The Story Behind The Music
It was May 2020. 11 year old Noah had been in pandemic lockdown for 2.5 months already. He was missing his friends. He was missing school. He was shaken up by the pandemonium the world was in. He had become withdrawn, isolated and depressed.
His mother Shannon couldn’t get him to talk much. Weeks passed. She became worried. That’s when Shannon called me. She wondered if Zoom voice and songwriting lessons might give Noah a much needed creative outlet and distraction. Noah was against the idea at first as he was already spending a lot of time on Zoom for school but I made sure to make our time together not feel like work.
We explored some of his favorite songs and I shared some of mine as well to break the ice, but mostly what we did those first few sessions was talk. It started out slow but in time I seemed to gain Noah’s trust and he started opening up to me. He started talking about his thoughts about the pandemic, the state of the world hardships, his views and feelings, and what is most important to him.
We discussed how time goes by quickly, whether or not you’re having fun and that it’s up to us to make the most of our lives despite circumstances we can’t control. We talked about how life is in the hands of the people themselves because we can choose what we focus our attention on.
We started writing some of these things down together and began to see we had the makings of a song. I asked Noah to pick a phrase out of what we wrote down and think up a melody to sing it to. He did, and it was fantastic! That was the beginning. I added guitar chords to what he was singing. Before we knew it, we had a great song. It’s called ‘You.’ The first line is ‘We don’t have much time so I’m gonna spend it with you- you you- you you – you you!’
Writing this song with Noah checked two boxes at the same time. First and foremost, the writing process lifted Noah’s spirits profoundly. Second, it was a fantastic creative exercise that yielded an incredible song.
The next step was recording. Noah and his Mom came to the studio in San Anselmo, and he sang the song to some instrumental parts Danny Uzilevsky layed down. It was uplifting and thrilled for all of us. We all wore masks and socially distanced but we still felt a sense of togetherness and joy and that was truly healing.
The song is now recorded and fully produced for anyone who wants to listen! It sounds like a Disney hit to me!