Bryce Flora, his sister Reagan and their dad, Doug, began the program Music Makes It Better several years ago. Through the program Bryce and Reagan travel to local old folks homes, autistic centers, hospitals and orphanages to share their talent with people of all ages who may be lacking their daily dose of music.
“Just knowing that I’m helping somebody out in need,” answers junior Bryce Flora when asked what he gets back from Music Makes it Better.
A few months ago at one of their performances, the Flora siblings received an irresistible offer: a record deal. Two weeks ago Bryce and Reagan put away their Garageband, and headed for a real studio. They’ve been recording at Massive Sound studio in Shawnee, and as of right now the two do not have a contract. They began recording one of their twelve songs they wrote. Bryce explains how the process is hard, due to homework piling up as well as their schedules filling.
“We aren’t trying to be professional. If it ends up being that way it could be fun. But really we are just trying to write music,” said Bryce.
Due to their busy schedules, time to practice and record is scarce. They have to fit recording in only when convenient–homework and family comes first. Bryce is aiming for discussion of release once seven songs have been successfully recorded. As of right now, a projected release date is completely up in the air.
Bryce and Reagan write their own music. He says they have songs written in just about every genre, specializing in rock. As they write their own lyrics, they have a coach that helps them with the structure of their piece.
Bryce explains that there is no secret to writing a song, it is utterly spontaneous. When an idea comes, it will be random. They will let the idea float around for a while, until they find where it fits. Then they build from there. He says that he never intends to write a song, it just naturally comes.
They chose the music best fit for their audience, which is a wide variety. At the old folks home, Bryce and Reagan stick to “oldies”, and jazz. While at the hospitals and orphanages, the popular vote is childrens music, and nursery rhymes.
“As it is called Music Makes it Better, we go around to places that could use a bit more light in their day,” says Bryce.
Bryce’s favorite place to spread his love for music is the Autistic Training Center. He embellishes on how powerful the vibe felt when the audience joined in to sing the popular song, You Are My Sunshine; everyone comes together and shares something great through a song.
“Some people see them as a disabled group, but I see how smart they are, and the disability is a whole different part of them,” said Bryce.
Bryce beams as he tells about a six-year-old child he met at the center, who can play the guitar better than he could. He gets a clearer perspective and understanding of all different kinds of people through the program. He is appreciative that he has gotten this opportunity through Music Makes it Better.
“Whatever they are going through right now, I know that even a little bit of music is going to help. So, even if I miss a note, they probably won’t notice it,” said Bryce.
Sitting behind the piano at three-years-old, Bryce never would have believed that the mandatory lessons would eventually lead him to one of the greatest aspects in his life. Although he can play any instrument with a string, he stands beside his oldest companion, the piano, and claims it as his favorite.
His hopes that are when the album is finally released, it may help Music Makes it Better. He believes that it will help spread the word. If the opportunity presents itself, he plans on playing the song on a local radio station, and giving the song a chance to get popular. He hopes that someday the program will spread through the States, making it a big deal.
Nerves aren’t a big issue for Bryce. He feels very comfortable around his audiences, and isn’t worried about messing up, because it is all about having a good time.
“Playing in front of kids or at the old folks home is just really comfortable. You know that they are going to like it anyway,” says Bryce.
Him and Reagan once performed at a record bar, this is when he began to experience nerves. He explained how it was such a different atmosphere to what he was used to. At the bar people are drinking and relaxed, and the music is just sort of a background, but he still felt the pressure to not miss a note.
“There are two types of nervous. There’s a nervous because you know everybody is watching you, and there is a nervousness because you don’t know your part very well,” said Bryce.
Bryce explained that when the program first started up, it was just him, Reagan and their vast array of musical instruments. He is now willing to take a step forward and increase the number of musicians. He is interested in anybody with any sort of musical talent, and the willingness to spread the love of music.
Bryce doesn’t know how far this will take him, but he is loving every minute of it. As long as he sees smiles when he looks into the audience, he is along for the ride.