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WHY start songwriting classes or clubs?
Character grows every time a student demonstrates the courage required to step out
on stage, display enough honesty to share their innermost thoughts and feelings in a
song, or the empathy to relate to other young people's lyrics and support them through
their life experiences. Leadership qualities are cultivated when students, who have
received free writing encouragement for years return to guide their younger peers.
Because songwriting is an intensive process involving not only the first rush of creative
inspiration, but painstaking hours of refinement and editing, the process can boost
literacy and all of the intricacies of imagery, rhyme, verbal symmetry, thematic-writing,
Songwriting clubs, like many other extra-curriculars, often provide an inspiring channel of
academic and emotional support between students and club leaders. Teachers who
offer to run any club, unpaid and outside of class time, demonstrate their dedication to
students. Research has shown that students are less likely to drop out of high school
if peers are supportive and if at least one caring adult believes in them.
Co-curricular songwriting and composing music units add creative satisfaction to music
courses. Similar to the thrill of improvisation in jazz ensembles, calling out the artistic
power within young people provides them with a sense of meaningful accomplishment.
Songwriting is not only a vehicle for self-expression, but is a time-honoured art, at which
students can excel, both spontaneously, and with the guidance of mentors. Teachers are
skilled at managing groups and keeping young people motivated to learn, and they
welcome the support of musical experts. Together, they call out the potential of each
SASS attributes its effectiveness to the interdependence between teachers and
professional songwriters, and the magic that happens when youth tap into their own
strengths. SASS is witnessing the creation of some moving, new music. We are seeing a
synergy between three of the most idealistic groups in society: teachers,
philosopher-songwriters, and our children.
And the simplest answers to the question of WHY did SASS start? Artemis and Dale love writing
songs, and find it enjoyable to help others discover how much fun writing can be, too. Since
2006, Artemis has been one many volunteer teachers who accept no payment as they try to
make life and school experiences richer and more meaningful for our youth through musical
and lyrical expression.