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Stepping Out!

Meet Surraya! She is in 5th grade and just took up a new instrument, the Cello! Surraya is a quick learner and digests everything that she is taught. She know beginner piano and now learning the Cello. Her finesse and technique for the instrument is already progressing. Usually, you get a harsh screech or a dead thumping sound when you first start playing a stringed instrument, but Surraya is already playing whole notes that ring out beautifully.

She is getting lessons from her school, but is bring her 1/2 size Cello to N4N for further practice and even recording. This week we worked on some whole notes and even tried to record them! The only problem is that there is a slight maintenance issue witch causes a slight de-tune. Once this maintenance issue is fixed we will be able to record some awesome sounding tracks!

 

Keep it up Surraya!

Study Session!

We caught a great moment of Devin and Vianney studying their homework that they received from their piano lesson. This was an awesome moment to capture because at N4N we strive to work together. It’s moments like these that can build a new friendship or even create new ideas. They are both getting taught by Anne, a private instructor volunteering her time by teaching some of our members the piano. Devin is bright and learns fast while Vianney has grown immensely since her first lesson. Vianney has grown her memory and is now starting to read music. Devin is energetic and wanting to learn as much as possible as fast as he could.

We thank Anne for taking the time with both of these members because they are being impacted in such a positive way!

Meet Michael!

Meet Michael Spotta, our newest private volunteer instructor! Michael teaches guitar in our local juvenile halls and is now volunteering his time to teach our members. He is a very well spoken / taught musician who has a special skill working with youth.

He is teaching two of our members the fundamentals of the guitar as well as some of their favorite songs. It’s awesome to see him work through some of the beginning moments such as tempo / rhythmic problems. He is patient and the members are able to play confidently without feeling pressured. Michael is helping us a bunch here at N4N Ventura. Thank you Michael!

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Scariest Room Competition!

In the season of horror, the Boys & Girls Club hold a “Scariest Room Competition” and these guys are prepared! Not only did the members put in hard work decorating their “homework” room, but they made a short and simple song on how their room is HAUNTED *creepy ghost voice.

OBJECTIVE: The theme of the song was to pick a haunted character and rap about their presence in the room.

-Jovany picked “Bendy” who is the lead character in the video game “Bendy and the Ink Maschine”bendy

-Eduardo picked “Slender Man” who is supposed to be blind but has an incredible sense of smell slenderman

-Kevin picked “Pennywise” from the recent updated movie IT. pennywise

 

Here it is!

Watch Cesar Rock Out!

Here’s a short clip of our member Cesar rocking out on drums to “Mocking Bird” by Eminem. He wanted to play drums to the song so we had a quick lesson and off he was!

Thank you Sabrina (girl on the right) for being our awesome cam-girl!

 

Pulse Drumming Field Trip!

pulse-drumming-logoWe had the amazing opportunity to visit our friends at Pulse Drumming as they gave us our first experience in their Passport Program! Pulse Drumming is also a non-profit organization who works with youth, but they specialize in the category of drumming and percussion. We got in contact with Trey (who is a drum instructor at Pulse) through a fundraiser held at Squashed Grapes a couple of months ago. Immediately there was a bonding between Pulse and N4N. We went back and IMG_0834forth with possible ideas for collaborations and that’s when the Passport Program came into play.

The Passport Program is such a great idea for youth to learn rhythms from different cultures, but also it serves as a Geography lesson at the same time. We’ve talked about Trey, but we haven’t said much about Kim yet. Kim is the founder of Pulse, and she is perfect! She founded the school 12 years ago with her late husband and is a strong believer in community partnerships. She engages the youth with her joyous energy and has the magic ability to get a room filled with 2nd-5th grades to be still and remained focus.

We as N4N took 13 members to Pulse and walked into a dream-like room that made you feel as if you were in a tree house hiding in the middle of a forest. This place was awesome! Chairs made from tree stumps, huge leaves hanging over our heads and African designs throughout the whole room. We sat in the chairs and Kim gave each of us an ASHIKO drum. We then introduced ourselves by hitting the conga to the same amount of syllables in our name.

Then came the DJUN which is topped with cow skin! Our members were excited to be the “conductor” they would sit behind the D’Jembe and lead everyone into the appropriate rhythm pattern. As the conductor, they had the power to start and then stop the whole group by counting us in with a simple 4 count and then to stop simple raise your sticks.

IMG_0844After the Program ended we all received our green passports with a stamp from Africa, being that our lesson was about the D’Jembe.

We want to give a special thank you to Kim, Trey and even Diana (B&G Club director) for making this happen. We can’t wait to go back!

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Meet Anne!

Anne has been one of N4N’s resourceful helpers in our Ventura history. She has linked us to awesome instructors as well as business owners. More than all that, she has a passion for youth and will go the extra mile to teach young members the piano.

We got to meet Anne as she was tutoring one of her students out in the Boys & Girls Club. We chatted and she mentioned her passion for music so we gave her a tour of our N4N studio. She was blown away and instantly wanted to help. What she would do was, bring in her student she was tutoring and dedicate 30 minutes in teaching her student the basic piano skills. One of her students (Vianney) had a serious learning disorder, but within the first two lessons she saw that Vianney’s disorder showed no stopping her from playing the keys!

Anne’s new step with N4N is becoming a private instructor for beginner piano lessons. She has two members signed up and ready to go! Thank you Anne for all you do!

Halloween songwriting!

It’s getting closer to that time of year………….BOO! Yes, Halloween is approaching and we are getting ready for the spooks. As time goes on, new characters are developed in Halloween horror films, and each person has their favorite. This group of excited young members are going to write a rap about their favorite Halloween character!

Jovany (left) is going to write about Bendy, the main character from “Bendy the Ink Maschine”

Eduardo (middle) is going to write about Slender Man, who was erected from the online world

Kevin (right) is going to write about Pennywise, the clown from the movie “IT”

Vianney (bottom) is going to write about Annabelle, the possessed doll who haunts anyone in it’s presence.

 

We are learning how to write about each character based off of their looks, setting and powers. Stay tuned as we will release this song once it’s completed during the Halloween season!

Dynamic Duo

These two are up to some serious creation! Yesenia and Elizeth are about to mash up some hit songs to perform for the Boys & Girls Club here in Ventura. Don’t think it’s only them though! They have big plans on adding an xylophone and a clarinet player to help them with their performance.

Both girls were apart of a band this last summer, but do to other members joining new schools they had to compromise and direct the band in a new direction. This is the start of a creative group coming together to make up a unique band.

 

Feeling the itch to scratch

Alex is one of our youngest, but most excited members of our Ventura studio. He has a switch that activates as soon as he starts to scratch on the turntables. We asked him what he liked most about the turntables and he said

“The sound it makes when I move it back and forth.”

We are teaching him digital as well as analog turntables. He had his first taste of the digital tables today and couldn’t stop bobbing his head back and forth. He is a second grader with a serious groove. We can see his sense of timing and creativity start to flourish as he digs into the sounds of music.