Niles North High School Visit

Niles North High School Visit

generic viagra Oct 18, 2016

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!

over the counter viagra Aug 8, 2016

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

Aug 3, 2016

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. ~...
GOGOChi Mentor Recaps Student’s Special Milestone

GOGOChi Mentor Recaps Student’s Special Milestone

by Andrew De Muro “Hey, Andrew, can I tell you something?” Even at 5:30 when we’re all tearing down, packing up and getting ready to head home for the evening, this hits my ears like a melody. Andrea Benitez, a highly inquisitive and musically gifted 7th grader, is someone I always have time for. Without hesitating, I nodded my head and took a seat to give her my full attention. Andrea adjusted her glasses and spoke confidently. “Well, I was in my room practicing last night…” She was already off to an excellent start. Perfect practice is one of the habits of a great musician that we’ve preached since the beginning of the year. I was hooked. “I found a bunch of the old charts we used for the Christmas concert, like ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and ‘Feliz Navidad’. And I looked at them, and I felt, well…” She had me on the edge of my seat, and I nearly fell off of it when she continued: “…a little embarrassed.” Embarrassed. Talk about a brow-scruncher. I could understand if she had felt proud, accomplished, even nostalgic—yes, I believe 7th graders are capable of feeling nostalgic. But embarrassed?! I was shocked. I had to know more. Being the perceptive and empathetic 13-year-old she is, Andrea spotted my confusion right away. She giggled, as if to cut the tension. “No!” she assured me. “It’s not like that! Seeing all those old charts just reminded me of how overwhelmed I felt when we learned those songs, and how it took me days of practice to feel confident playing them. I remembered how nervous...
Closing out the year with a bang!

Closing out the year with a bang!

The end of 2014 was an exciting time for Guitars Over Guns! November and December were packed with performances. We spent three days performing at the Miami International Book Fair. Our students had a blast visiting booths, painting faces, and learning about all kinds of cool stuff! Most importantly, we saw some of our students break out of their shells for the first time on stage. A week later, two of our alumni performed at the Life Time Turkey Trot 5K and 10K races in Tropical Park. Rody and Santa win the award for earliest performance of the day – they played at 8 a.m.! December brought about a very exciting opportunity for us to join forces with The Motivational Edge (ME) and team up with KIND Healthy Snacks for their #ichooseart campaign, an initiative to shine a light on the importance of music and the arts in the lives of youth. GOGO spent weeks rehearsing with ME to put on a variety of pop-up street performances, an art gallery, and a kickoff event at Brickhouse. Despite getting nearly rained out at the event, our kids persevered and showed the adults a thing or two about staying positive through adverse conditions. We closed out the year with an amazing school concert at each of our three schools in Chicago and Miami, and a performance for the Orange Bowl Committee at the Trump International Hotel in Miami. What a way to bring in the...