By: Lady Aleen Cruz
When I learned that one of the founders of the organization Together We Can Change the World (TWCCTW) is a singer-songwriter and that their group was scheduled to visit the Pandoo Community Center, I was ecstatic and thrilled. I felt like I had some kind of connection with Jana Stanfield — an American singer-songwriter, who has written songs for Reba McEntire and Andy Williams, among others — and I couldn’t wait to meet her.
During their visit, we held a small program at the community center to welcome their group. After the program, Jana talked to me and asked for a guitar pick. Luckily, I had a pocketful of guitar picks that she could choose from. She gave me tips on how to make a beginner’s guitar lesson easier, how to create a memorable song, and she also listened to a few of my compositions.
We scheduled a jamming session with Jana for the 31st of January at the ArtistKo Music Studio with young artists Alexis Prieto, Dahna Villapaz, and John Neil Roa. That afternoon was filled with talent and singing, and we ended up creating a mash-up! A mash-up of the songs “A Better World” and “Together We Can Change the World” sounded like a perfect fit as both songs aim to inspire change in the world. To make the afternoon even better, Jana did a songwriting workshop for the three young artists, Ian Zafra (the music producer of A Better World), and myself.
My takeaway from the experience is not the fact that I got to jam with someone who has made it in the music industry, but the fact that there are musicians like Jana who wanted to do the same things as the Foundation does. We are one in mind with our goal: to make a difference in other people’s lives — no matter how great or small the impact is — and to change the world for the better.
Jana and I really do have a connection. We both want to use music to stir positive change in the people who hears it. We both want our songs to be a source of hope, strength, and inspiration. And this is the kind of connection that I have always dreamed of — a musical connection.