Confessions of a Music Mom: It Takes a Village

By: Mrs. Gray One of my favorite passages of scriptures talks about how some plant and others water, but it's God who brings the increase. It reminds me of how it takes a village to raise a child. It’s all a process and sometimes a moment can have a lasting impact upon a person's life. There are many times where a GMG Parent, would say, "Mrs. Gray, thank you for being a part of our village." This brings me to talk about a young man named Alan Brooks, who is now an up and coming film producer out of Atlanta, GA. Alan was a part of a music program that we created called Impact Music. We worked with a handful of teenagers and taught them about the process of creating a musical project. These teens wrote every song on their project and we were fortunate enough to travel to Atlanta to record in a professional recording studio. They even had a chance to speak with Grammy Award Winning singer-songwriter, India Arie, who also recorded at that very same studio. Alan was a student who I could tell was soaking in the experience and even made his college decision based upon the exposure that he gained through Impact Music. In an interview in VoyageATL, he spoke about this experience and said:

"I don’t have the traditional story of most Film Directors, where they picked up a camera and fell in love with film. My journey was a little different. When I was younger I remember one weekend the youth department at my church took us to Atlanta, GA to visit a music recording studio."

"I was in the youth music group at church and they wanted us to experience a real music studio. I remember being in awe of all the microphones and buttons that [go] into making a song great. I really owe it to that trip because it really opened my mind to the possibility of doing something in music/entertainment."

It's amazing watching Alan's journey from working with him in Impact Music, to being his college counselor, to following his journey when he began film school. Now, Alan has recently become an NAACP Image Award Nominated Director for Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action). As with Alan, I must say that it is an absolute joy to be a part of the process of each one of our students that we've been blessed to impact in some way, shape, or form and for however long. Just knowing that the seed that we've planted or the seed we helped to water through GMG has grown into something as great as an individual is enough for me. My husband always says we aren’t out to make great musicians, but great individuals, and who knows what these great individuals are capable of achieving! Teaching music goes far beyond the music and into the lessons that our students learn along the way such as learning responsibility, determination, perseverance, and establishing a strong work ethic. We know that these lessons help them become strong individuals who are able to set and accomplish any goal that they set their mind upon achieving. That’s what’s so special about the process. So to any parent reading this, remember it is a process, life is a process, and growth takes time. Hang in there! You’re on the right track. Keep being your child’s number one fan. With that comes loving them beyond measure and correcting them when necessary, but just know in the end, they will be okay. You can read more about Alan's achievements below from his interview in VouageATL:

"I am an independent Writer, Producer, and Film Director who is the owner of AMB Productions. I specialize in Film Directing. Through my production company I have gone on to direct over 20 short films, 2 feature-length films, over 10 music videos for artist such as (JD McCrary from Disney’s “The Lion King”, Silento’, Joshua Rogers from BET’s “Sunday’s Best”, and Tray Chaney from HBO’s “The Wire”/Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners”) to name a few. I have also directed 5 commercials; one of which is a Chick-fil-A commercial where I was awarded a Telly Award in Directing and received an Honorable Mention in the Southeast EMMY’S “Excellence in MyMarket Awards.” I am super proud of my Telly Award accomplishment.

In 2019 my short film “The Portrait” was selected to premiere on Magic Johnson’s National Television Network ASPIRE TV during their Urban Indie Block, and my short film “Wrong House” was selected to premiere on Sean “P. Diddy” Combs” National Television Network REVOLT TV during a special two-hour Hip Hop Halloween episode of Short & Fresh. What sets me apart from others is the fact that I treat people how I want to be treated. This industry is about relationships and it's important to treat everyone kindly no matter the scale of their position or status. People in this industry work with individuals who they feel are genuine and who they feel comfortable around. What also sets me apart from others is the fact that I don’t mind humbling myself and genuinely serving others.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business? I would say that prayer, hard work, and studying my craft has been the key factor in all aspects of my life. I live by that saying, “Let your preparation meet your opportunity.” Preparation is key to any level of success in life." Please join me in congratulating Alan on his many accomplishments! Remember, everything is a process and nothing happens overnight. It's like one of Mr. Gray's favorite sayings, "Success is when preparation meets opportunity."

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