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Casio and Notes for Notes Celebrate 10-year Partnership Providing Youth Free Access to Music Gear, Instruction, Recording Studios

Christian Wissmuller • News • May 16, 2023

Casio America and Notes for Notes (N4N) are celebrating a decade-long partnership to provide youth nationwide with opportunities to explore, create and record music—all for free and under the guidance and mentorship of talented N4N producers.

Established in 2006 as a non-profit organization, Notes for Notes set out on a mission to address the absence of contemporary musical equipment and program in public schools and the challenges youth face regarding curriculum and genre relevance, instrument choice and learning approach.

Founders Phil Gilley and Rod Hare, inspired by their experience as “Bigs” in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, focused on creating an environment with zero barriers to entry. Youth would have access to top-of-the-line instruments and talented producers to help them realize the potential within themselves.

Receiving early commitment from Casio and other leading musical equipment manufacturers, N4N has successfully established 26 studios inside schools, Boys & Girls Clubs and youth facilities in 15 cities in 12 states, which build positive social/emotional and creative growth for nearly 10,000 youth annually.

Casio has been a staunch supporter of N4N almost from the start, having donated approximately 70 digital pianos and keyboards to the organization over the years, including CGP-700 digital pianos and its newest CT-S1000V synthesizers, to equip every N4N studio across the U.S properly.

Casio recently joined fellow N4N partner Sony Music Group to outfit N4N’s newest studio at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro LA’s Watts Willowbrook Clubhouse in Los Angeles. This studio features Mix, Track, Live and Writer’s Rooms, each equipped with Casio keyboards, including the CT-S1000V synthesizer and Privia PX560, PX5S and PX-S1100 digital pianos. It also marks the launch of N4N’s first film-scoring programming in partnership with Extreme Music and Bleeding Fingers Music.

And as with all N4N facilities, this new studio enables young musicians to learn, rehearse, produce and explore music, all for free.

“N4N is extremely grateful to work with Casio, which is incredibly dedicated to supporting, developing and inspiring the next generation of artists, producers and MI professionals,” said Gilley. “The company’s contribution of keys in each studio has unlocked the artistic potential of thousands of youth.”

According to Gilley, the blossoming relationship with Casio began through networking at The NAMM Show, the leading music trade convention held annually in Anaheim, California. There he met Stephen Schmidt, vice president of Casio’s Electronic Musical Instruments Division.

A big fan of Casio, Gilley believes the company’s instruments would have been a lifesaver for him as a youth.

“Early on, I dreamed of composing music for film, but since I am unable to read music, I never found a home for learning music in public school,” admits Gilley. “Casio keyboards represent the first real exposure many youth get to music for a good reason. They are highly affordable, versatile and filled with many amazing sounds. I am so glad our young musicians can find inspiration with them in our studios.”

In 2015 N4N launched the first of what would become 13 new studios across the U.S. in partnership with the CMA Foundation. That first studio, in Atlanta, would feature Country phenom Hunter Hayes who swung by to perform, speak with youth and officially opened the studio.

Among the attendees was Casio’s Schmidt, who was greatly encouraged by the event.

“Music education has remained at the core of our company’s mission for over 40 years, and it is always energizing when we can partner with organizations that share our passion and commitment to youth,” said Schmidt. “Notes for Notes studios offer important gateways for young musicians to realize their identity through the exploration and production of music. Casio is deeply honored to help them realize their goals.”

For more information about Notes for Notes, please visit To learn more about Casio’s entire portfolio of electronic musical instruments, please visit

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