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Community Thanksgiving

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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!

 

 

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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!!!

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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!

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WELCOME to the N4N FREAK SHOW!!!

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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

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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!

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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!!!

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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.

 

Meet Our New Teen Director!!!

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Tina and myself tabling Santa Barbara High School’s Back to School Night 

                      This past month I have partnered up with the new Teen Director, Tina Ballue, and tabled every local school in our community! It’s the first time as a Program Director that I was able to collaborate on a project with a Boys and Girls Club staff  and one of my most successful outreach moments thus far. We have had an incredibly positive response at every school, and also have bonded as work partners and friends. Tina has been here for only 4 weeks and has already made a world of a difference. IMG_8971Her teens have a designated time to be in our studio twice a week! One of the days is titled “Music Mondays!” where only teens come in to learn an instrument and record. She also has created several awesome field trips that involve Notes for Notes.

Tina grew up in a small town right below the Oregon border called Yreka, California. She graduated from Westmont College with a bachelors in Communication. During the Spring time, Tina coaches Track and Field at San Marcos High School and also works for a local realty company.  I am very excited to see where she takes her Teen Program, and how we can have future collaborations. She is such an awesome addition to the Boys and Girls Club team so I decided to pull her aside and ask her a few questions about herself.

What was life like growing up up north?

I had incredible mentors growing up, from my cross country and track coaches, to math teachers, student leadership advisors, and of course my parents and family. Growing up with 5 older sisters and 3 older brothers I had a lot of people to ask for advice and help guide me through my childhood into teen years into adulthood.

What brought you to the boys and girls club?

There’s so many things I wish I knew sooner, that would have made making life decisions and life less stressful, and that’s why I do what I do now, as a Teen Director for the Boys & Girls Club as well as a High School Track coach. I want to share my experiences with them, to help them live a more fulfilled, happy life. I also want to be a person they can open up to and talk about what’s going on in their lives. I was so worried to disappoint my mom that I didn’t always want to tell her what was going on.

What are some of your goals for your new teen program?

My number one goal is to give Teens a space to be teens. To ask those hard life questions, make connections with their peers, and allow them to have a space to be silly. I want to give them a safe space. I feel like society forces teens to grow up faster and faster these days and I want to help them slow down, and enjoy each stage of life.

Monterey Park Visits SB West!

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Cathy, on the mic, Jamming with our members!

This week we had the pleasure of having Monterey Parks Program Director, Cathy pay us a visit! It was Cathy’s first time in our studio and hopefully wont be her last! Halloween time is right around the corner and this week I have been working on one of our holiday songs. When Cathy arrived the first thing she did was help me produce the song I was writing. I have always loved songwriting and I would say its one of my stronger areas in music, but production I am still learning. She helped me find some killer plug ins and so far the song sounds super spooky!  Thanks to Cathy it sounds super amazing and I can’t wait to share with you all the final product next month! When the members arrived she did an incredible job working with them and making their experience super fun. IMG_0036

She had every youth on an instrument and had them jamming for a whole hour or until their parents picked them up! One of my favorite moments was her encouraging and convincing of our members to get on the mic and make up a song on the spot! Our members had so much fun that they came in the next day asking to do the same exact thing again! Everyone here loved having Cathy and I can’t wait to have her back! Below is a video of her jamming with the kids and its just so fun and awesome. Thanks Cathy for coming by!

 

Thank You Harmonix!

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Griselda, Isaac, and Riley trying out the new RockBand set up!

This week we were able to set up and use our brand new Playstation 4 and RockBand set up that was so generously donated to us by HARMONIX. You are proFullSizeRender 11bably asking yourself “why are they playing video games with these youth? shouldn’t they be on real instruments?!?!” Trust me, I was sort of a skeptic too. I have never really been into video games and incorporating them into my program was never something I wanted to do until I realized something incredibly important. One of my biggest challenges working with younger members is developing their ability to do multiple things at once. Multitasking is a HUGE part of playing an instrument! Your brain has to tell both of your hands and a lot of times your feet too, to do separate things from their counterpart to create something copacetic. guitar for example: left hand is constantly moving left and right on the fret board stretching and applying pressure in weird shapes while the right hand is pulling itself up and down in a rhythmic form. In some cases you could compare it to patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. It can be a challenge! So I discovered something really wonderful about allowing our members to play RockBand, it’s a fun way to learn how to multitask! It’s engaging, visual, and makes it really fun for the member to develop a skill without really even knowing it. It’s a great way to introduce some of the intricacies of instrumental playing to youth and I look forward to seeing how it helps develop my students abilities over time! Thank you again HARMONIX for being so kind to us and allowing every single studio the opportunity to try alternative ways of learning music with our members!