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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"An Apple and a Bicycle:" Adventures in Songwriting

Chronicles of Boston Breakout: Day 4
This afternoon, (after some deforestation and then salsa dancing with 7th graders!), a group of three of us visited Hannah Slater, a senior at Berklee majoring in music therapy, for a session of songwriting with a male student K. Sarah works with at-risk youth to help them to enrich their lives through music, as part of the nonprofit organization, Genuine Voices.

We went outside in the sunny Boston day and started freewriting about ourselves, and using metaphors to describe ourselves (brainstorming). Next, we went inside to put our ideas to song. Student K suggested the title of piece to be "An Apple and a Bicycle," based on the metaphor of apple and bicycle one of us used in the brainstorming process. Another metaphor we wanted to incorporate was the sea and storm. Eventually, our first few lines came out to be:
Sitting in a lonely rowboat,
Drifting out to sea...
By the end of the hour, we had come up with a complete verse, along with melody. Although we wanted to continue songwriting, we were out of time, so we decided to record ourselves! You can listen to our impromptu recording here.

I was very impressed by the talent and passion Student K showed for music, and I was deeply impressed by Hannah's ability to guide us through the song-writing process (it was her first time). Hannah showed genuine care and passion for what she does, and it shined through not only when she worked with us in songwriting, but also by just talking with her. It was a delight to have her join us for dinner. I'm very happy to have made a new friend in Hannah. Once again, it's amazing the wonders that music can do to bring people together and enrich lives.

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