Find ways that work for them…and myself

By | May 4, 2015


One thing about running youth programs, it forces me to troubleshoot creatively after every session.

Not that we have had a lot of “troubles”, I call it challenges and learning processes.

I like the challenges, and I’m glad that I am ready for them.

Great opportunities are for those who are ready.

Since early April, I have been conducting “Your Voice is You” creative voice project in partnership with North York Community House. This 6-week project is proudly funded by Toronto Arts Council’s Platform A Microgrant.

I have been working with 8 newcomer youths who are very brilliant in their own ways. What I need to do is to guide them to “find their voice”.

I’m not going to post my entire grant proposal up here. *yawns*

I gotta say… I’m getting better at writing grants, but executing a project is not the same as writing a grant/proposal.

Especially when it comes to this project about improvisation.

Music improvisation has its beauty, but it also exposes ourselves — how do we determine the music is good or bad?

Most of the time, I tell people it is not the point to play “good” music while improvising, it is the process of (re)discovering the music in our body. When it comes to vocal improvisation, the vibration of our voice in our body defines who we are.

We always exist, we always have our voice. But are we utilizing our voice to a great capacity? I don’t expect a simple “yes” or “no”, the journey is what matters the most.

At workshops, asking questions is more important than giving out answers.

Ultimately, a community-engaged arts workshop/program is to find ways that work for the participants, along with your initial objectives/goals; meanwhile find ways that work for myself as an artist.

I can’t wait for May 12th, our final session where all the youths will have a few musical pieces ready for video and audio recording. It will be fun, I believe.

Of course singing is about fun. Life is about fun.

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