To educate, inspire and create opportunities to experience the life-changing power of music
We believe strongly in the power of music to transform lives, and so we dedicate ourselves to the task of working in partnership with schools, service providers, and performance venues to show people how to mange their emotions and express themselves through song.
Music can be a refuge and a source of healing. It can help them learn about their inner world and the human condition. Our Songwriting programs have been a success since 2011.
Opportunities for Artists
The impact of donated dollars is compounded because in addition to funding the programs, it’s creating day jobs for active, professional local musicians which allow them to continue pursuing their art. Every gift helps artists today and the artists of the future.
Using Music to Heal the Mind
Songwriting for Wellness: Using Music to Heal the Mind, written and published by founder Tim Cheesebrow, outlines our core philosophies, the scientific research and evidence that serves as the basis for our work, and can teach the reader how to use songwriting to better their own lives.
Music education for healthy mind and body
The Discover Music songwriting program consists of 12 modular sessions. Each session covers an important aspect of the songwriting process, and can be delivered over varied lengths of time to suit the needs of the partner organization and their students. Each session of the program has a core lesson plan and several extensions. The more time spent with students, the deeper into the material they are able to go.
Session 1: Basic Music Theory - notes, rhythms, counting, scales, musical terminology
Session 2: Song Structure - function of sections, popular formulas, building energy, identification Session 3: Chordal harmony - Roman numeral analysis, chord progressions, 4 part writing
Session 4: Storytelling - Structure, methods, making meaning, perspective, audience, sequence
Session 5: Writing with Purpose - harnessing inspiration, writing for self and others
Session 6: Poetic Devices - rhythm, rhyme, meter, descriptive writing, purposeful rule breaking
Session 7: Critique - sharing, lyrical effectiveness, giving and receiving criticism, audience perception.
Session 8: Production - putting it all together, adding instruments, musical feeling
Session 9: Recording - How to sing, how to record with available tech, basic audio engineering
Session 10: Music Business - interview professionals, articulate purpose and artistic intent
Session 11: Final Project - overcoming fear, performing in front of others, career exploration
Session 12: Writing for Wellness - writing as daily practice, exercises, affirmation, expression
Discover Music instructors are working music professionals, bringing their experience, personality, knowledge and compassion into their work with students. Before working with students, instructors are given a background check, observed in the classroom by a board member, and given training techniques to work with adolescents and deliver the Discover Music content faithfully.
They are clear on their role, which is less about dispensing information and more about guiding growth. They are not teachers. They are facilitators who guide the creative process of the students we serve. They are not therapists. Discover Music instructors are mandatory reporters and alert the appropriate school staff if a student is in need of help. They engage students as friends and mentors who are ready to listen to students and help them through a process of self discovery and expression.
Songwriting has had a profound and positive impact on students that lasts years after they leave the classroom. It’s beneficial that during their formative years they learn the values, skills, and tools that will help them become responsible, caring, authentic, well-rounded human beings.
High Student Engagement
There is a high degree of personal choice in how the musical ideas are expressed, which makes it easily accessible to young people. They can write using the rhythms and phrases of the musical styles they most enjoy. High degrees of student choice leads to high engagement, and this is perhaps the most critical window of opportunity to introduce healthy habits of mind.
Powerful Studio Experience
Middle school students get the chance to write a song with some of MN's top music professionals, but that's not all. They get to have those songs recorded in a REAL recording studio, Essential Sessions, with a professional backup band, producer, audio engineer, and get to sing on the class album. There's something powerful about stepping into the dimly lit booth, putting on the headphones, and singing your heart out into that big microphone that sticks with you...it's a one-of-a-kind experience our students never forget.
A Tool for behavioral wellness
Ages 13-18 is an important time in every person’s development where, for good or ill, many of the life-long beliefs and personality traits are formed. It’s a vulnerable time where we first begin to take risks, explore ourselves, and make lasting relationships. For many it is confusing, overwhelming, harsh and isolating. It is also a time when they are open to new ideas and develop the neural pathways that govern how they react to problems and stressors. It’s the ideal time to introduce them to wellness tools like songwriting. Learning this process empowers them to act as their own healers. Songwriting is a mode of self-administered therapy they can apply whenever and however often they need to. Once they learn how to write songs to promote their own wellness, they have a tool they can carry with them their entire lives.