The John Lennon Education Tour Bus in Boston

Earlier this fall, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus made a stop in Boston to work with City Music students. In a single day, the students found the chemistry to write and record an original song, plan the project from start to finish, and conclude with a video shoot. Below is the final production of their original song and City Music College Scholar Yanina Johnson’s reflection of the experience in her own words. Yanina explains how her time on the bus helped her find the confidence to write a song, how to lean on the support offered by her peers, and to trust in her own voice.

When we first walked on to the bus we were in shock. We sat down and were greeted by the wonderful staff. We introduced ourselves by saying our names and spiritual animals (mine was a sloth). The staff only included three guys who did the recording, the music video, and engineering. They were supportive and willing to work with us through everything. They were excited and enthusiastic about any style of music we wanted to play.

I never imagined myself writing music. I never had the confidence to write how I feel and share a part of myself with other people. Coming on this bus, I didn’t expect to be needed as much as I was. It felt good knowing that people were depending on me to write lyrics and sing. It was a new type of feeling and pressure that I have never faced before. I felt challenged but I was not alone. Everyone on the bus had my back. It was a beautiful feeling to share and write music with other talented musicians.

I remember being in the booth, I thought I sounded terrible with every note I sang. Each time they would convince me that it was a good take, helping me every step of the way. The energy was always high, never turned down. I could tell that they had a passion for music and I felt privileged to have the opportunity to work with everyone one the bus.

I loved how every moment was enjoyable. We got work done while having fun at the same time, which can sometimes be really hard to do. I feel that sometimes people get caught up in this idea of being the best at what they do, like having the best runs and tone, or the best chops on drums. Somewhere along the line, they lose themselves and forget what music is all about. We had the chance to do what we love without having to sound perfect. Just showing our love for music was enough to make a killing song. I am happy that it was a judgment free zone. I felt comfortable to write and sing freely. Lastly I enjoyed myself on the bus, thank you so much for the opportunity!

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Get to know Houston Kendrick from BCMN site Audiostate 55

What was your inspiration for writing “Mine?”
Clinton Green and I wrote this song after just sitting down and talking about life.
How did you come up with the concept for writing “Mine?”
We concluded that we should write a song about young men having the confidence or wishing they had the confidence to purse their first crush.
What were some of the most memorable aspects of recording your single?
My most memorable aspect of the video was the day the video was shot. We arrived at Audiostate 55 at 6 am, met the dancers and they were really cool guys. We then started rehearsing the moves. At that point, I said to myself: this is happening.
Do you have a band that you worked with on the single, and if so, what was it like to work with them?
I did not have a band. But I imagine that if I get a chance to perform “Mine” with a band, I would have as much fun as I had with Clint, James, Danny, and Dr. Panion in the studio.
How did Audiostate 55 Entertainment Company help/inspire you throughout the process?
Well Audiostate did not inspire me as much as Dr. Panion did. Dr. Panion confirmed that I CAN SING.  Dr. Panion and the Video Director Brandon Mason came up with the storyline for the video.
What advice can you share with other students who are interested in releasing a single?
Find your Dr. Henry Panion!  Birmingham has a great musical community. I would recommend to any young person to find a successful musician and ask them to listen to you. Once you have been heard, listen to their feedback and follow their advice.

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