Charity, Music, Uncategorized

Let The Beat Go On!

At an early age I started putting different instruments in front of my son. As a guitarist, of course that was my first choice but it didn’t resonate with him. He got a toy drum set at the age of 3 and was super excited.  While interested in everything, he always went back to beating on the drums.

When he was about 9 I bought him his first “real” drum set. It was a used Tama Rock Star kit I found for a couple hundred bucks and although there was nothing particularly special about it, he was thrilled!  I started teaching him some real basic beats and he was picking them quickly. Mission Music’s cofounder gave him lessons for a few months and instilled some great techniques that he still used today and most likely the rest of his life.

A couple of nice folks at our church knew he had a passion for drums and one Christmas they gave him some used to rototoms to go with his kit. He was literally brought to tears from their generosity and the excitement of playing them. This was actually one of the seeds that sparked the beginning of Mission Music.

In 4th grade, my son started having some pretty serious anxiety issues over school. This quickly grew into severe behavioral problems at home that caused thousands of dollars worth of damage, great frustrations, and utter family turmoil as my wife and I tried to figure out how to help him. Deep down, this was a brilliant, smart, and fun loving kid but something had a hold of him.

Through everything, he ended up grounded a lot. Loss of electronics, tv time, activities with friends, and more. At one point he was left with nothing in his room other than a bed and a dresser. However, one thing I was adamant about was never taking away his drums. He thoroughly enjoyed playing and while some folks may believe in taking away those things as a form of discipline, that thought never crossed my mind.

You see, although playing music is a lot of fun, it also has therapeutic values that are simply amazing.  Whether one is happy, sad, or angry, playing music provides a healthy and safe way to express those feelings that could otherwise cause irreparable harm. Simply put, playing music makes us feel better.

Our son needed an outlet for his emotions that would always be there. At the worst of times, he knew he could go bang on his drums and that’s exactly what he did. After about 15 minutes or so, he would calm down and be able to rationalize much better. Many times he would play for 45 minutes or more and that brief escape from worry or angst was enough to help him through a tough situation.  His emotional processing went from destructive to creative. I think author Hannah Harrington explains it best, ” He took his pain and turned  it into something beautiful”.

Now at 12 years old, he has a pretty decent Gretsch set and continues to amaze me with his progress, both behind and in front of the kit.  I’ve had the thrill and joy of sharing a stage with him. He inspires me daily both as a musician and a father.


While we still have to work at times, his behavior and anxiety issues are a thing of the past.  Is It because we let him play drums?  Not entirely. Did it help? Not a doubt in my mind!

Just like adults, kids needs a safe and positive outlet for their emotions. Music has been just that for me and I’m grateful that it has become the same for my son. It may be tempting to take everything away from a child when times get tough but I encourage everyone to always let the music play on. Music may just be the thing to get them through the storm.

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This is just one reason that Mission Music needs your help.  There are thousands of children that need a musical outlet but simply can’t afford one.  Help us help them by donating a used instrument or by making a tax deductible financial contribution today.  just visit http://www.missionmusicnow.org to join the mission!

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Charity, Music

Duct Tape with a Mission


When I was about 14, I had a dear friend from youth group named Bill. Now Bill had multiple guitars that I drooled over even though I never plucked a string in my life. At long last, there came a day that Bill passed along one of his older guitars to me and I was off to the races!

It was a Harmony guitar with a Les Paul style body. This thing weighed a ton and the neck was like playing on sandpaper. One of the biggest memories I have of this guitar is that the pick ups were held in with duct tape. That’s right…DUCT TAPE!


Truth is, it wouldn’t have mattered to me if it was held together with plumbers putty. I just wanted to learn and play. Thanks to Bill’s generosity, I was able to do just that!  It was on this guitar that I would learn how to play Iron Man, how to shape my chords, work on getting that pinky stronger (almost 30 years later and I’m still working on that one!).

After sticking with it for about a year, my folks upgraded me to a new Fender Squire. It was great but that Harmony with the Duct Tape will always hold a special place in my heart.  At the time, I had no idea of the impact those little pieces of Duct Tape would have on me. That guitar and Bill’s act of kindness are some big reasons Mission Music exists today.

While we love Duct Tape here at Mission Music, our hope is that every child eager to learn can get an instrument with out needing it. Giving a used instrument new life and passing it along to a child in need is an amazing feeling….especially when you see the joy on their face!

So next time you recall an old beat up instrument, think about what it may be teaching. Or better yet…what it may be preparing you for!

That Duct Tape may just have a bigger mission than you think!

– Zach Greer, Co-Founder/President

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