Steve Seskin has gone back to school. These days he’s spending 50 to 75 days a year as an “Artist in Residence,” teaching children of all ages how to write songs and in the process writing one with the students he works with. The goal of this program is to instill a love of creative expression in the kids, as well as helping them create their own songs that speak to issues that affect the entire school community, such as bullying, respect, peer pressure, diversity and self-esteem. When students write their own song, they’re more apt to live by the words and quietly convince other students to do the same. If you’d like to listen to some of the songs kids have written with Steve, go to School Songs.
In addition to working with the children, Steve can do a teacher in-service while at a school, showing teachers how they can do this activity with their students. The new book, Sing My Song: A Kid's Guide to Songwriting, features twelve songs written with elementary children, a CD of them singing the songs, and a How To section with a lesson plan walking readers through the process. Music teachers or parents who are so inclined can help the kids with the music and lyric portion of the songwriting process. The CD features 4 instrumental tracks for those who want to just tackle the lyric side. There are valuable lessons about story development, focus and language skills built into the experience. The subject matter of the songs can include anything a teacher or parent is trying to convey to children, including but not limited to, all academic subjects. A song makes learning more fun, especially when the kids help write it.
Some schools combine the songwriting classes with assembly performances. A typical day might include two morning workshops writing songs with students, followed by an all-school assembly in the afternoon featuring the songs written in the morning as well as Steve’s character education themed songs such as, “Don’t Laugh At Me.”
For information on booking go to Contact.