John Bassett Moore Intermediate School music students got an inside look of what a career in music could be like May 14 thanks to a performance followed by a discussion with a local pop/cover band – the Ashley Mitchell Band.
Associate Principal Debbie Judy had the idea for the event so students could be educated about music and how it could lead to a future career. Judy knows the drummer – Jarvis Barnes – and suggested it to him; the group has visited with students at both JBM and Clayton Intermediate School.
Judy said not all students will have an experience of hearing music live. She said talking with students isn't something the band usually does but thought it'd be cool for the musicians to talk with the students.
"Not everyone has the same interests in life. Music and the arts make life more fun and exciting," Judy said.
Moreover, Judy said students that have an interest in music and the arts tend to do better in the core areas taught in school.
The Ashley Mitchell Band, which has members hailing from Delaware and Maryland, started the event playing popular songs from artists such as Rihanna, Usher, and the Jackson 5. Then each of the four members – Jarvis Barnes (drummer), Ashley Mitchell (singer), Donny Marvel (guitar), and Shawn Simon (bass) – gave a little background on themselves, which included studying music after high school.
While talking about their journeys, it was evident each member thoroughly loved what they do.
Simon said he's enjoyed every moment he's had playing and making music; he hopes to do it as long as he possibly can. For Barnes, playing music is an escape
Students were even given the opportunity to ask the band questions. Some asked for tips for remembering notes on the guitar. Marvel suggested taking guitar lessons so a player doesn't get into bad habits.
"The more you play, the more you learn," Marvel said.
When asked about participating in talent shows, the band suggested trying out for as many as the students can. The group was even asked if they had thought about trying out for "America's Got Talent," and Mitchell said they've actually tried out for the latest season but have yet to hear back.
"The moral of the story is to keep at it after high school," Mitchell said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.