Notes for Notes (notesfornotes.org), a local nonprofit music education organization, is opening another set of studio doors-and expanding opportunities in music production for Santa Barbara youths-with a new facility scheduled to open at the downtown Boys and Girls Club in early October.
The Music Box’s drop-in recording studio first opened at the Twelve35 Teen Center (1235 Chapala St.) in March 2007 through a partnership with Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department. The second location at the Boys and Girls Club will make the Music Box available to a broader age range, as well as provide a larger space, which will be able to accommodate roughly three times the musicians the current location can hold. The project is made possible largely by support from the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation’s Education Outreach Program and the Santa Barbara Boys and Girls Club.
There is plenty of creative talent bottled up inside the youths of Santa Barbara, but many don’t have the means to get involved in music making. That’s where Notes for Notes comes in-providing a positive and productive place for teens to spend their afternoons. “Three hours in the center is three hours that they aren’t out getting into trouble,” said Philip Gilley, the organization’s cofounder and executive director. “And the bottom line is that they are cranking out a lot of great music from the Music Box.”
As mentors in the Big Brother program, guitarists Gilley and Daniel DeAngelis realized the power music had to connect them with their Little Brothers. Without access to a drum set of their own, Gilley and his Little Brother found themselves practicing on the demo set in a music shop. This sparked the idea for the duo to establish a place where kids would be able to experiment with musical equipment.
The pair then founded the music mentorship program Notes for Notes, which led to the opening of the Music Box, a friendly environment that hosts music production and collaborations between celebrities and youths. But the programs offered at the Music Box emanate further than the four walls of the recording studio. The Music Box builds relationships through music so that kids can walk off the street and into the recording studio. “Since opening the first Music Box at 1235, we’ve had a steady stream of kids come in off the street,” explained Gilley. “And [they] literally just jump into writing, performing, and recording their own songs.”