Harvey’s Heroes

Harvey’s Heroes

One year ago, the Steve Harvey Show welcomed a very special guest. Chad Bernstein, our Founder & CEO, took a seat between Steve Harvey and music legend L.A. Reid to share the Guitars Over Guns story. Steve presented Chad with a generous gift card courtesy of Sweetwater Music & Pro Audio, and at the end of the segment, Chad was honored as one of Harvey’s Heroes! This week, Chad headed back to the studio to give Steve an update on how our program has grown since his last time on the show. From last year’s 250 students to this year’s 618, we’re so excited to leave a lasting impact on deserving youth in Miami and Chicago! Major thanks to Steve Harvey for the support! Check out what Chad had to say in the video below, and stick around till the end to catch an epic live performance from our Haven Studio...
Golf for a Cause

Golf for a Cause

We had a great time raising money “fore” our music mentorship programs at our first-ever major Chicago fundraiser! The 1st Annual Jimmy Ranoha Memorial Golf Tournament took place on September 15th at Pine Meadow Golf Club. The event was the personal mission of longtime Guitars Over Guns friend Jimmy Ranoha, who was planning the tournament when he passed away suddenly last year. “He was a uniquely loving human being, with one of the biggest hearts on the planet,” said Guitars Over Guns Co-Founder Bob Bernstein. What better way to honor a dear friend than through a meaningful day of sunshine, smiles and community? Guests arrived to support the organization Jimmy loved with a day on the links followed by an evening of live music and dancing. Thanks to the generosity of our guests and sponsors, we were able to raise $65,000 in honor of Jimmy’s memory and to help grow our music mentorship programs for at-risk...
Niles North High School Visit

Niles North High School Visit

By Mentor Andre Daniels, aka. Add-2 Two different cultures from two different parts of Chicago coming together through a mutual love for one thing: creative expression. Last year I had the honor of being one of Niles North High School’s speakers during their annual Writers Week. This year they wanted to come to my environment to get more insight of my creative process and to hopefully inspire theirs. As the students walked into the basement of the community center not knowing what to expect they were pleasantly surprised to see the studio, music equipment and a projector with a Nintendo Wii on. Not your average writing environment to say the least. As both Niles North students and Haven mentees joined in a circle, we discussed our various inspirations, shared some of our art (writing, sketching and singing) but things took a dramatic but powerful turn after we had a paperball fight. I asked them to write their insecurities on a piece of paper then ball it up and we proceeded to throw them all around the room. When we joined back together we put the paper in the middle of the floor and shared our insecurities without using the paper. Then magic happened. The students all began to open up about their experiences, their fears, their struggles, their pain and things they haven’t exposed to each other. Through their honesty and vulnerability they were able to see how many of their peers were ready to catch them as if they were human safety nets. They were able to see that many of us shared the same insecurities and that...
GOGOChi’s First Music Video!

GOGOChi’s First Music Video!

By Phil Jacobson This music video project was a special experience for both students and mentors at Evergreen Academy. Being mega-Beatles fans ourselves, we definitely wanted to share with our students music that inspired us at a young age and guided us to become better musicians. After some discussion, we felt this song could do just that for them, too. The kids spent many hours after school practicing their parts, figuring out the arrangement, and working on their blend as a group. This song quickly became a band favorite and found its way as the closing number in several spring gigs. However, in addition to how great they sounded performing it, we found that the kids gravitated to the message of the song as well. This song unified them as a band. It taught them how great things can be when they learn to work with one another. It brought to light the importance of hard work, patience, and family. We tell them often that as a band, “you’re kind of like a musical family, so you need to learn how to trust each other and communicate effectively”. When the opportunity presented itself to take the kids into a recording studio to lay down a track and shoot a music video (all for the first time!), “Come Together” was the most obvious song choice. Spending time in the studio with the kids was pretty cool. They got a real glimpse into the process involved in recording a song as well as shooting a music video. They were all smiles the entire day and exhibited loads of professionalism throughout the...
Mentor Add-2 Recaps First Week at GOGO Haven Studio

Mentor Add-2 Recaps First Week at GOGO Haven Studio

The first day was incredible! There would be moments while watching the participants create together/getting along/giving each other nicknames and becoming friends where I would get chills. I started with us all in a circle introducing ourselves at random, saying what we like do, and then naming 3 favorite artists and 3 favorite albums. Afterwards I separated them in two groups and challenged them to make a song together with everyone participating. One group chose to rap over an industry instrumental and the other group chose an original production by one of the students. With 13 kids it roughly took each group an hour to record their parts with two who wanted to practice more and do theirs right away. The songs were fun, they were excited and were energetic about coming back. ~...