“It’s any musician’s job to look for the good in everything, so that you can turn that into a song that lives outside of you, and could perhaps even outlive us. That’s what great music can do.”
Jason Mraz is no stranger to great music. So many of his songs have become hits–from his classic ukulele love song “I’m Yours” to his duet “Lucky” with Colbie Caillat, his music has reached millions.
We were excited to partner with Jason to help share his love of music to a group that really needed it– New York-based music students who had been quarantined at home for months. He virtually joined a group of vocalists from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Vocal Studio to perform some songs for them, and listen to a few students as they shared their own passion for singing. Their performances really moved Jason, even giving him “chills” at one point.
“You all know you have this secret talent that when you pull it out, when you perform it, people around you go, ‘Wow.’ They lean in and they listen and they acknowledge you, and it’s a superpower, the superpower of capturing people’s attention. So now it’s your responsibility for the rest of your journey to polish that light and figure out how to best let that light shine so that it continues to inspire others, and serve the world through that enormous talent.”
It’s been a particularly tough few months for music education in the United States and around the world as many schools have moved to remote learning due to the coronavirus. According to students who joined a Facebook Live panel with the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition, many young learners have found new challenges when faced with virtual learning. Many are struggling with how difficult it’s been to practice music with a group via video and complete their assignments with looser deadlines. Two out of the five students interviewed said they only meet with their music instructors once a week, and some don’t meet with them one-on-one at all. The safe haven that music class used to be is essentially gone, and it’s still uncertain when school will be “back to normal.”
Working with Jason gave us an opportunity to connect these students with a truly inspirational musician during a volatile time. Luckily, he had words of encouragement to share with the group: look for the good, his all-encompassing world philosophy. He reminded the students to search for something positive in dark and challenging times. “Keep being a dreamer, keep being an activist through your music, raise our awareness, raise our vibration, raise the beauty on this Earth through the creations that are inside of each and every one of you.”
Jason’s new album, Look for the Good, was released on June 19th. A day before the album’s release, he announced that all earnings from sales and streams of the album will go to groups fighting for racial equality and justice, including: Black Lives Matter, San Diego Young Artists Music Academy, RISE San Diego, Grassroots Law Project, Center on Policy Initiatives and Equal Justice Initiative.
This spring, Yousician launched Yousician for Teachers, a remote music education solution for educators in response to online music education needs. Frank Sinatra School for the Arts took part in the program, and its teachers were given codes to use Yousician with students for free for the duration of the school year.
Watch the full video here.