"New Mexico Academy of Rock and Blues is like no other music school on the block. Its real-life comprehensive approach to working with young people is holistic, innovative, dynamic, and plain ‘ol fun! Kids are exposed to a wide variety of rock, blues, and contemporary music. Students are invited to explore working with and learning how to play all types of musical instruments. Instruments range from the pitter-patter, heartbeat palpitations of percussion to the string-plucking, finger dance of the guitar and everything in between! Keith and Buddha are extraordinary educators. Between the two they share a vast knowledge of musical experience, live performance, and working within the classroom. NMARB is community-based and grassroots. This means that their mission statement includes a viable, vital, and powerful connection to our communities-at-large. They invite poets, multi-media artists, educators, lyricists, family members, and the good gente of our intersectional communities to become involved. Students learn. Students are empowered. Students work with other students. Students have FUN. I am thrilled that I have been able to collaborate with NMARB throughout the years. I believe that NMARB offers children an opportunity to express themselves through the healing power of music and community. NMARB knows how to ROCK!"
-----Jessica Helen Lopez, Albuquerque City Poet Laureate
"It is no secret that school systems are failing us-- our communities and society at-large-- by the reduced and negligible availability of arts programs for students. It is a proven and undeniable FACT that students that are exposed to an arts education become better students in all academic subjects, are more likely to graduate and attend institutions of higher learning, develop more advanced critical thinking and reasoning skills, and become more positively engaged in their communities. Basically, exposure to the arts and humanities make people more HUMAN! The talent behind NMARB recognizes this, and are exemplary examples of what it means to "make a difference". I have seen the results. They are truly impressive. I strongly urge you to support these efforts."
- Dennis Gromelski, Executive Director, FUSION Theatre Company
"New Mexico Academy of Rock and Blues offers students a unique opportunity to experience the arts via music and writing at an early age. Students receive close instruction and their progress is monitored giving each one a sense of priority which motivates them to continue on. By attending this camp, NMARB is empowering young members of the community to be creative and influential. Students have an opportunity to express themselves in a way they may be unable to do otherwise. Music can save lives. It can inspire. It can create community. NMARB has the ability to give this power to the next generation. "
-Katrina K Guarascio, Educator and Managing Editor of Swimming with Elephants Publications
"As we adults who had music, and the other fine arts readily available to participate in as part of a school wide curriculum, as a choice, we were given a chance to excel in a creative aspects that didn't focus so much on general subjects. Slowly, little by little, our elected officials began to eliminate the fine arts, focusing on testing and core subjects. This left little imagination and expression for the introverted and creative students. What was to become of them? There was no longer an outlet, an inspiration, a happiness to attend school. We have seen the intense drastic and damaging effects this has created in our youth society.
But, along with disparity, comes hope. The dreamers unite and we will overcome the damage that has been imposed on our youth. The basic need to create comes from within, and there are people who have their hearts big enough to fill the oceans of the world with their hard work, dedication and share their talents with our youth. We can now have an outlet to hold our creative youthful students to allow themselves free expression through music and fine arts. Keith Sanchez and Glen"Buddha" Benavidez have opened their hearts and have dedicated so much of their valuable time and effort to share their own great talents among our youth. They have created an outlet, inspired a passion, enlightened the youth to create a work of art through music out of a dream, a thought, a feeling. Manifesting itself into a school where they will share their knowledge and passionate talent with our youth.
I can't thank Keith and Buddha enough for what they are giving back to our youth. I'm honored to know them as friends and know they will ignite the souls of our youth to create beautiful music." -Karlee Chaves, Parent of NMARB musician
"All three of my children are participating in the NMARB (program). Each one of them has different learning styles and abilities. The Program instructors have helped them build from their current levels and reach performance levels they did not have before. Their confidence performing in front of audiences and attempting different music styles has been their greatest moments. They have learned and performed with other artists and students creating group music and calling themselves a “rock band.” NMARB has not only provided expert instruction, but has also helped each of my children understand their desires and enthusiasm for music." -Michael Perez, Parent of NMARB musicians.
"Our son has attended Keith's guitar camp three times and each time his experience has been very positive and educational. Keith and Buddha serve as excellent role models and instructors while keeping the learning fun! They continue to foster a learning environment that is perfect for kids. They always seem to perfectly adapt to the different skill levels of their students to provide for the very best experience for all! We feel blessed for having had our son attend Keith's class and look forward to sending our younger son very soon! Thank you Keith and Buddha!!" -Amy Garcia, Parent of NMARB Musician