Hear inspiring stories from students whose lives were transformed by RYTMO's programs and support.

“It was a blessing to see someone reaching out to youth! I run into many artists young and old who just want a chance to be heard! Thank you for your Labor of love! Well, if I was in the O.C. I would use some of your services and programs! 🙂 Sounds like you have a good thing going! May the Lord bless you richly! 

It was a gift from our Lord to discover RYTMO last Saturday. You’re engaged in tangible, awesome work of hope! Blessings”

“I was a student back in 2004 briefly but my parents did not approve of my music at the time so I left abruptly. I don’t know if you remember me. Anyway, I kept at it and am working on my first album check out some of my demos:* *xxxxxxxx due to limited resources it is pretty lo-fi but the song ideas are there, hopefully, you enjoy thanks for the opportunity and exposure that your program granted me!”

“I found RYTMO through XX, where I was staying. I learned that it takes a while to make an album and it takes money to be good in the industry. I also learned to meet new friends by working onexercises in the class. I will miss being a part of RYTMO! The staff always wanted “excellence” and so I tried to shoot above what I expected of myself. It made me feel good trying to do my best. The staff was always helping me, and it made me feel good about myself. 

Before I came to RYTMO I was not sure what I wanted to do but I was ready to give music a try. I knew that I always wanted to do something with music but did not have an opportunity to do it until I came to RYTMO. At RYTMO, I had the opportunity to learn many things about a music recording studio and music technology. I also learned some songwriting techniques and wrote 4 songs. Today we recorded some basic music tracks to those songs and later hope to make full-scale recordings of those songs. If these songs turn out well, I plan on writing an additional 8 songs to make a full album.”

“At RYTMO I have learned many different things about the music industry and life. I learned to interpret contracts which help because if I ever end up signing one, I shall know what it says. I also learned that promotion is a good part of becoming a music artist. My advice to other RYTMO students would be to listen during class!”

“As a student in RYTMO, I’ve learned a lot about the music industry. RYTMO has shown us opportunities and knowledge of the industry. They’ve shown us how to utilize our skills and find our potential. Personally, I was offered employment by RYTMO. I did maintenance, photo editing, and graphic design. I thank RYTMO for the employment because it gave me work experience, given
that it was my first employment. RYTMO is the ideal program for any youth who believes they have the skills and discipline to advance in the music industry.”

“I first heard about Rytmo through my mother who had just picked up a flyer from an event at a local church. The flyer promised to show students and inspired youth the Music Industry and what it has to offer. I went to the first class “Orientation” with a pen and pad. From the moment I heard our teacher and soon to be mentor speak about the program I was not only hooked but I wanted to jump on a computer that very moment and start working on fresh material. First, I had to learn the basics though. Where music originated from and step by step how a hit song is developed. I thank Rytmo for being there for our youth. For letting me believe in my dream. I do believe that thanks to Rytmo, It has motivated me to set goals for myself and see the outcome of my goals through a Song, Melody, Hook and
Verse. Thank you Rytmo.”

“My time with Rytmo has been an amazing experience. By being in this program, I’ve learned so much from music theory to music history. The class has taught me how to be a patient, creative, and more reasonable person. My goal is to be an artist/producer, with the values of the program, it has helped me become more dedicated to my music and has influenced me to strive to be a great producer. Overall, I feel I have progressed rapidly. Before I came, I was already musically inclined, but with their additional lessons,
I learned note notations, how to count beats, knowing what a motif is, and techniques to writing songs.”

As far as the music business, Rytmo has shown me the good n bad side of the industry. I learned the importance of protecting my material, because any idea from a person can be stolen if it’s not copyright. I was taught how to
plan for myself as an artist. In how I should promote myself, what kind of audience should my music cater to, many ways that can help me progress and succeed. Currently, my understanding of the music industry is good. I have copyrighted many of my beats and have leased them to artists. My network has been growing. I had the chance of meeting big names in the music industry from: Akon, Lil Wayne, T-pain, lil Mama, Lloyd, Chris brown, Roscoe Umali, Teddy Riley n etc. And only growing.”

“In all honesty, RYTMO really didn’t teach me anything….except how to appreciate rhythm, melody, harmony, and how to mold these same elements to mirror any kind of emotion and feeling such as love and laughter! I feel a debt of gratitude is owed from now until forever, or at least ‘til my ears fall off! I simply LOVE the staff and faculty I’ve been so blessed to learn from and vibe with this seemingly short period of time. The change instilled in my life, I feel, is better improving and hopeful. I was taught that life by itself is a constant learning process, and though I’ve learned much from the RYTMO classroom it feels more like recess in the playground! I’m proud of myself and all peers of the program, also proud I am being given the company of such beautiful people and I would continue living this
experience forever more if granted permission to. The anticipation of the future I cherish like my next breath, and I PROMISE to let such attitude drive me through all endeavors I tackle this lifetime. I thank RYTMO and
all related entities/people for letting my true rhythm come from where it’s supposed to…from the heart!”

“Besides the knowledge that they [RYTMO Staff] all shared with us about their musical experiences, RYTMO taught us, the “Monstars” [musical group, production company & record label started by Aaron, his brother Alex, and cousin Eric, all RYTMO students], a business side of the music industry, without it we wouldn’t own Monstar Productions legally, as our own publishing Company. Another great aspect that I enjoyed the most was the work-related experiences when we got a sneak peek at what it takes to run a
show providing sound and entertainment.”

“THANKS to RYTMO as well as everyone who volunteers, not only did we become Extra-Professional, but we were taught to move up little by little ‘til we reach the top without forgetting our ROOTS…”

“RYTMO helped me in so many ways; I don’t know where to begin. All the staff helped me and taught me something new. They help me accomplish many of my goals. RYTMO is the only program that I stayed dedicated to because I enjoy it and it’s worth it. It helped me learn how to be more professional and more aware of how the music industry is like. If it wasn’t for RYTMO, The Monstars [A performing group, Production Company & record label with his cousins, Alex & Aaron, also RYTMO graduates] probably wouldn’t have a studio, wouldn’t have the name copyrighted. I thank RYTMO for introducing us to ProTools and Reason [music software] Thank you RYTMO for everything, all your support.”

“Before I ever came to RYTMO, making music was just a hobby, and now that I have learned the technical and business sides, it has become an occupation. I have been inspired to start my own studio and do engineering. With the help of the staff, it has been an unforgettable experience. This has become the fundamentals to my future career.” 

Richard’s Story

Richard is a former foster youth with an attitude. He was emancipated from the foster care system at 18, and for the next three years tried his hand at a variety of productive jobs and activities with no success. Richard just wasn’t cut out for anything that he tried. His frustration mounted and his behavior became worse and worse. It was a negative cycle. He would become frustrated with, yet another failure and he would act out. This would then result in his being prohibited or restricted from wherever he was when his bad behavior escalated. He would become even more frustrated, and the cycle would begin again. Richard came to believe that life was not fair and that people were bad. Little by little he burned bridges that he could ill afford to lose, and relationships with people who could help him were soured by his negative attitude and angry outbursts. When he was in high school Richard became involved in the party scene.
“Raving” became his passion and continued with greater frequency as the freedom of emancipation set in. This is all Richard wanted to do or talk about, and he just didn’t understand why everyone else was so disinterested and even hostile at times. He could not understand why his conversation was inappropriate for most environments and would become irate when asked to stop. As we all know, drugs are an integral part of the raving scene, and Richard did his share. He knew that this was not really a healthy choice but thought that it was just part of the “scene” and if he wanted to rave, he had to do drugs. He periodically vowed to stop using drugs (and really meant it each time) but would just fall back into it after a while. This also ate at him and added to his frustration. Gradually, Richard migrated from being just a rave participant to a more active role in the organizing, advertising, and production of these events. He became more and more consumed with these activities but was still very frustrated with why no one else wanted to hear about it and continued with his angry outbursts. XX Foundation (XXF) has been part of Richard’s life for a long time. He has been accessing the programs and services offered by XXF since before his emancipation. He visited the XX Resource Center (XXRC) often after being emancipated and made use of all the resources available to him. XXF staff worked with Richard on numerous occasions to help him find his path, but nothing ever seemed to work for him. XXF staff became frustrated, too, and began to share ideas with each other to find ways to help him. One idea shared was RYTMO because of Richard’s consuming interest in the music field. The more XXF staff discussed RYTMO, the more they became convinced that this was an excellent choice for Richard. RYTMO was contacted for more information, and XXF became even more convinced that Richard would be happy here. The next time Richard visited the XX Resource Center, a staff member discussed RYTMO with him. He immediately became interested and indicated that he would like to be referred. The staff member helped him fill out the application and return it to RYTMO. He then interviewed with RYTMO and was accepted into the next cycle. Everyone, including Richard, held their breath!

A week or so into his RYTMO program, Richard called the XXRC just to say “thank you” for referring him. Wow! This amazed everyone! Richard was thanking someone for something, and he did it on his own! Amazing. Richard went on to say how much he was loving the program and shared what he was doing there. Every week or so Richard would call or come in just to let XXRC staff know how excited and happy he was to be finally learning and doing something he was so interested in. He excitedly shared what his future plans included now – taking all the courses offered by RYTMO and then applying for and attending a trade school in L.A. geared to the music industry that he had learned of through RYTMO. XXRC staff were amazed at the fantastic improvement in Richard’s behavior and outlook on life. What a difference! At the end of the first session, Richard proudly brought in his certificate to show the XXRC staff. He was beaming and very happy. He had finally achieved something of value, and couldn’t find enough ways to say, “Thank you”. XXF staff, in turn, say a big “thank you” to RYTMO for helping to turn this young man around and helping him to find his path. “If you wanna learn anything about music, come to RYTMO. There’s a lot of love in that place.” The program is really beneficial and allows you to take your career (whatever occupation) to the next level.” “RYTMO takes your talents and passion to the next level.” “RYTMO gives to young people who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources, see success through music. It’s a life-changing, self-esteem-building organization.”
“RYTMO gives them so much more that they can’t get it anywhere else. It gives them a second chance. It doesn’t dismiss kids but pours love into them.”
“RYTMO is dedicated to assisting foster, homeless, and troubled youth in pursuing their dreams in the music industry.”

Here’s what Arin Canbolat, Assistant Dean at the Berklee School of Music said about the program:

“I have known RYTMO since I began working at Berklee in 2012. When I started, RYTMO had a reputation as a powerhouse program, and it continues to be. It is one of the programs that other Network members go to for help and guidance, and they continually have students of high caliber, teaching them not just music literacy but music technology and the music business. Having visited their classes multiple times, I am always inspired by the work they do and seeing their students on campus at Berklee.”

Thoughts from The Experience Music Foundation:

“The undeniable truth is not everyone is going to be a rock star. Therefore, we seek to support programs that provide alternative options for pursuing music careers. After a lot of research, RYTMO was the only program that we found solely dedicated to music-career development. It is not only a fantastic program because of the quality of its curriculum, but also because they help youth find purpose, passion, and direction. *With strategic partnerships and adequate funding, this is a program that would benefit every city in America.”