Feb 19, 2011
San Leandro/Oakland, CA
Kids are beautiful. What a blessing to be able to present two short programs for the awesome kids at Seneca School. We just played a little, talked a little, and laughed a lot!
Teacher Brian of the Seneca school was at PANTHELION's January show at the Firehouse Theatre in Pleasanton. That Pleasanton performance sparked an idea in Brian's mind that the good kids at the Seneca school need something a little extra special in their curriculum. After a few days of phone tag Brian and I finally got a chance to talk over the phone while we were on our way down to LA. Brian pitched his idea to me to have PANTHELION come out to the Seneca school and present a short program for his kids there. The Seneca school kids had been studying hard all about Black History Month and Brian who is also a guitarist knew the kids would love to see some live music that pays respects to the musical forefathers they had been learning all about.
It was so awesome to see the kids’ reactions to the music. During the music we were like, is this cool? Are we doing ok? Tough crowd… But after the little shows the excitement was perfectly intoxicating. Most of the kids were quite literally too kool for skool, but there were those who were like “Yo, I rap, I produce, I play clarinet, saxophone, bass, drums & piano.” And we were like ummmm, WHAT? That’s AWESOME!!
But on the super ooper real tip, there were like several whole closets of music stuff and even a v-kit (which is a pretty nice electronic drum set) just lying around. I asked one of the teachers if they had any music program, and needless to say the answer included some low murmuring about the lack of and need for and what not. Which, I totally do understand and I DO wholeheartedly believe that schoolteachers are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. Seneca is no exceptions. All the teachers and administrators we met had LOVE smeared all over their faces and in some cases even in their hair for these kids. The staff's dedication and pure love for these kids was really inspiring. Point being, its not so much a lack of equipment or tools it’s a lack of time and love and personal outreach from the community. The arts saved me and most artists I know feel the same way. Lets help those who need it most, those kids who won't get it, and if at all, most likely get it too late.
I encourage all the artists to go to the schools and give a little of your time. Find a community you resonate with and share yourself. Its a little scary at times, but I guarantee you will come out with more than you went in.
If any “at risk” CA school districts would like to have PANTHELION present a short program at their school, please don’t hesitate to call, that’s all Brian did, and we are grateful he did :)