Tag Archives: Portland School of Rock

Teri’s Tunes – Youth Music Matters


It’s so wonderful that venues are coming together to offer a place for youth to get on stage and perform. Music has no age, it transcends time, it feeds and heals the soul, and in my opinion, is as necessary as breath.

Teri's-Tunes-Youth-Music-Matters-01It is vitally important that our young people have opportunities to get on a performance stage to perfect their craft. Saturday, April 9th, The White Eagle is offering just that. along with School of Rock Portland, and Portland Notes in the first of hopefully many, Local Youth in Music events! This ALL AGES concert will feature student bands with covers and original music. You can find more information at the FB event page, McMenamins/School of Rock/Portland Notes Youth Music Showcase!!

Special thanks to Stefanie Fisher Real Estate who donated time and funding for posters, and supporters: Premier Motorsports Inc., Olé Latte Coffee, Vortex Music Magazine, PDX Spotlight, SkateTracks Radio, Sounds of PDX, Teri’s Tunes Pdx/ Teri Briggs, and Guffey.

Participating bands are: School of Rock Portland House Band, Black Sand, 4 Day MoonPedestrian Death Gang, Jack Mortensen Music, and Michael Hermes. Tickets at www.cascadetickets.com




With our focus on local youth musicians this month, and a special concert on April 9, Portland Notes has decided to highlight a few local bands that are working hard to pave the way for student and youth bands in the northwest. One such active and diligent band is headed by my friend Jack Mortensen!

Spotlight-on-Jack-Mortensen-Music-03I know I’m revealing both my age and my motherly weaknesses here – but I’ve been watching Jack grow from a student musician into a stellar performer and mentor, and I’m insanely proud of what he’s accomplished. Jack was a student at the Portland School of Rock when I began visiting there in 2011. Already an outstanding bass player at that time, he was a cornerstone of the school’s ambassador House Band. Performing note-for-note covers all over the city at high profile events, Jack was always a responsible and respectful representative of School of Rock’s commitment to mentorship and extended musical learning. I personally know many students who have been personally taught and encouraged by Jack.

Spotlight-on-Jack-Mortensen-Music-01Jack Mortensen took advantage of all the school had to offer, making the most of lessons and show rehearsals and performances, teaching incoming students, volunteering at summer camps, and participating in the National School of Rock All Star Program. He toured the country with School of Rock’s All Stars in 2014 and 2015, playing at exclusive events with other handpicked student musicians from across the United States.

Spotlight-on-Jack-Mortensen-Music-02The best news, though – Jack hasn’t just excelled at learning and performing! He’s been writing his own original music, and has formed a band with some of the most amazing youth musicians in Portland! He has released an album, Interceptor -he’s performing at local events, and will be featured in our upcoming Youth Music Showcase at McMenamin’s White Eagle on April 9, along with the School of Rock House Band, Black Sand, 4 Day Moon, Pedestrian Death Gang, and Michael Hermes. We hope you enjoy the music, and (if you haven’t already met…) really hope to introduce you to Jack in person next month! Interceptor is available for purchase on Jack’s website.

PROWUS – Portland Rock On With Us!

FI_PROWUSAs part of Portland Notes’ March feature on local youth in music, we have been searching out schools and non-profit organizations that work together to support the idea that our next generation of musicians is already here, ready to rock! Jen Tengs-Howard, rock mom and current president of PROWUS, was gracious enough to answer some questions about the organization, what the group offers to the community, and how we can help become part of the solution that plagues our youth musicians – how do they get schooled, and how do they get their music out to Portland and the world? I learned of PROWUS through my involvement with the Portland School of Rock, but the group offers grants to music students for music instruction at a number of local studios and schools.


PROWUS — Portland Rock on With Us — is a non-profit organization that provides grants for music students age 8 — 18 in the greater-Portland Metro area who are pursuing extra-curricular music education. Operated by a volunteer board who have connections to the music community, PROWUS builds their grant fund with proceeds from merchandise sales and fundraising events.


PROWUS started as a group of local mothers of youth musicians who saw a need for equity in music education. Music lessons and programs are expensive, and out of reach for many Portland families. Knowing and seeing the benefits of music in the lives of our children, we want to make those benefits available to all kids.


PROWUS supports local families in their efforts to pursue a well-rounded education in the arts for their children. With current levels of public-school funding, often the arts are the first to suffer, and parents must look outside of school for arts education. Oftentimes, this extracurricular instruction is financially out of reach for Portland-area families. It is our goal to assist in making music education accessible to all who want it.

We offer two kinds of grants: First, we offer a regular, bi-annual grant disbursement with application deadlines on May 1st and November 1st. These grants are available to any family in need of financial assistance for music education. The second type is for situations of hardship such as a death in the family, or loss of income to help students who are currently taking music instruction who would otherwise have to put music on hold. These grants are available at any time during the year.


Grant applications can be found at our website at www.prowus.org. If anyone needs assistance with completing the application process, we are happy to help. Questions can be sent to grants@prowus.org.


Families submit a complete application prior to our deadline. Applications are evaluated by an independent panel of reviewers, outside the Portland youth music community. Results are submitted to the PROWUS Board, who votes on each application without knowledge of the personal information or identity of the applicant. Checks are then disbursed to the approved applicants in the name of their designated music program or instructor. In return for grant funding, the applicant’s family agrees to volunteer their time to give back to a PROWUS designated project or event.


Our focus this year is on increasing our reach. We need people to know that we are here, and have funds available to assist their students. Of course, we are always looking for business and organization partnerships to aid in our fundraising efforts.

Optimally, we are looking to increase our available funds and the number of students we serve, each year. Our goal is to increase at a rate of 30-40% year over year. I believe that with the wonderful, engaged Board we currently have, our goals are attainable, and that PROWUS will be able to really make a difference in the lives of many more Portland families! We also would love to increase the numbers in our ‘volunteer army’. If anyone is interested in helping PROWUSachieve our goals, they should contact us at grants@prowus.org.


Seeing the accomplishments and joy experienced by our grant recipients. For many of our applicants, music is not just their hobby, it is their passion. Knowing that we have enabled them to continue on their journey is so rewarding to be a part of.


When my family moved to Portland 6 years ago, my daughter wanted to continue her education in percussion, but the program she wanted to participate in was out of our reach financially at that time. We were lucky enough to have assistance, and seeing the growth in both her craft and personal life through her participation in music… I wanted to give back. I want those experiences for all kids that want it. Helping with the the work of PROWUS allows me to do just that.

PROWUS-01For information on how YOU can help, take a peek at www.prowus.org. PROWUS, in addition to other for profit and non profit organizations such as Youth Music Project, School of Rock, Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, Ethos,and My Voice Music, are all actively involved in producing and/or promoting events that educate and support youth in local music! If you know of a local organization that supports local youth in music, please tell us, so that we can all work together! Thank you to Vortex Music Magazine for sharing their article: Music Matters: The State of Music Education, by Andrea Janda.