In 2016, Carl Restivo and Marisa Gariano opened the Paramount Academy of Music, a non-profit music school in Studio City, CA that focuses on developing and coaching young artists, songwriters, and musicians of all genres. Along with Marisa‘s husband Rodger Gariano, the team shares the vision of wanting build a new strong music community and to encourage and embrace creativity with kids to learn to write their own songs. “We provide a very positive and fun, as well as super-serious, environment for the kids to thrive.”
This Saturday’s performance marked the first time the academy has worked with a choreographer, Christina Chandler, who has toured with Rihanna, Pharell, Taylor Swift, and many more. “The kids devoured the choreography.”
The Songwriting Program featured young artists performing their original songs in between sets.
The “Future Pro” band performed some music from Frank Zappa, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and The Dead Milkmen.
The school doesn’t want any musically talented child who wants to get better at their instrument or as an artist or songwriter to be turned away because their family can not afford to send them to their school. There is a scholarship program in place to make sure that donations and funds raised (including the funds raised at this and other upcoming shows) go directly to the kids in need, in order to attend the school.
Restivo is most proud of the kids who “take music seriously and are ravenous for musical knowledge and eat songs for breakfast lunch and dinner. Our scholarship program is also something I’m extremely grateful for. Kids who can’t afford to come can get financial aid. That’s huge.”
As the school continues to grow, they are not losing the “intimate, small school feel. The faculty knows all the students and parents and are building a community that will be around for a long time.”
“I will go home and go to sleep for a very long time. When I wake up, we will start the process all over again!” — Carl RESTivo