When our Songwriting class debuted this fall, we were acting on a hunch that teens were searching for a new and unique outlet for their biggest ideas and deepest longings.
Even we were surprised by how true that was!
Below is the story of one family from our inaugural run of the class. Plus a songwriting inspired training tip.
Meet Roz and Telle!
“When I saw the Brave Writer songwriting class I knew it was the best way to kick off the school year. I hoped it would engage her passion and put her creative soul to work in her writing. I know you aren’t shocked to hear this but it worked!” ~Roz
Roz is a veteran homeschooler but when Telle came through the ranks of their family, it was clear that Roz wasn’t going to be able to follow the same routine she had for her son.
Telle listened to read alouds, played games, and loved all our creative activities but was completely unwilling to read, write, or do more traditional learning.
Thus began a search to find out what would work best for Telle.
Roz leapt out of the box with gusto—
[We were] identifying the letters with flyswatters, [would] build words with Playdoh and even dig letters out of our sandbox to spell words but learning could never feel like anything but fun… She taught me that interest-led learning was going to be our jam and I have pretty much followed that route since.
Telle remained a reluctant writer. Academic exercises were intimidating.
However, Roz knew that the mind life of her child was dynamic and alive—a storyteller with a passion for music!
I knew we needed to grow her confidence and writing skills… and so the songwriting class was the perfect fit. I also knew from past experience with my son in Brave Writer classes that is an ideal opportunity to employ partnership writing to get through the “tough” stuff.
Enter Brave Writer’s Songwriting class!
Music and lyrics serve as the entry point for teens to:
- engage their critical thinking skills,
- to harness the power of syntax and diction,
- to explore poetic devices such as metaphor and powerful associations.
Enticed, Telle jumped in with both feet, completing writing assignments, analyzing songs and poetry with joy.
Their family commemorated the 1919 Standard Steel Car Strike during the class time frame. Telle chose to focus on the impact of the strike on her family history. She writes,
Labor rights… are very important to me because my great-great-grandfather was shot and killed in the 1919 Standard Steel Strike. He was fighting for better working conditions and the 40-hour work week…. We learned that the family was kicked out of company housing. My great-great-grandmother never remarried and went on to raise her kids alone. She did this without the help of a union because that is what they were fighting for and it wasn’t in place to help widows.
Telle was so inspired by her family history that her final song for the class is a wistful, yearning love song, inspired by how her great-great grandmother must have felt at the loss of her husband.
Roz shares the impact on Telle:
I love it when learning comes together in a meaningful way…. We collaborated on writing in ways that we have never before accomplished. She drafted, edited, and wrote music effortlessly. Can any mom ask for more?
We don’t think so!
At Brave Writer, we know that there are lots of different kinds of writers out there just waiting to be spoken to in their own love language. For Telle, it was music and a connection to her family’s past.
What’s your teen’s passion?
Brave Writer offers a variety of classes, because we know our students are
- and one-of-a-kind!
We find it fruitful to engage your child in the realm they’re most comfortable in, be that movie making, fantasy books, or the outdoors! Join us!