Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer John Forte is giving back to the community and children through music education. Over the past few weeks, John partnered with a New York based charity Music Unites on two major initiatives - a visit to the Music Unites Youth Choir and Brooklyn's International Art and Business School, where he educated students on his version of life, lessons learned and the pursuit of happiness through music. He complimented each discussion with a performance featuring songs from his newest album StyleFree, his first album in eight years.
Forte's overarching message for both student audiences: music is an important educational tool and a powerful vehicle for self-expression. During his seven year sentence in prison, Forte rediscovered and embraced music by learning how to play the guitar. Forte believes that music is magic, and for him it's always been the most effective way to communicate and tell his story. The students' sincere engagement and enthusiasm during both visits seemed to prove him right.
During both visits, Forte pulled from personal experiences to relate to the students and create unique dialogues mixed with music and conversation. Forte provided insights to the students going through daily hardships urging them to be mindful of the people they surround themselves with and to be aware of the consequences of their actions. He also encouraged each and every student to open their minds to new genres of music telling them, "Music is ours no matter what the genre is - good music is good music," he said.
For his visit to the Music Unites Youth Choir, Forte performed and conversed with the 50 high school students from the five boroughs facilitated through a partnership with Young Audiences New York. The choir was hand-picked through an audition process and is proving successful in providing the members a creative after-school environment that fosters learning, self-expression and collaboration. Music Unites Youth Choir gives young people an opportunity to discover and build on their own musical strengths and talents through instruction and support from professionals in the field of music with the hopes of inspiring the next generation of artists.
The Music Unites Youth Choir has been rehearsing over the last several weeks for their Carnegie Hall debut tribute concert for The Who on March 2.