Rock ‘n’ roll teaches kids music fundamentals

Monday, August 22, 2016

Article is from The Daily Courier

WILLIAMS — “Rock ‘n’ roll is not dead,” the 10-member band of Pacifica Garden children’s Rock Band Camp screamed into the mic with some help from a guitar, some banging on the drums and a touch of the keyboard.

For four days this summer, youngsters from around the Grants Pass area and beyond explored the fundamentals of song writing, rhythm and tempo, how to play an instrument and, most importantly, how to work together as a synchronized band.

“Music is so important because it teaches the kids to work as a team,” remarked the band’s teacher, Frankie Hernandez, lead singer of the local band The Frankie Hernandez Band.

With just a few days left before the kids perform their end-of-the-week performance, Hernandez was pleased with the band’s progress. Some kids had never even picked up an instrument before.

“They’re really becoming a band,” he said.

Pacifica Garden, an education-based nonprofit, is offering nine summer camps for kids this summer with an array of topics ranging from yoga, acting, martial arts, wildernesss and sewing.

At the organization’s studio in Williams, originally built by rock legend Steve Miller, the band sounded pretty good practicing with four singers, a drummer, a keyboardist, a bassist, a guitarist and, of course, a tambourine.

One of the singers, 9-year-old Kaya Breeze-Newman, said she developed more confidence in herself and in her ability to sing.

“It made my voice louder,” Kaya said. “I used to be afraid of singing on stage, but after I saw everyone else on stage I wasn’t afraid anymore.”

The education director for Pacifica, Vanessa Martinez, talked about the importance of exposing children to all types of disciplines at a young age and the importance of one-on-one teaching. The organization understands the financial struggles families living in poverty face.

“All students come to camp no matter their family situation. We’ll find the money to get them to the camp,” she said.

The cost to attend the camp is $150, but Pacifica fundraises throughout the year to offer scholarship money. The last three camps of the season, which focus on the practices of yoga, dramatic arts and sewing, have scholarship money available.

For more than 15 years, Pacifica has offered summer camps for children, and Martinez believes it has been inspiring children ever since.

“It inspires the kids to follow their dreams,” she said.

The next camp starts Aug. 15. For more information call or email Vanessa Martinez at 541-621-6278 and


Reach reporter Alex Madison at 541-474-3718 or

Winter Arts Festival–Saturday, Dec 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pacifica’s Winter Arts Festival

Sat., December 2, 10:00 – 4:00

FREE Admission

40 local artists with high-quality, hand-made:

Jewelry, Ceramics, Fiber creations, Leather, Photographs, Paintings, & more

Magical Live music: 12 groups at two sites

Applegate Poets: Pond House downstairs, 11:00 and 2:00

Great food: Cedar Center: organic soups, burgers, tacos

Pond House: tri-tip sandwich, cookies (to decorate & eat!)

Friendly country atmosphere

Children: cookie decorating, photos, bird house making, costumes, more
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Help Pacifica by Shopping at Fred Meyer

Friday, January 10, 2014

Community Rewards

You can help Pacifica Garden earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. Here’s how the program works:

  • Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Pacifica at You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number 87198.
  • Then, beginning Monday, February 3, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Pacifica earn a donation!
  • You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
  • If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.
  • For more information, please visit

All of us at Pacifica Garden sincerely thank you for your support!

Pacifica Safe After Fire

Friday, July 19, 2013

We at Pacifica are incredibly grateful for the fire fighters who worked tirelessly this afternoon to contain the fire on our property and surrounding area. Our structures are all safe with no damage because of your efforts. We can not thank you enough. You are true heroes.

– The Pacifica Board of Directors

In Memory: Bill Kennedy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bill Kennedy 
Programs like The Caterpillar truly depend on the generously donated time and talents of our volunteers. Everyone at Pacifica Garden and The Caterpillar would like to thank one of our greatest helpers, Bill Kennedy, who passed away last month. Bill was instrumental in making The Caterpillar what it is today. He built tons of circuit boards used in the learning stations, all of the wooden shelves and benches in the new Caterpillar trailer, many bird and bat cages, and countless other projects. We would like to thank Bill for all he did to make science education available to our schools and offer our thoughts and prayers to his family.