Workshops are often really special experiences as each day inherently brings new journeys, stronger group connections and a collective place to make, feel, change, grow and then, present.
It’s not always easy stepping into a new space with a group of people you don’t know: it’s brave and bold and adventurous!
It’s not always easy writing music, thinking of lyrics, getting creative, talking and navigating different ideas: it’s a challenging process that is exciting and also sometimes difficult!
It’s not always easy sharing personal stories and time with different people and finding connections in unlikely places: it’s often unexpected and wonderful.
14 very very inspiring young people (9-16years) joined us last week for our three-day Music, Art and Songwriting Workshop from all over Melbourne. Most hadn’t met before though in the way that shared experiences go, that feels like a lifetime ago. Everyone came with unique lived experience and wisdom, diverse energy (so important for the creative process!) and an openness to be there. We sang, we laughed, we designed awesome album covers, we talked about the music we love and why, we gobbled food and simply spent time together. There was also a pretty fantastic final presentation – an culmination of three days of ideas called ‘ShrokShrimp’ which included some rad dance moves, a super important message and roles taken on by everyone in the room.
We are so grateful to the incredibly talented, kind and compassionate Clare Younis and Grace Ferguson for their time and for guiding us so gently down the fascinating path of songwriting so that the beautiful smash hit ‘Now I Rise’ was born and will be sung and shared for years to come. ‘Now I Rise’ was collaboratively written by the whole group, inspired by the layers of an onion, the lessons of growth and time, the importance of friendship and the story of Shrek!
Here’s the chorus to give you an idea of the goosebumps it sparks:
I Believed Their Lies
But Now I Rise
Being Who I
Also a huge thank you to Harrison and Babs for their help and for being so present and part of the workshop. It takes a village – one full of kind-hearted, funny, open-minded people to create safe, supportive and fun environments and we will always be in deep gratitude for those who share their time with us.
Thank you Siteworks! What a place. From the foliage to letting us serenade the corridors, for the lovely presence of August and for the room to eat, lie in the sun, play and get things done all at once, thank you.
Thank you Voice Lab (Justine and Lex). One of the most beautiful inventions to date that honours the voices of kids in the most amazing of ways. Thanks Polyglot Theatre for your flexibility and for standing with us in recognising this as a deeply important space for young people to be heard.
Thank you Shebah – for being such a reliable service where we always know young people feel safe, secure and in the presence of lovely lovely people.
Thank you to the Commonwealth Bank for the chance to make it all happen.
And lastly but most importantly – to the young people and their families who joined us – in all the roles you take on as parents, carers, drivers, brothers, sisters, support workers, great uncles and aunts, grandparents, audience members, natural artists, idea generators and change makers – you open your doors so that we can open ours to you and it’s this that makes these experiences so incredible. Thank You.
To the ongoing making of a truly life-changing album…
(A recording of ‘Now I Rise’ to be shared soon but check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr_bN2ibCkg&feature=youtu.be to watch the showing at the end of the workshop)