(click to watch video)
Dylan Saile is a former graduate of our program at Devereux Cleo Wallace who has since transitioned into a community home with Third Way Center. He is the first student in our transition program, and we met with him and his father, Kevin Saile, this week to record a new song. Dylan is a prolific artist, and you can hear his music in the Student Music under the name gerard. On this track, Dylan plays guitar, mandolin, and the washboard while he sings, and Kevin accompanies him on lead guitar. We look forward to getting him in the studio and continuing with him as he progresses as an artist.
This week was a lot of fun, teaching four classes at Pathways Alternative Middle School in addition to our regular teaching schedule. We decided to work with the students of Pathways for several reasons: one, a wonderful teacher, Karen Kazemi, from this school, had shown interest in what we were doing in residential treatment centers and after-school programs, and thought we might be helpful in exposing her students to something different, two, it offered us an opportunity to experiment with some writing exercises that we had been considering doing in conjunction with our lyrics writing lessons, and three, it offered an opportunity to hear what students in this demographic were interested in telling the rest of the world. Wednesday the students broke up into three groups; one focused on learning about music production by picking samples that will appear in the final audio track for the video, the second, focused on story-boarding the scenes that they wanted to shoot on Friday, and the third, revised their writings into four lines that they would later record for the final overdub of the video. On Friday the students were treated to some of the videos Robbie shot for us over the last couple of weeks, then recorded the audio tracks and shot the video scenes they had decided upon on Wednesday. It was a blast and we are planning on debuting the video in a school assembly on the 22nd of this month.
At Devereux, we were able to record four students, while all were busy on their personal projects. We are on schedule and are looking forward to beginning the album covers next week and will be mixing and mastering on Monday. We have three students who are at the point of recording for the first time and look forward to their debut in from of the microphone on Monday of next week. Many students in this group continue to make improvements in regards to their lyric writing and recording ability. It is fun watching their progress.
At Savio the students are beginning to get into their own, finding a balance between learning, experimenting, and executive decision making, regarding their projects. Many of the students of this group are in doing projects in collaboration, and all are having fun. This is a highly assertive group!
At Shiloh, Littleton, the students continue to succeed under the direction of Robbie and Cody, who are wrapping up their final month with us here, with the intention of beginning Youth On Record in Alaska. These students all wrote lyrics for the first time, many sharing very personal subjects. We look forward to continue working with these guys in exploring their feelings through lyricism.
Pathways Alternative Middle School of Littleton
On Wednesday we began a collaborative project with Pathways Alternative Middle School of Littleton. Under the directi0n of their English teacher, Karen Kazemi, we are exploring different writing subjects with the intention of creating a music video highlighting these writings. Spoken word/hip hop emcee, youth activist, and Flobots.org partner artist, Adrian Molina, joined us on Wednesday, and award winning writer and Flobots.org Programs Manager, Laura Bond, helped facilitate on Friday. The students were impressive, sharing some of the most powerful writings we have encountered thus far. In their writings the students addressed the topics of, "Where we come from, who we are now, and who do we want to be." Also we explored, through writing, Thomas Hobbes' idea of the Leviathan as a social contract. The students also got to "crate dig" for vinyl, in true old-school fashion. We will be recording audio tracks and shooting video footage this week, so look forward to their finished project.
Zion I and The Grouch
(click to watch video)
Zion I, and The Grouch of Living Legends, were gracious enough to perform at Devereux Cleo Wallace on Saturday. The artists also shared their perspectives regarding the music industry, lyrical content, and inspiration, and also performed a couple of their tracks from their new album, "Heroes in the Healing of a Nation." A Youth On Record student performed an original song afterward, highlighting some of the exceptional work done in the classroom by these students. Thank you to the Grouch, Zion I, the students of Youth On Record, Flobots.org, Devereux Cleo Wallace, and everyone else that had a hand in making this happen!
(click to watch video)
Guitarist Johnny Crow graced Devereux Cleo Wallace with his skill set, also giving the students some personal insight regarding the importance of music in his life. Johnny began by playing some incredible blues guitar, inviting the students to play along, which three of them did. Then, much to our surprise and delight, three other students began to freestyle over the music. It was a special moment in the history of Youth On Record. Mr. Crow finished by playing a hardcore track from the new album by Useless Eaters. Thanks for being an inspiration to us all!