Creating an atmosphere of inspiration and fun, Robin relies heavily on improvisation, enabling participants to set the tone for the direction of the class. Participants are encouraged and guided to take expressive risks to experiment lyrically and poetically. The first four weeks are spent listening to and discussing various songwriters and bands. Participants are exposed to a wide spectrum of recording artists and musical styles and are encouraged to share their own favorites. They explore ideas and learn the process of writing a song, lyrics and melody. Incorporating this process within the song structure, the participants learn to make an effective statement based on their thoughts and feelings. Participants are encouraged and given the opportunity to sing or to play an instrument if they wish. The next eight weeks involve finishing songs, recording, and packaging the CD. Participants may be brought into a professional recording studio with professional musicians, or may use a portable studio in the classroom. Participants use acoustic and electric instruments and possibly computer programs. The songs are recorded, mixed, and mastered. Additional time may be needed to finish recording and create the artwork for the CD insert and cover. Marketing materials may be generated if they choose to release their CD for sale.
Each Workshop includes 10 to 20 participants working in a collaborative environment to develop community, find their voices, and share their stories in song.
By working individually and in groups, the creativity within each participant is allowed to emerge and blend into a unique composition. Through this artistic process of songwriting, the participants will find their own voice.
One two-hour session twice weekly for 12 weeks.
- Community. Non-existent at the start of program, community is built slowly and powerfully over the many weeks.
- Understanding and Compassion. These come slowly as participants share, express similar experiences and truly show caring for one another.
- Permission to Tell. As each participant dares to share a little deeper, so does the next participant. Truth, accompanied by empathy, compassion, support, and community, brings healing.
- Support. The support is self-evident but needs to be mentioned as a separate entity.
- Play. Powerful and Unexplainable
- Participants come together as a group and bond with one another.
- Participants begin to tell their stories to one another.
- Participants help one another with their pain and feelings of isolation.
- Participants begin to formulate songs out of their stories.
- Participants record their songs.
- Participants see the project through to completion, with recording of songs onto an Audio CD. We usually hold some type of performance to bring light to what they have accomplished.
- Participants acquire the ability and motivation to engage in creative activities.
- Participants engage in these activities as an alternative to substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, gang membership, and violence.
- Participants learn teamwork and peer bonding.
- Participants attach to positive role models.
- Our goal is to create a network of professionals trained to deliver Songbird Sings workshops. We are writing a workbook for this purpose. More will be revealed.