LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many kids dream of growing up to be a rock star. One Las Vegas native made that dream come true and is helping kids in the valley discover a path to musical success.
Brendon Urie, lead singer of Panic at the Disco, is looking to lift up the next generation of artists by helping launch Notes for Notes, a music studio within a Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club.
“It’s this hidden gem, but that’s what we’re really hoping to do is expose the opportunity to more kids. We can really spark that interest,” President and CEO Andy Bischel said.
The kids at the club can try a different array of things to find their passion, from drum exercises, to freestyle rap, to music production.
“It feels real exciting. I know these are people here who love to do songwriting and who love to perform just as much as I do,” songwriter Raquel Anne said.
Guitarist Kai Fukuoka told 8 News Now that the number of things to do can be overwhelming at times.
“It’s overwhelming honestly cause there will be times when I come in to write something and I don’t know where to start cause there’s simply so much I could do,” Fukuoka said.
Beyond a rock star, and state-of-the-art studio, the most important aspect is the trained musical educator that is on hand to consistently work with the kids.
“The best part is when you see a kid’s eyes light up and it clicks. This is what I want to do, this is who I am and this is what I’m going to work on and develop and become,” Studio director and educator Rob Lacy said.
Anne said having a music education and someone there to teach can help cut the process in half.
“I definitely want to continue pushing myself to become a better musician but while I’m here I think it’s important to pick up on the studio and production aspects of music,” Fukuoka said.
The studio also makes sure to highlight the business side of the music industry.
“We take kids that are already talented like this and then put them with the business of music education so they know how to publish their songs. They know how to market it, they know how to brand themselves,” Lacy said.
“I love to write songs, I love to perform, I love to sing and so being in that business would be my ultimate wish,” Anne said. “Music to me is a way to express myself.”
Students in music programs also test higher and improve in reading and math, and graduate with greater numbers. However, to most notable effect is the emotional growth the students go through.
“It’s been great for emotional wellness and a lot of therapy because songwriting itself is just expression. They get to pour out their hearts,” Lacy said.
“Look you can do this, just try. Don’t worry about failure, just try and I think that’s the real key,” Bischel said.