Lamar and David were charismatic, approachable, and highly entertaining performers, easily winning over the children in the audience with their humor and smiles. I highly recommend hiring Music Notes to come to your district and inspire both students and teachers with their educational songs and music videos.Stephanie RossDistrict Math Specialist, Oakland USD
I was delighted to see our students celebrate academics and even homework during the assembly. The one hour presentation integrated algebra lessons, pop quizzes, and songs—captivating our middle school audience. It was an ideal way to reward our students for their hard work and still keep the focus on academic achievement.Andy HilbertAssistant Principal, Andrew Carnegie Middle School
All the teachers I spoke with thoroughly appreciated your presentation and the materials they received, and they plan to implement aspects of the PD in their respective classrooms. The Math teachers especially benefited from the individual conversations you had with them and appreciate your willingness to support them with further questions that they may have.Ogochi Okoye Johnson, Ph.D.Dean of Academics, Magnolia Science Academy
I'm in Mr. Bledsoe's homeroom and we love your music!!! I hear people singing your songs in the hallway all the time 🙂HopeStudent
Mr. Q‑U‑E u r a BEAST!!!! Because of you I can actually have math in my head on the weekends. And I luv how u make raps and songs to catch the attention of a younger audience. U R the best!!!!ShawnStudent
Music Notes is modeling one of our 21st century skills - creativity in mathematics education. I can see teachers inspired by Music Notes taking some of the math concepts that Common Core standards will allow us to develop deeper learning around - e.g. the infamous fractions - and weaving the tales of the concepts into song/rap/dance.Lisa Usher StattsPresident Elect, California Math Council, Los Angeles, CA
HOMEWORK [est. 1988–1992]
The group Homework ascended upon the music scene in 1990. Six young men from Boston and one from New York City were put together at t...he height of the New Kids on the Bock era. Together for almost 6 years, this Pop/R&B band attempted to fill a void left open by the saturated market of dancing singer-style groups of the late 80’s, early 90’s pop music. This is HOMEWORK’s story:
Out of the Maurice Starr stable of stars, the first group to be formed after the chart topping success of the New Kids on the Block was HOMEWORK! The band was a Pop/R&B version of influential ‘instrument playing’ bands like ‘The Time feat. Morris Day’ and ‘Ready For The World’. The vision was to capture the energetic stage shows of these 'playing' bands, capitalize on the Pop culture elements of the day, all while incorporating the classic vocal styles of late 70’s and 80’s groups like The Stylistics, The Delfonics, The Intruders, Switch and DeBarge.
HOMEWORK was formed as a multi-ethnic concept band and members were recruited from all over the Boston area. Most were either vocalists or performers working on their craft, while some would fit the mold of the concept and were willing to give the rehearsal and music making process a chance. From the bands inception and without change, HOMEWORK’s line up included original members Dio Aviles on electric guitars, Raphael Dias & William Getchell on keyboards, David Knight on bass guitar, Shawn Meadows & Melvin Sutton as lead vocalists and Evan Stent on drums/percussion.
The initial molding process lasted close to 3 years with an intense, around the clock rehearsal and recording schedule. The band members learned and mastered their craft under the watchful eye of Maurice Starr and the House of Hits family. New Kids on the Block singer JORDAN KNIGHT, younger brother to David [HOMEWORK’s bass player], also lent his talents to the mix.
After the initial three years of rehearsals, the band's live sound was much closer to that of the group's many funk, Prince and Minneapolis influences than what was soon heard on their pop/r&b 1990 self titled Epic Records release. Also, during this time it might be noted, Tyrone Sutton younger brother to HOMEWORK's lead vocalist Melvin, was auditioned & became the first lead for another top act, THE PERFECT GENTLEMEN. A few of the HOMEWORK bandmembers were called on to provide musical skill as well as choreography during the formation and molding prosses for these future young hitmakers.
Seeing and hearing HOMEWORK live, was much more like a party with the full 7 member band grooving in sync to choreographed dance moves while playing their instruments. HOMEWORK soon became a regular mainstay on the local New England circuit or what the band would jokingly call their “1989-90 Chitterlin’ Tour” performing w/ other local groups of the day like: MAIN EVENT, LADY SOUL, the late & great CHRIS BENDER, CLASSIC EXAMPLE, THE SUPERIORS, FINEST HOUR, PICTURE PERFECT, HEART BODY & SOUL & RICK WES. It was during one of these shows at the Strand Theater in Dorchester Ma. that HOMEWORK attracted the attention of Epic Records President David Glew & VP Hank Caldwell who were in Boston to see the headline act HOMEWORK was opening for. After only a three song set, ….. HOMEWORK was signed on the spot!
With a clear local buzz and the obvious ‘NEW KID’S ON THE BLOCK’ connections, the self titled CD “HOMEWORK” was released mid summer 1990 along with a video for the first and only single, 'Special Kind Of Lady'. This ballad single featured lead vocalist Melvin Suttons’ classic DeBarge style high falsetto voice and harmonies. The video was received moderately well on MTV but was placed into heavy rotation on BET which helped Special Kind Of Lady enter the billboard charts right between MARIAH CAREY’s ‘Vision of Love’ and THE TIME’s ‘Chocolate’ in late October 1990.
At the height of HOMEWORK’s performance careers, they shared the stage with top groups of the day like Expose, Technotronics, Gang Starr Posse [ feat. DJ Premier & Guru], Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch, The Fresh Prince [Will Smith] & DJ Jazzy Jeff, Scritti Politti, Tommy Page, C&C Music Factory, Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam, Dino, Cathy Denis, Brenda K Starr, The Osmond Boys, Good Girls, Cover Girls as well as opening with label-mates Perfect Gentlemen and the New Kids on the Block.
With Maurice Starr’s departure from Sony/Epic records, HOMEWORK went through quite a few label & management changes. The four-year commitment and ensuing label issues proved to be tough on most of the members and soon only Melvin, Raphael, and Evan were left. The remaining members continued on and plans were in the works to revamp the groups look and sound with the remaining members holding auditions for open positions. But with the Starr camps sudden relocation out of the Boston area, this spelled the end of the band … HOMEWORK.
While a few of the former members are still active in the entertainment industry singing, producing and managing, the rest have gone back to their former lives. Most are still living in the Boston area.
[Bio by Evan Stent and Raphael Deas]
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