Errors, Trials and Process

I recently finished a songwriting residency at Brook Park Memorial elementary school:

  • 2 weeks,
  • 600 students,
  • 26 songs written, rehearsed and performed!

Here is one song’s story:

Errors, Trials and Process | Jay Albert

Errors Trials and ProcessA class of 4th graders came in with a poem. It was for a residency I designed using songwriting to explore the relationship between literary voice, choices in musical composition, and how revision plays a vital role in expressing oneself in both media. It was a great project, but not a lot of time in which to do it. I had two half hour sessions with them to turn it into a song that they could perform with me in an assembly. The poem had been written by two of their number; it was lovely, brief, and expressive. Our first session consisted of finding a melody for it and editing the text to make it more rhythmic, more performable. My process was to listen to their words and group-recited rhythms, and then offer musical ideas for them to vote on. (I love the whole voting thing, in a situation where I must provide musical material for a group it enables them make concrete choices and own the composition that results.) Read more..