The problem here is that without the knowledge of how to play an instrument, or the instrument to play on for that matter, a gig is of no use. Their passion for this band that they have named "The Creation" (the initials are TC, like the Teen Center) extends into their daily life. One kid even tried to sell his old guitar so he could buy a bass even though if he could he’d play both. Another kid was writing lyrics during detention. Others have been branching out to help me find people to come in and assist in lessons.
I’m currently the only one working with these kids on the band so when I arrive at the Teen Center they go crazy and run into the room that has a basic drum set, two keyboards and a pair of microphones. We do workshops on Mondays, lyric and songwriting on Thursdays and rehearsing on Fridays. Two boys have guitars and one has a bass. However, these are not the only teens interested in the band and bringing their equipment around is difficult for them to do during the day. If only we had amps, an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, a good drum set and a better PA system, we could really focus on what we need to do.
I realize $500 will not cover all of those items, but I also need folders (for their notes, lyrics, music, lessons and the agendas I type), ink and paper for printing, blank CD’s (to burn them music I’d like them to listen to for ideas on days I’m not there), a digital camera (so I can document the work and progress for when applying for future grants), blank sheet music and tablature, and books to help them learn about music and PR (for the kids interested in merchandising). [b]So far we’ve made three goals of what they’d like to accomplish before I go home for the summer: Write 5 songs, Play a show, master solos for each instrument.
Even without adequate equipment these teens have learned lessons only experiences like this can bring.
They are breaking down the Jr. High/High School stereotypes by working together as a team even though at school individuals in the band would be labeled anywhere from “cool kid” to “emo kid.”
I hope you can share my excitement and dedication to this project and help the kids of The Creation actually create a band and teach them lessons about writing, music, teamwork and leadership that will last much longer than the average enjoyment of beating a song on Guitar Hero or winning a game of pool.