Hanging on the wall at the YMCA’s Studio Clubhouse is a letter imploring members to “Become famous, write songs, produce beats and sing, sing, SING.”
The letter was written by 14-year-old Tanya who was a regular at the Clubhouse until she moved to Texas for family reasons. Tanya, who has since returned home to Massachusetts, said she was devastated at the thought of leaving the Clubhouse.
“I was extremely attached to the music studio,” she said. “It really opened up a part of me I didn’t know existed before.”
“I began learning [music software] programs on the computer, Pro Tools and Reason,” she said.
That allowed her to write and produce her first song, “Little Sallie.” It also, in a sense, set her free.
The Clubhouse Director said that once she wrote that first song, Tanya got serious, creating other original songs and beats.
Then came the news that she would have to leave, and emotions ran high for everyone leading up to Tanya’s departure. She had become a force at the Clubhouse, and the letter she left behind urged her friends to carry on without her.
“Make the song the way you want it to be, sing it the way you like, and play it the way you feel comfortable with,” she wrote. “That’s what the Studio Clubhouse is for.”
Tanya said she began to adjust to life in Texas, but still missed the Clubhouse. Then word came from her sister – there was a plane ticket back to Massachusetts and a home with her aunt if she wanted it.
Tanya said when she came back into the studio, the YMCA’s Assistant Executive Director’s jaw dropped.
“I pretty much got that reaction from everyone,” she said smiling.
“If I wasn’t here, I don’t think I would have become a songwriter, honestly,” she said. “Music itself is a language. There is always something around the corner to discover and it’s amazing.”