Finding your voice. I've heard this phrase a lot over the last few years, namely hearing it in trashy reality shows (don't judge me) where one cast member "finds their voice" and finally stands up to the show's "bully" personality. But writing this blog post is challenging me to find mine. I write songs about relationships, inner strength, and everything in between. I am a classically trained composer and have composed music ranging from simple children's music to sweeping orchestral scores for movies. I've used my musical voice so much that I thought..."blogging? meh...too easy..." I can be a bit of a smart aleck sometimes...blame it on me being a Leo. But as I am now finding out, blogging is COMPLETELY different. This is my second attempt at writing this post, and my friend and colleague, Brenda Fineberg, read my first draft and told me to ditch the corporate press release-y "voice" and go with my own.
It's helping me understand how challenging it may be for some of our young students who take songwriting and production. The reality is, I'm teaching 10 to 13 year olds how to use their own voice in their songs, when they've probably never written a song before. Talk about a challenge... Aha! That's why they look at me like that when I ask them to start writing!
Enter in Mykele Deville, FOM's new poet-in-residence. Mykele is an amazing poet, rapper, and songwriter hailing from the West Side of Chicago. Using his own life experience, he crafts stories and songs that bring you into his world, both the former and the current. In an effort to continuously keep FOM's programs fresh and invigorating for our students and teaching artists, we are collaborating with Mykele to take the reigns on teaching how to write lyrics with our students.
Mykele brings certifiable street cred as well as industry experience to the table, which our students will like and respect. For me, I am very excited about how he will show students techniques to develop their voice and use it in their music. I'm also a songwriter and a life-long student, so I will have open ears when he's in the classroom teaching my students.
We met last week to discuss how we're going to approach this new endeavor, and we've come up with some very cool ways of incorporating custom made videos and writing exercises to go along with them. Teaching artists will show these videos to students every couple weeks to keep the idea of writing lyrics fresh in their minds until Mykele is actually in the classroom with them. Mykele will physically be in the classroom during the last three to four weeks of the program to help facilitate the songwriting process as well as the performance aspect of recording in studio.
I'm really excited about this new collaboration with Mykele and the opportunities and experiences it will create for our students as well as using my voice to share the newest updates with you all. Until then, find your voice, and start using it!