect transition between 2 songs. Dareon usually looks up YouTube dance videos and listens to songs on Soundcloud to get his inspiration. He is starting to find his stride, especially since he now knows a ton of DJ’s and artists that compliment his style.We can’t wait to see what songs he mixes together next! He might even have an upcoming gig at a spring event that is currently in the planning stages.

In other news, the girls dance group finally got to go on the long awaited trip to the beach to film the music video! We are so proud of these girls for putting in the work to choreograph a dance for a song that they all love. The video is currently in the editing stages and will be uploaded next Friday, but in the meantime here are some teaser photos from the trip!

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Creativity is Peaking!

The studio has been bumping this week. The girls dance group has been gearing up for their trip to the beach, jam sessions have been heavy, and creativity is peaking! We have one original song that will be released on the Notes for Notes MVG Soundcloud playlist next week, and also another bonus track (including a surprise staff member with a hidden talent.)

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We take advantage of a good jam session every chance we get, and the jams have been legendary. Not only did everyone find their groove this week, but 3 new piano students also surfaced! It’s amazing to see the commitment and the enthusiasm of these kids when they start taking lessons on a new instrument. The list of piano students is getting long, but don’t worry because there is still room for more! Most of the younger students have been practicing hard to progress through the beginner’s book enough to start reading sheet music fluidly and playing with both hands. Recitals will be coming soon!

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In other news, the girls dance group has spawned about 2 other groups that started to practice for other songs. They all have been heavily influenced by YouTube dances and music videos, like the Haschak Sisters channel or the “My Teen Crush is at School” song. Not only are they learning new dance moves that are pretty cutting edge, but they are also seeing what it takes to run a YouTube channel behind the scenes.

 

Last but not least, go and check out the Notes for Notes annual compilation album! Take Note Volume 1 is out now, and it has some serious hits on it. See you next time!

MVG Holiday Party

It’s been a fun filled week here at MVG, with more Christmas parties than you can imagine! We topped off the last week before Christmas with a holiday party throughout the club. There were all kinds of different activities to take part in, like the slime station, the family polaroid pictures, the build a snowman game, and many more. The kids and their families had a blast, and everyone went home with a little “snow” on them. Happy Holidays from us at MVG and we’ll see you in the new year!

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Angel City Choir Visits MVG

Last weekend at MVG we had some special visitors. We were up early with coffee and snacks prepared for the Angel City Choir. The Angel City Choir is a diverse choir group made up of over 160 people, and they came out to give us all a private concert here in front of the Boys & Girls Club. Based out of Los Angeles, the Angel City Choir excels in all types of choral styles, including classical, gospel, jazz, pop, and world music. They definitely succeeded in getting everybody in the Christmas spirit, and although the turnout was smaller than predicted at first, the sound of music brought more spectators later in the show. The concert was truly a site to see. And if you missed it, then don’t worry because you can still enjoy this short video to get your holiday started!

Creative Songwriting Workshops

This week at MVG week focused on songwriting! We already have almost 3 different original songs. First, we reviewed lyrics in some of their favorite songs such as “Little Do You Know” or “Teamwork.” All groups have at least one verse and chorus ready to go. The song that has progressed the most is called “I’m Young.” It’s about the daily struggles of being young and not being able to be as independent as an adult. These girls have done an awesome job so far, and they have even set a great example to anyone that comes in the studio for the first time. The songwriters don’t have anyone in mind to sing just yet, but someone will surely volunteer.

 

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Naylea (above) has made some serious progression on the piano. She has been taking piano lessons all semester, and she has already completed over half of the songs in the beginner’s piano song book. We have been working on Christmas songs recently, and she loves to try to play “Jingle Bells” as fast as she can without missing a note. Although she knows that playing piano isn’t a race, it’s amazing how she allows her creativity take over while learning new concepts.

 

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Last but not least, Charlene (above) has proven herself a natural songwriter by writing most of the content in her group this week. Once she has a concept she can lock right in and start putting pen to paper. With Charlene behind the songs, her group will definitely prosper. She honestly might as well go ahead and sing the song too! (We’ll see…)

Well, that about wraps it up for our week out here on the west side. We’ve had a blast learning how to creatively song write, and can’t wait to put out a completed track soon!

Learning to Love the Process!

This week at N4N MVG has been quite eventful. Johnny (pictured with the hat) has finally begun to write his own original music. It’s been weeks since he covered Khalid’s song “Location,” and now he’s back to attempt songwriting. We have been working on how to feel out the song for a subject or a theme, since we are working on writing to a finished instrumental track. So far it’s sounding amazing, and hopefully he’ll have something to show for all his hard work by next week!

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While Johnny has been hard at work, Lavonte (above) and Leilani (below) have been cooking up something special for the first annual compilation album. We can’t wait until it is released! Lavonte has improved a staggering amount since the start of the semester. In the beginning, he would always be in the studio freestyling with some friends, improving on his flow and rhymes. Now he comes to the studio with verses ready to be recorded on a new beat. The song is called “If I Had a Mil,” and it is themed around what Lavonte would do if he had a million dollars. Leilani added very nice touch to the song by adding some of her beautiful vocals to the 2nd verse. These young artists are really putting in work this holiday season!

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Dancing and Jamming at MVG

It’s been a busy week here at MVG. There are many new songs in the works, and even more artists are starting to write and perform original music! Daniel, our new guitar player, is already taking on multiple projects, including composing his own instrumental piece. Daniel is also trying to start a band along with help from his friend Marvin, the drummer. All they need is a vocalist to take their ideas to the next level. Stay tuned!

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One of our dance crew leaders, Joanna, has been working hard this week to whip the girls into shape in order to be prepared to shoot the music video after the holiday. These girls have been putting in some serious work over the past few weeks, and now the group of 6 girls has turned into around 8 or 9. The best part about this crew is that they welcome anyone who is interested in learning the dance, and they slowly teach each other the moves until they get it exactly right. Everyone is anxiously awaiting and preparing for the video shoot. Can’t wait until the final product!

Special Guest at MVG!

 

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This week our MVG N4N studio got a visit from a very special musician by the name of Melody Sheppard. Melody is a singer-songwriter living and making music in Nashville, TN. She has made major moves in the music industry and is currently about to release a new song and music video for her next project called “TRY.” Most of the youth were able to come by and hang out with her for a while. Some sang karaoke with her, some played her songs that they have worked on in the studio, and a couple girls even gave her a little preview of the dance that they’ve been practicing.

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After a long and entertaining introduction into the MVG studio, the kids all gathered around to hear some of Melody’s new music. The youth were so amazed by her vocals and her songwriting talent that they of course requested her song to be played multiple times. Everyone was so enthusiastic and excited to see Melody that they kept her busy pretty much the entire time she was there Melody has inspired quite a few singers and songwriters here at MVG, and we are looking forward to hearing the next song that will emerge out of our N4N studio!

 

Discovering Your Talent

Belkis (right) has been busy lately studying dances in different music videos, while Miah (left) enjoys the Ariana Grande song that’s playing. Belkis is helping lead a girls group of dancers who are all in love with the song “Teamwork” by Mackenzie Ziegler. Their group of 6 has a whole routine they’ve been working on that’s part sampled from the video and part choreographed. Once they put the finishing moves on this routine then they might even film a music video…We’ll see what happens!

DSC_0016Alex (aka Tarzan) has been recently exploring the drums. The kick drum, snare, and hi hat basics are really coming together after just a week of practice. After venturing through the studio and experimenting with many different instruments, he landed on the drums. The sound of each part of the drum set never ceases to amaze him, since he’s always asking questions about how to play a certain beat that was demonstrated. His favorite part about the drums are the different types of sticks that we have, ranging from the plastic brushes to the wood brushes. Most of his friends and other younger members of the Notes 4 Notes team are now in competition with each other, seeing who can learn and perform the most drum beats flawlessly. Alex has inspired many great drummers here at MVG and there will surely be a lot more to come.

 

 

New Song From MVG

Our Mar Vista Gardens studio is off to a good start with our first release on our Soundcloud playlist. Johnny came through with a cover of the song “Location” by Khalid. Featuring an original beat and Johnny’s smooth vocals, this song has a very chilled out and peaceful vibe.

There has recently been a rise of a sort of neo-soul sound with artists such as Khalid, Daniel Caesar, Bryson Tiller, and others. This new but familiar sound is coming back in full force. The studio has been alive with R&B covers all week, ranging from Frank Ocean to John Legend.

 

Johnny wants to cover “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley next. He is also working towards writing an original song, and will attend more songwriting lessons this upcoming week.

Our younger youth also have some big projects in the works! We recently formed an all girls dance team who will soon perform their dance to the song “Teamwork” by Mackenzie Ziegler. On the instrument side of things, we have Daisy and Naylea progressing at a fast pace on piano, and Matthew and Alex are really pushing each other to learn new drum beats. Never a dull day out in MVG.