Musical Storytelling is a program I've created that merges music with telling the stories of people and communities. It manifests as workshops that inspire a community to tell their story through music, workshops that mix memoir with music, and education programs that inspire young people to use interdisciplinary thinking to tell their stories and the story of their communities.
Musical Storytelling Education Programs
Musical Storytelling Education Programs are tailored with each school to meet their students where they are and help them express themselves through music and storytelling.
I've created courses in Creative Expression and Community Engagement for Carnegie Mellon University's Music Preparatory School. These talented teen musicians work together to create group compositions that are inspired by their community. Read about past collaborations here, and watch the below documentary to see an example of their collaboration with the Hillman Photography Initiative:
In 2008 I created Telling Stories, an interdisciplinary program at the Denver School of the Arts. Telling Stories is a unique interdisciplinary program that is designed to inspire students to both collaborate across disciplines and create original work. The process helps students learn to speak each others’ languages, inspires faculty members to work together in new ways, and gives non-performing artists a chance to take the stage with their performing colleagues. We've had up to 200 students participate each year. Below is a short introduction I gave to the program:
Each year our show has a theme; here is a piece from the students when the theme was "Negative Space." Their piece is called – It, and it’s a very powerful work with video, musicians playing both their own instruments and instruments they’ve never played before, and beautiful writing.
I also created workshops for The Neighborhood Academy, where students write original poems and then create musical compositions to accompany them. The Neighborhood Academy seeks to break the cycle of generational poverty by preparing low-income youth for college. 75% of students have a household income of $25,000 or less. Students go to school for a 12-hour day and 100% of students go on to college. Many of the students haven't had the opportunity to receive music lessons or take creative writing workshops before they took this class.
You can listen to the students on a live radio taping at the Saturday Light Brigade, and also hear all of their recordings here on Soundcloud.