Thanks to a generous grant from the City of L.A.'s Department of Cultural Affairs, we have been providing 10 youth ages 9-16 from our DTLA neighborhood with fun guitar classes. During just 10 sessions, these kids have learned about the different parts of the guitar, how to tune their instruments, playing chords and notes, plus performing and singing two different songs.
Our teaching artist Raoul Hernandez is a professional guitarist who has performed numerous times with "Mariachi USA" at the Hollywood Bowl. He performs regularly at many public and private events, and his students adore him!
Raoul shared, "It's a creative outlet for these children. Some of them have never had that. It gives them a sense of self-worth and esteem. It's a beautiful program and I hope it continues. A lot of the kids are now excited about music. When I hear them chatting amongst themselves, they talk about music and how to play the chords and sit properly. It's a big change and they have a great attitude!" For the culmination, they simply came across the street to Create Now's recording studio to record their song.
Juan, age 11 liked that he could play any kind of music. He loved "La Bamba." Juan observed, "They treated us nice." Kristen, age 12, said, "We had to play the guitar fast, and I liked singing."
Another 11-year-old Juan stated, "The teacher was nice and we learned that no matter how tough it seems, to never give up." David, age 11, said, "We have a privilege to play guitars and the teacher is nice."
The Education Coordinator at the Hope Street Family Center, Gina Avila, remarked, "It's great any time our kids are exposed to something new, especially a skill that furthers them both educationally and recreationally. It's also great they have these relationships with instructors like Raoul who are positive influences in society, who can teach our students a new skill."
Amy, age 16, remarked, "Our teacher always told us to continue and never stop even if it's hard. Now we feel like we can do it, so we keep playing."
Our recording engineer Arthur feels it's wonderful to see young people learning how to play guitars and sing.
Raoul added, "These kids blew my mind from day one. It's not easy, but they continued and didn't stop or give up."
As always, Create Now showered the youth with gifts, such as colorful backpacks, sunglasses, flowered headbands and cool bracelets, along with unique Certificates of Completion, so they have lasting souvenirs of their experience.