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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
Four weeks ago I packed everything I could fit into a 1996 Kia Sportage and left my life in Austin, TX for a valley in the North Cascade mountain range in Washington State. It was a tough decision but in the end there really wasn’t a question. There aren’t many things in this life that I feel sure about. What I am sure of is that singing and writing songs is as much a part of me as breathing. I am sure that being around kids strengthens my soul enough to weather most confrontations I have with adult egos including my own. I am sure that it will always be extremely difficult for me to be anything other than myself. I am sure that if I don’t spend the majority of my time doing something that I enjoy and that I find exciting and purposeful, that I will slowly die.
I made the choice that served every desire (besides money) my heart was longing for. More time singing, more time being creative with kids, more fresh air, less time in traffic, less time recuperating from a job that would deplete my creative energy rather than strengthen it, I got in the car and drove forty hours through the desert and the sunset colored hills of California and through the wet forests of southern Oregon back to my heart so I could BE alive instead of TRYING to be alive. Life has a way of making us think that there is always something more or different that we could be if only we tried harder. I find more and more that by accepting who I am in this moment and embracing it wholly brings me the closest to realizing my full potential.
As many others, I have often made the mistake of comparing my life to other’s, scrutinizing my choices and wondering why “normal” things like family, a steady job and home have never happened. I’m eternally grateful to whatever higher consciousness has helped me to see that our most precious belonging, our greatest treasure is our story. With its beauty and intrigue, heartbreak and strange twists and turns….this what we have to share with each other. When we find a way to share our selves and our most authentic story with the world, whether its through writing, singing, teaching, building a house or bombing down a snowy mountain..this is when we truly come alive and are serving the greater good of humanity.
I have a lot to say these days so stay tuned. I hope to take advantage of these chilly nights and early mornings by writing my story and sharing it with you.