Today we’d like to introduce you to Jared Woosley.
Jared, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up loving music. In high school I joined my first band, and after that I always found myself playing music with different musicians and bands anywhere I could.
One of the highlights of my music career was with a band called Five speed. We were a local band from Phoenix who got signed to Virgin Records and remained on the label from 2002-2007, I sang for this band for ten years. Five speed found moderate success in those days during the final gasp of MTV and Fuse, and I was able to achieve a childhood dream of seeing my music video on both stations. I chalked it up to a great time, and even better learning experience. In 2008 I went to work for a non-profit organization called One Step Beyond, which is a college of sorts, for adults with intellectual learning disabilities. It seemed like the last ten years of my music career was just a training ground that lead me to be able to share my love of music with others. I’ve been teaching music there for over ten years now and love every single day of it. Since then we’ve founded The Abilities United Music Festival, and The Ones Step Bobcats (Arizona’s first Special Needs Ice Hockey Team)
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
well…I run a music program at One Step Beyond that gives our participants the opportunity to experience the big stage under the lights…. playing music that they write themselves, putting themselves out there artistically. It’s an experience one has to prepare themselves for physically and mentally. A lot of time goes into the bands getting to know each other at first, during this process they discover self-confidence, and the creation of music grows a head of its own. They rehearse every week until it’s their time for the spotlight in April. Everyone is welcome to be involved, we encourage it! the local and national music community has come out in droves to support these brave artists and join them as they bond over a common love of playing music. I simply cheer them on and ensure that they have all the tools at their disposal to create any sound they want. We have seen so much support from companies who make these tools, I can’t even begin to explain how great these people are, People from all over the world have supported our mission in the growth of Special Needs Music Education, and its these people who are directly responsible for it. I feel guilty for this, as these people don’t get to see the magic in the music studio that I get to see every day because of them. With the Hockey team it was the same thing. it’s only a year and a half old, but the entire hockey community in AZ has supported us unconditionally. when it comes to these things, it really becomes a community effort that so many people put their hearts into. My stock in humanity is maxed out…there are good people everywhere who grow our community and strive on social change where its beneficial. If my art has become organizing these situations, then I am very happy with that.
Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Simple….true love for your art, time,.and ask for help! My music career started with me walking 4 houses down the street in my neighborhood to talk to a garage band of 18-year old’s when I was 12. They were so kind and showed me an easier way to get the sounds out of a guitar that I wanted. That little “leg up” is what sent me off and running. This “help” can come in so many different forms. You’ll be surprised at how many people you can connect with over a common love for something. When I was living in a van touring around the country, my mom uses to tell me “do what you love, and the money will come”. At the time I was completely happy, but now I realize what she meant. If you never stop doing what you love, it will eventually intertwine with who you are. I’m 40 now, and most successful artists I know never stopped loving their art, even if they were the only ones at the time who loved it, they never stopped creating it.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can follow @heartstringsdocumentary (music) and @onestepbobcats (hockey) on both Facebook and Instagram. We’re always posting new developments and events we are involved in. A central hub for both is www.osbi.org. In a few months we will be launching our new website, but you can still go there to contact us and support in any way. Our national outreach is growing every day, and there are many states and places in the world who are reaching out for help, and I can’t wait to link hands with them and help in any way I can.
- Website: www.heartstringsdocumentary.com
- Email: Jaredwoosley@osbi.org
- Instagram: @heartstringsdocumentary @onestepbobcats
- Facebook: @hesrtstringsdocumentary
- Other: instagram- same links as facebook