You plug in your keyboard and set up next to the guitarists and the drummer. You run through the latest song that you and your classmates have been rehearsing for the past week – Brave by Josh Groban. Then, your Music Will teacher uncharacteristically asks you all to come down off the stage and sit in the auditorium seats.
Then, before you can ask what is going on, a special visitor walks through the door…
Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Josh Groban pops his head into the nearly empty auditorium, but the students’ gleeful eruption makes it sound like a packed house!
Groban, whose Find Your Light Foundation recently made a donation to Music Will as part of its mission to enrich the lives of young people through arts, education, and cultural awareness, sat down with the 4th – 8th grade budding musicians and talked music for nearly a half hour. They asked him questions like, “When did you start playing music?” and, “Do you ever think about wanting to play in a band, or do you like being a solo artist?”
The young composers asked questions that were relevant to their songwriting education as well, like, “When you write a song, do you start with the lyrics, or the music?” and, “What was the inspiration behind your song, Brave?”
Josh told the students about his passion for percussion, and his proficiency on the piano. One student seized the opportunity to give Groban a lesson on the keyboard, utilizing Music Will’s innovative, color-coded Jam Cards. Groban was impressed, and really got into the jam session. The expression on the student’s face says it all.
Then, the whole band of about 25 kids assembled on the stage, plugging in their electric guitars and basses, getting behind their keyboards and drum sets, checking their microphones and making sure their acoustic guitars were in tune. Groban took a seat in the front row and watched as the kids played the opening notes to his song, Brave.
“It sounds just like the record!” he exclaimed. He was equally impressed with the drumming and the guitar solo. What really floored him, though, was the fact that this was only the third time the kids had rehearsed that song.
“Wow! Thank you so much for this amazing gift,” he said to the kids after giving them a standing ovation. “Now, I have a gift for you that I’d like to bring in.”
Groban wheeled in two carts stacked high with brand new acoustic and electric guitars, and keyboards to augment the school’s already rockin’ Modern Band program. The kids cheered and ripped open the boxes as if it were Christmas morning.
After taking photos with the kids and signing just about every scrap of paper and article of clothing in the room, he left the Music Will students of PS 34 with these parting words: “You guys need to keep making sweet, sweet music together.”
You can be sure that they will.