As you can see throughout the years, a ton of school programs are cut do to budget constraints and that includes the arts like music. We need music. As a society we need this art form to continue to move us forward. Music, like the other arts, is a talent, but that talent needs to be cultivated and nurtured. And without education and knowledge passed on from other artists, we lose those gifts. The Live It OutLoud program, along with the Ted Brown Music Outreach, has been providing opportunities for kids to learn first hand how bands and musicians work.
Thankfully, we had an opportunity to chat with the Program Director of Live It OutLoud, Jessica Lynne, about the organization, her involvement and how we, the community, can get involved. Check it out!
Lemonade Magazine: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us about your organization! Could you tell us a little bit about your role in the Live It OutLoud program?
Jessica Lynne: My pleasure, Aaron. I am the Program Director for the Live It OutLoud Program. It is an 8-week summer rock music camp for 12-18-year olds where they get to be in a band, perform on big stages and record in a professional recording studio.
I started out as a mentor. The program has always involved professional and experienced musicians to guide the kids through the program and help them learn what it’s like to be in a band. That’s how I got involved. When I was given the opportunity to take on the role as Director I immediately saw that my years of experience as a full-time artist in the music industry and as a Nashville recording artist combined with my years in project management would be of great value to this program and to Ted Brown Music Outreach.
LM: Why did you become involved in this program? What makes it special?
JL: From the beginning, I saw the value that the Live It OutLoud program brings to the kids involved. They not only get to know what it’s like to be in a band, play on big stages and record in a professional studio, but it also gives them a community of like-minded youths and many of the participants walk away with a tremendous boost in confidence and social skills. I kept imagining what it would have been like for me if I had had this kind of program available to me as a child. It would have been life changing. This is why I want to ensure that this program continues to provide popular music education for children.
LM: I couldn’t agree more! Music education is such an important part of our history and society. How would you describe the goals of the program and how do are you able to achieve these goals?
JL: It’s the goal of the program to provide an alternative to the traditional music programs offered at schools (or in some cases, in place of). In this case, we want to provide kids with the opportunity to try what it’s like to be a professional musician in a band. We work with them on everything from stage presence to songwriting to speaking up and talking things out with their band. It’s our goal that they will all have a chance to figure out how they want music to be a part of their lives.
LM: The Live It OutLoud program is generally a summer program. What kind of activities do you offer during the ‘off season’?
JL: We are working on building our off season program. Right now everyone involved with the Live It OutLoud program is invited to join us for our
monthly all ages jam at Jazzbones. This provides the participants with a safe place to keep up their chops and network with the other participants throughout the year. They are also invited to share this with their friends and family. We have an amazing host band and on February 21, 2018, Ben Smith (drummer from Heart) will be attending as a special guest.
LM: That is so cool! How can we get involved?
JL: We are always looking for participants and volunteers. If you know of a musically-inclined youth in the South Sound area, please recommend this program to them. We are a registered non-profit, so if you know someone who wants to volunteer with the program please direct them to liveitoutloud.net.
LM: What and how can we donate to the cause?
JL: In efforts to keep the tuition fees down, we rely on fundraising, grants and individual donations. There are many ways to contribute. You can sponsor a child through the program who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. You can volunteer as a mentor or a teacher or help out at one of our many events. Please visit liveitoutloud.net for more details.
LM: What can we expect from the Live It Out Loud in the upcoming year?
JL: As always we have a packed program for the kids. They get to play at Jazzbones in Tacoma during the wildly popular Art On The Ave. They play at Louie G’s in Fife and at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma. Finally, they get to record at the legendary London Bridge Studios in Shoreline.
Please consider taking the time to go to the Live It OutLoud website and see what you can do to help keep music alive and growing!