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Planting Seeds…Fabian watches Santa Barbara Members perform in Memphis.


Fabian is 10 years old and he has been playing the drums for about a year. When hes not jamming with Dave Hanecek, his daily routine is to put on the headphones and play along to his favorite songs he finds on Youtube.

Fabian strolls in today with the classic California fist bump as Im waiting for East Valley Road to perform on Facebook Live.

“Who is that?” Fabian asks. I said, “These are teen members from Santa Barbara performing in Memphis and thats Maxton on drums!”

Fabian watching East Valley Road perform in Memphis on Facebook Live.

Fabian watching East Valley Road perform in Memphis on Facebook Live.

We sat and watched the whole show together. I told Fabian about how I used to watch them play at the skate park when they werent much older than he was. “Brandi and Maxton have both recorded here.” I said. “.. and they used the same drums that you play everyday.” I could see Fabians wheels turning as we watched that last song.

As we went into the track room to jam for a little bit Fabian says “Can we try to play what they were playing?”….

New year New Gear!

Gaby, 10, with her new ukulele!

Over the break three lucky members were able to take home instruments permanently! A very lovely donor purchased a ukulele and drum kit for Gaby 10, and Fabian 11, and one of our staff donated a drum machine to Isaac, 11. Gaby, Fabian, and Isaac have been taking private lessons for almost a year now and they have worked really hard to get where they are musically. IMG_0607These members showed us day in and day out how much they loved their chosen instrument and time in the studio.

Fabian has been in the studio almost every single day since joining the club. When he has his lessons, he will spend an extra hour playing every song he has learned on the drums. He has learned over 15 songs! He is such an inspiration that we are in the works of FINALLY forming a band with three other members close to his age. They know one song right now and several others have asked to be apart of it as well. Fabian deserves this drum kit. I am so excited to see where this new drum kit takes him.

I am also very excited for Gaby. Gaby has been such a delight to work with these past couple years. Always eager to learn something new, she’s learned at least two songs on 4 different instruments. Another very determined member who I am excited to see grow as an artist.

And Isaac! ah man, Isaac is an amazing person. He is always excited to learn something new and is easily one of our most promising students. I am crazy excited to see Isaac continue to play music because it comes incredibly natural to him. I have never met a kid who can pick up a foreign instrument and play it with an immediate understanding of how it works just by holding it. He has a beautiful gift and I feel very honoured to work with him.

I am so happy for these three and I look forward to finding more ways to make these members lives the best they can be! If you or someone you know has any interest in donating, gear, money, or time please contact us HERE

File_001 (3)Isaac, 11, playing our electric kit in the studio

Freestyle and Record!

IMG_9897The past few weeks our group of teens have been going through a workshop with our crazy talented volunteer, Chaye Tione. Chaye has been coming through two days a week to work with the teens and teach them not only the fundamentals of hip hop but also the fundamentals of how to be an upstanding person. Every Tuesday and Thursday of this past month, Chaye has shown up with notebooks for the teens so that each of them has a place to write down their lyrics or something that inspires them. He also shows up with a fierce drive to help them develop as people and artists. IMG_9896Ever since Chaye has started this workshop multiple teens have had a sudden keen interest in recording. 16 year old Matthew has recorded THREE TRACKS in the last week alone!!! 15 year old Maria spent a whole day trying to freestyle to a beat, came back two days later with two pages written ready to record. I have been working with these members since August, and if I would have asked them back then to show up with lyrics on a sheet of paper it just wouldn’t happen. Now they are coming in every day asking to record. I am so stoked to have Chaye coming in and inspiring these kids so much!

Community Thanksgiving


This week I had the pleasure of having Thanksgiving dinner with all the families of all the members I work with on the daily. The United Boys and Girls Club put on a beautiful dinner for over 400 people! They served a traditional thanksgiving dinner and had a live DJ playing oldies in the gym. IMG_9743Michael Baker gave a wonderful speech about our community coming together and publicly thanked the woman who helped get all the food for the dinner.

The parents and staff were all also recognised by our Club Director, Priscilla,  for their hard work and daily efforts. We even had the new Mayor elect of Santa Barbara join us for our dinner! IMG_9755Cathy Murillo is the first female Latina to ever be elected as Mayor in Santa Barbara, so it was a huge honour to meet her! We talked about Notes for Notes and she will be taking a tour very soon!

The dinner was such a blast and I can’t wait to attend next year. Coming together and eating dinner and celebrating holidays with my community is what I am the most thankful for this year!




This Week @ SB Studio West!


This week has been a big one for our Santa Barbara team. We had all of our regular programming and a local fundraiser which featured our youth band the Jazz Villains. We also had an older volunteer come back this week to touch base and has decided to run a hip hop workshop with the alternative High School that works with us two hours a day, four days a week. IMG_9607I am so excited to see how that develops and I can already tell it’s making a positive difference with our teens. Another exciting thing happening in our town is a 60 day fundraiser called SB GIVES. Notes for Notes was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the organisations featured in the county wide fundraiser! We feel so honoured to be a part of something that’s going to bring a HUGE amount of awareness to the community as to who we are and what we do. So in lieu of the busy week here is a video of a couple fun moments we had in the studio! Have a great Veterans Day Weekend!!!


We Want You! To Volunteer!!!


Last week I teamed up with Tina once again to do some outreach in the community! After our successful tabling at back to school night, Santa Barbara High School asked us to come back for their Volunteer and Work Fair they put on for the students. Not only does it give them an option to sign up to volunteer and find work, they are also pushed to learn about each organisation and turn in an assignment showing they took the time to check out each booth. We had many amazing booths surrounding us and both Tina and Myself even signed up to volunteer at one! Once the fair started we had a heavy flow of youth flooding the quad for two + hours. Our booth was immediately bombarded with teens asking about our organisation and wanting to learn more about volunteering or even just becoming a member. IMG_9490We were able to get 50 teens to give us there information so we could send them our online volunteer form. Almost everything I brought for the students to take (business cards, n4n buttons, Placards, picks) were gone by the end of it. We talked to hundred of high schoolers that morning and it felt like one of our biggest outreach successes. I have honestly had the best time working with Tina and it truly feels like our outreach together quadruples in strength every time we do it. I can’t wait to meet some of the teens who decide to volunteer be a part of our awesome Santa Barbara team! If you or someone you know wants to give back to the community and volunteer  time teaching something you/they absolutely love CLICK HERE. We are always looking for passionate musicians who want to give back!



n4n freak show

Welcome to the Notes for Notes FREAK SHOW, featuring the talents of our devilishly good spookers at the Westside Studio…

Careful not to be TOO FRIGHTENED by the hidden terrors that await you in our FREAK SHOW of the Underworld! You’ll experience all the, “AHHs!” you’re seeking for the Halloween holiday as we release our frightful festivi-tunes into the world during the course of the next week.

We begin our daunting endeavor here, at the N4N Freak Show, where we’ve given an eerie light to the ghoulish freaks who’ve been lurking around our studio throughout this month of fright.

Our cackling cast is as follows (in order of oratory appearance):

Rico | Volunteer | Host of the Freak Show

Bre | Program Instructor/Creative Administrator | Co-host of the Freak Show

Stephanie | Member | Chupacabra & Werewolf

Riley | Member | Zombie Child & Werewolf

Gabriella | Member | Llorona & Freak Show Attendee

Fabian | Member | Cannibal Clown & Cucuy

Anthony | Member | Main Werewolf

NOW GO, venture thusly into this dark night, and hit play on the video below… IF YOU DARE!!! MUAHAHAHAHAhHAAAAAAAAA!

Blog post by Bre Wright 

Halloween Beats With Elena


Elena, rocking out to her loop!

Every other week Elena, 10 years old, comes by to learn about making beats or write and compose on Logic Pro. This week we focused on halloween sounding songs. IMG_9405we tried to combine the darkest sounds we could find to make a pretty freaky loop. We make these loops every two weeks, and have been for a couple months now, but the ones we made this week have got to be my favorite. Working with Elena has been really fun and different from my other one on one students. She is incredibly creative and bright and has the humor of a witty grown up. She comes into the studio with the funniest things to talk about and sometimes I have to remind both of us to stay focused haha. Her family has loved what she has learned so far, so they went out and bought her a midi keyboard so she can work on songs at home. I am very excited to see Elena develop and evolve her skills in music. I grabbed a video of her working on her loop she made all on her own, and you also get to experience the silliness. check it out!!!

The West Side Gets Spooky!

IMG_9297Dave and Juan, who is 5, jamming out!

This week our smallest members made it very clear they were in FULL halloween mode! Most of them know what their costumes are going to be and ALL of them only wanted to sing halloween songs. I decided to take a little video of one of our days with our small guys so you can see for yourself how halloween ready they all are! Everyday this week the kids insisted on playing spooky keyboards and drums.

IMG_9295Dave, our awesome program instructor, had a blast rocking out with Daniel and Juan in the live room. They were trying to come up with spooky sounds on the keyboard to play along to Dave’s ominous guitar riffs. Right now we are working on a few halloween themed tracks with our members and I really think you’re going to enjoy them! Check out the video below to see our little members jamming and getting ready for halloween time!


Teens! Teens! TEENS!!!


Blue, 15, listening to her recording she did in one take.

This Fall our studio got a crazy awesome opportunity to work with an alternative high school four days a week. If you follow this blog, you know we predominantly work with youth under 12, so this was a big deal. For the past 4 weeks we have seen an average 6 teens coming through about 1-2 hours every day but Wednesday. The two who have been interested in our studio are Blue and Maria. IMG_9152Both love hip hop and oldies and have written their own raps themselves. Both raps are about living on the west side and being proud of their culture and heritage. Right now we are working with both, helping them develop and finish both raps they had already started.IMG_9146 Blue was the first to record. She used an original beat developed by our volunteer Rico Hernandez. Rico has been working very closely with these teens. He loves connecting with them over oldies and is trying to teach them more about production. These teens are considered at risk youth, who can’t return to normal public schools, have spent time in Juvie, and tend to self medicate. So all of us over here are really happy to be providing a safe space for these youth to express themselves and have fun without the danger of gang violence or constant exposure to narcotics. Music is such an amazing way to help heal a person or give them a new purpose, so when more teens come in interested, I am a very happy program director. Every other day we have anew new teen from the school come in showing interest in learning an instrument or recording a song. Though we are in the beginning stages, we are very excited to see where these interests and developments lead. I’ll leave you with Blue’s favourite oldie song called Somebody Please by The Vanguards.