Summer Camp Registration Begins NOW

Hey everybody! It’s getting to be that time when folks start making their summer plans so I’m ready to take registration for our 2017 summer camp season. Last year we were selling out of spots by mid March so I recommend registering as soon as you are able. I’ve posted an update schedule below and there is a registration button on the right hand side bar thIMG_4637at you can click on. Please download and/or print your own version of the document before typing info on it. This way it stays blank for everyone to use. You may also pay your $50 deposit using the paypal link or mailing to Havilah Rand 1500 Lakeway Drive Bellingham, WA 98229.

This is going to be our best summer yet and I can hardly wait to meet all of our young songwriters and hear what we create. Thanks and see you soon!!

 

“As the director of our arts education program I coordinate many camps each summer. Rarely have I seen a camp so engaging for the kids involved. Each day of camp I would see kids sitting alone or in groups working on writing their songs. Havilah was great with the kids and came prepared with all the equipment she needed to record camper’s songs. This camp was a hit and I’m excited about having Havilah back to teach again next summer.” –  Director of Arts Education, Vashon Center for the Arts

Young Songwriter Summer Camp Schedule 2017

April 29th Private Songwriting Workshop in Los Angeles. Email havilahrand@gmail.com if you’d like more info and to register.

May 8 – 10  Parkrose Middle School in Portland, OR. Havilah will lead a songwriting workshop through the SUN program guitar class. Contact them directly if you would like to participate.

June 3-5  Private Songwriting Workshop on Whidbey Island, WA. 10am – 3pm ages 7 – 12. Contact Havilah at havilahrand@gmail.com if you would like to participate.

June 12 – 15 Methow Young Songwriter Summer Camp at the Methow Valley Community School.  10am – 3pm ages 7 – 13  $225. Register through the document on the sidebar or email havilahrand@gmail.com.

June 26 – 30 Whidbey Island, WA  hosted by Full Moon Rising Camp. Contact Full Moon Rising Camp directly to register.

July 10 – 13  Vashon Island, WA. Contact our hosts Vashon Center for the Arts to register.

July 17 – 20 Bellingham, WA. We are back at Camp Cody in Fairhaven complete with swimming pond and treehouse!! We are also lucky to have Johann Wagner as a guest teacher.  10am – 3pm ages 7 – 13  $265  (partial scholarships available). Register through the document on the sidebar or email havilahrand@gmail.com.

July 24 – 28 Seattle, WA presented through Bertschi School. Contact them directly to register.

August 1 – 4  Ferndale, WA. Hosted at a private location on a beautiful farm!  10am – 3pm ages 7 – 13  $265  (partial scholarships available).Register through the document on the sidebar or email havilahrand@gmail.com to learn more!

August 17 – 20 and 21 – 24 Southington, CT hosted by Southington Community Cultural Arts Center. Please contact our hosts directly to register and learn more.

“My kids, who were initially both reluctant participants, absolutely LOVED the Songwriter Camp. I am so impressed with the creativity you inspired in them, how you showed them that they can take everyday events and turn them into songs, and how songwriting is an organic process. They also loved the silly fun elements like swimming and observing humans in their natural habitats. I hope you’ll offer the camp again next June!” –  Methow Arts Alliance Director and Parent

“You did an incredible job bringing out her creativity. I was in awe of the song you composed together. I am making a CD to come out by October 1st, and I want to include her song.” – Recording Artist and Grandparent

 

Overflowing with Songs and Gratitude!!

IMG_4572Five camps, over sixty young songwriters and over a hundred songs and I’m sitting here in a coffeeshop in Oregon City feeling so much gratitude towards every kid, parent, assistant and host who have participated in this project over the last three years. Writing songs with kids has reminded me of the joy that comes from the process of creating with spontaneity and curiosity. The list of benefits that I witness these programs providing continues to grow and instead of learning from what didn’t work, I spend most of my time examining what exactly is making these programs so successful!

The strong connections and empathy that build between campers as they allow themselves to be vulnerable in front of each other is a testament to the true nature of human beings to be compassionate towards one another. Many of our songwriters this summer experience anxiety and a variety of challenges when it comes to reading, writing and focusing for long periods of time. We observed these anxieties alleviated to a high degree as they were given the freedom to use words in whatever way they chose, whether it was nonsensically, as poetry, as improvisation and then set in an artistic framework of melody and rhythm. Campers are also provided a variety of choices as to how they’d like to spend their time whether it be sound engineering, writing lyrics, drawing in their journal, working with a group, playing an instrument, mentoring younger participants and so much more. Songwriting can be a tedious process so we make a point of getting out of our heads with spontaneous dance parties, nature walks, theater games and even meditation.  Parents who swore their child was too shy to perform in front of an audience were delighted to watch them describe the process of songwriting and then perform an original piece in front of a crowd of peers and strangers. Most importantly, we had so much FUN! From swimming in freezing cold rivers, to spying on shoppers in the local supermarket, to long walks in the woods, to using paint and recycled materials to make instruments, to our end of the day listening sessions.. every day ended with smiles and excitement for what the next day would bring.

Thank you again to each and every one of you who has participated in making these camps such a transformative and enjoyable experience for myself and for the young songwriters I’ve been so blessed to work with. I’ll be spending part of the fall in Europe and then back in October to offer home school programs, private and small group sessions and planning next summer. Enjoy these pictures and please reach out to me with testimonials, comments, suggestions and requests for a Young Songwriter program near you! My email is havilahrand@gmail.com or fill out the form..

YOUNG SONGWRITER SUMMER CAMP AUSTIN 2016

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METHOW VALLEY YOUNG SONGWRITER SUMMER CAMP 2016

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YOUNG SONGWRITER SUMMER CAMP SEATTLE 2016

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VASHON ISLAND YOUNG SONGWRITER SUMMER CAMP 2016

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BELLINGHAM YOUNG SONGWRITER SUMMER CAMP 2016

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Summer is almost here!!

Summer is almost here!!

Hello from sunny warm Austin, TX where famed music conference SXSW is underway.The Obamas have been in town as well as tons of musicians, filmmakers and tech industry innovators. It’s an exciting place to be and I’m a lucky girl to be able to spend a good portion of my time in such a creative city. I’m also very proud to announce that I was recently nominated for the prestigious Austin Music Industry Esme Barrera Award for Music Activism and Education. A huge thank you to all the young people I’ve written songs with over the last ten years for making my work so meaningful.

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In addition to gigs and organizing songwriting programs, I’ve been spending the last few months teaching part time at a small schoolhouse located on a ranch where I also lead an after school songwriting workshop. In order to feed my own creativity, I’ve been preparing for a fall release of a five song EP of the work I’ve been doing with elderly translating life stories into songs. Now that it’s spring, I’m looking forward to upcoming summer travels to Oregon, Washington and Alaska where I’ll be leading a bunch of songwriting programs for young people in addition to my own performing and writing. I’m beyond excited and a little overwhelmed at how much there is to do in only a few short months. This work gives me energy though and now that the summer camps are in their third season, I feel like things are going to flow better than ever this year. Thanks to our fundraising campaign in December, I am able to purchase more instruments and recording gear for our camps as well as  offer at least five full scholarships to campers in need of financial assistance.  By the way, there are still opportunities to give at the Indiegogo site. Click the link on the sidebar and thanks for helping!!

If you are interested in registering for a camp please use the link in the sidebar and feel free to email Havilah at havilahrand@gmail.com with all questions. Here is a schedule of what we’ve got planned so far..

Young Songwriters Camp in Austin, TX in collaboration with Terra Luz Community School- May 31st  – June 2nd  $185

Methow Valley Young Songwriter’s Camp in Twisp, WA –  June 20-23 11am – 4pm  $185

Young Songwriter Summer Camp at Bertschi School in Seattle – June 27 – July 1  9am – 4pm  SOLD OUT

Young Songwriter Summer Camp on Vashon Island in collaboration with Vashon Allied ArtsJuly 5 – 8 (contact them directly for registration)

Young Songwriter Summer Camp in Bellingham, WA – July 11 – 14 10am – 3pm  Private venue…details given at registration. $225

Young Songwriter Workshop in Talkeetna, AK – July 30th presented by The Grove

Young Songwriter Workshop in McCarthy AK – August 8th presented by the Wrangell Mountain Center

Feel free to use this contact form for inquiries and suggestions!

Gratitude and Looking Forward…

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Greetings and Happy New Year from Havilah, the founder and creator of Young Songwriter Programs. First, I want to thank the many friends and supporters who gave to our Indiegogo fundraising campaign in November and December. Together we were able to raise $2500 which will go towards paying for recording equipment, instruments and providing scholarships for five young songwriters this summer. (by the way you can STILL donate so check out the link HERE) So far I’ve been a one woman machine but now I feel like I truly have a team of supporters and believers behind me. Now, more than ever, it’s so important to give young people the opportunity to tap into their own innate creative talents and express themselves without fear or judgement. After years teaching in both public and alternative learning classrooms, I know the stark difference between a child whose true potential is being stifled or awakened, whose self confidence is being torn down or lifted up and whose desire to create is being supported or squelched.

My dream is that the philosophy and guiding principles of the Young Songwriter Programs will be embodied in a curriculum that can be integrated into public and private school learning communities. For now, the summer camps and workshops are flourishing. The after school workshops at both Integrity Academy and Austin Village Academy culminated with over twelve songs about everything from fossils to minecraft to the fear a tightrope walker must feel when hovering over a city. I also led several private workshops at birthday parties, Christmas parties and a New Year’s Day gathering. These were beautiful moments when I was able to facilitate groups of both young people and adults co-writing a song that was of course recorded and given to each participant.

If you know me, then you know I have itchy feet and have to move around frequently. I’ll be in Austin, TX till May with a quick jaunt to the Colorado area in April. I’m available for private coaching, small group workshops and homeschool programs so contact me if you are interested! Then in June I will offer a Cirque De Soleil summer camp at Integrity Academy from May 30 – June 3. This will be a blast as we write our own music, practice dance and acro-yoga to create an incredible performance. I’ll then take off for the Pacific Northwest and lead summer camps in Twisp, Seattle, Vashon Island and Bellingham all in Washington State. Check out the Summer Camp 2016 page for more details.  In August, it’s off to Alaska. Then a tentative plan to head to the east coast and Europe in the fall. I’ll keep you posted and please reach out if you are interested in helping put together a workshop, house concert, or combination in any of these parts of the globe.

Much Gratitude to all and may 2016 bring you many opportunities to be creative, to sing songs and to manifest your dreams..

Love, Havilah

Help Grow Young Songwriter Programs

The last few months have been a whirlwind of afterschool workshops, private sessions, planning for summer camps and launching our Indiegogo Campaign to raise funds for scholarships and more materiaIMG_0073ls. I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support and positivity from parents, friends, family and young songwriters. In addition to my songwriting, I’ve also been working as a substitute teacher part time. After spending time in public schools and watching kids struggle with standardized testing, boring classroom routines and uninspired approaches to engaging in academic content, I am convinced now more than ever that my songwriting programs are not just a fun way to spend down-time..they are NECESSARY in order to give young people an opportunity to engage in words, music and technology in ways that inspire innovation and support social emotional wellness. I envision my songwriting workshops evolving into enrichment programs at public schools, libraries, community centers and children’s hospitals giving kids from all walks of life a chance to express themselves creatively through music. As we reach the last ten days of our fundraising campaign, I’m inviting everyone to pitch in and help bring us to our goal so that the Young Songwriter Programs can manifest its full potential. At only 20% funded with 10 days to go, I’m expecting a small miracle. No amount is too small, it’s always the thought that counts..here’s the link. Please share!!

http://igg.me/at/youngsongwriters/x/8023029

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Songwriting Camps and Workshops Take Flight – To Austin!

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When I was nine years old I spent most of my days exploring the wooded area behind our apartment complex, making up songs on our old piano, dressing up like Laura Ingalls Wilder and teaching an imaginary classroom of kids. Now I’m 42 and besides the oversized dress and bonnet, things haven’t changed much. I love nature, I love working with young people and I love writing songs.  After two decades of recording and touring, eight years of public and private school teaching, I’ve honed in on where my true talents and passion lie which is in helping others discover and express their own unique voice. This has led me to create my dream job leading songwriting workshops and camps for young people. The mission of these programs is to demonstrate to kids that when we explore the world from an artistic standpoint, we can express our perspective in a way that makes life more interesting and meaningful to ourselves and to others. By infusing a sense of fun and curiosity into all that we do, learning becomes an exciting adventure rather than a mundane routine. Finally, collaborating with others to create a body of work that reflects authentic feelings and experiences has a huge impact on the way we value our own voice as well as the voice of others.

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Since it’s inception out of my one bedroom apartment three years ago, the Young Songwriter Workshops and Camps have evolved considerably in scope and depth. This summer alone we worked with approximately thirty kids who wrote over sixty songs using inspiration found in nature, urban adventures, artistic explorations and connection with one another. We witnessed kids paralyzed with anxiety upon arrival, singing and creating with wild abandon within hours. Campers who were experiencing a fair amount of turbulence in their personal lives were able to process their feelings through their lyrics as well as connection with new friends and mentors. For example, Leo wasn’t sure the Orcas Island Songwriting Camp was for him. He’s more of a hip hop techno kind of a guy and a songwriting camp with a bunch of little girls didn’t seem very appealing at first.  He quickly opened his mind and attitude towards the possibilities and took on the role of recording engineer and producer.  We watched him exercise qualities of empathy, patience and leadership as he supported the songwriters during the challenging and sometimes scary recording process. He even ended up emceeing our CD release celebration and was quite the entertainer.

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It’s been truly amazing to watch these workshops and camps take on a life of their own with a minimal amount of guidance from adult mentors. I believe the most important things we provide is a framework from which to set goals and a sense of safety and freedom when it comes to self expression. The goal is to write songs but as is the case with all artistic endeavors, it is the journey and not so much the destination that really matters. Parents and campers alike have used words such as “transformational” to describe their experience at songwriting camp. Each day we spend time journaling, manipulating words and pictures we find in magazines and various pieces of literature, listening to music, exploring the outdoors and observing humans in their natural habitats such as coffeehouses, grocery stores and even laundromats. Before too long, the ideas we’ve captured through these activities take the shape of songs which we begin recording immediately so that they don’t “escape”. Participants are given as much freedom or support as their musical skills and personal interests dictate. Some find that they’d rather spend time working on musical ideas while others focus more on lyrics. There are opportunities to practice performance and vocal skills, engineering techniques, CD cover design and improvisation with various instruments. Through both introspection and collaboration, a collection of great songs is the final product of our creative effort.

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Like every dedicated teacher and performer, I get extremely anxious just before the start of each workshop. And without fail, as soon as we begin I am delighted by the qualities that each young person brings and reminded that children are innately non judgmental, creative and have a natural ability to open their hearts and minds to new experiences. Young Songwriter programs provide an opportunity to experience life as a brave and open-hearted adventurer with an appreciation of uniqueness in ourselves and in others. This enables authentic self-expression which ultimately leads to greater happiness and the sharing of our gifts with the world.

Young Songwriter Workshops and Camps are mobile and adaptable to a variety of settings and time frames. Please contact havilahrand@gmail.com to learn more and register.

Young Songwriter Break Camp September 28th – October 1st   Integrity Academy at Casa De Luz   9am – 3pm  $225

Young Songwriter After School Workshop   Tuesdays October 6th – November 10th  3:15 – 4:30  Integrity Academy   $150

Young Songwriter After School Workshop  Wednesdays October 7th – November 11th  3:45 – 5:00pm  Austin Village Academy   $150

Freedom To Be Ourselves

Freedom To Be Ourselves


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The 2015 Young Songwriting Summer Camps were an unprecedented success. Thirty kids and over sixty songs were written using inspiration found in nature, urban adventures, artistic explorations and connection with one another. We witnessed kids paralyzed with anxiety upon arrival singing and creating with wild abandon within days. We had several campers who were experiencing a fair amount of turbulence in their personal lives and were able to process their feelings through their lyrics as well as connection with other campers and mentors.

Its been truly amazing to watch these workshops and camps take on a life of their own with a minimal amount of guidance and support from adult mentors. I believe the most important thing we provide is a sense of safety and freedom when it comes to self expression. The goal is to write songs but as is the case with all artistic endeavors, it is the journey and not so much the destination that really matters. Parents and campers alike have used  words such as  “transformational” to describe their experience at songwriting camp. We believe that children are innately non judgmental, creative and have a natural ability to open their hearts and minds to new experiences. Infusing a sense of fun, curiosity and freedom into an activity that requires a great amount of vulnerability and courage ensures that this experience will carry over into many other aspects of their lives. It is our mission to show kids that life is an adventure that requires open-mindedness, an acceptance of uniqueness in ourselves and in others and the ability to express ourselves from the most authentic place possible. In this way, we are able to find true happiness and share our gift with the world.

Songwriting Camps and Workshops are mobile and adaptable to many settings and situations such as homeschool communities, after school programs, academic enrichment, private one on one coaching and more. Contact Havilah at havilahrand@gmail.com to explore the possibilities.

Has your child been a participant in a Young Songwriters Camp or Workshop or do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? In order to continue building and improving our programs we need testimonials!! Please give us some feedback on how your child benefitted from this unique experience. Thank you in advance!!