One of Sympatico’s main goals is to create safe spaces within which students can take risks, both musically and otherwise. This morning’s Creative Connections workshop embodied just that.
One of the students in attendance this morning is a member of the Singing Eagles, taught by choral director Emily Smith. This student was sitting in on the portion of the workshop led by Sam and Liza, in which the students were working on developing lyrics for their composition. While the rest of the students had already developed a sentence or two (and were in the process of turning those into rhythmic and melodic lines), this student was toying around with the words.
She then turned to the closest adult and spoke the words in a rhythm. In that moment, she took a risk. Not only were these words new, but her rhythmic interpretation of them was as well. By telling an adult and sharing her idea, this student stepped out of her comfort zone and offered up something new.
Her risk-taking didn’t end there. As the rhythm was adopted by the rest of the group, this student moved on, thinking about the words in terms of a melody. She began singing them in a lyrical way, adding her own tune to the words and creating a melody for them. The workshop leaders took notice, offering her a recording device so that she had a moment to herself, in a bit of a recording studio.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter whether or not this student’s rhythmic and melodic interpretation makes it into the final composition. What matters is that she took a risk to interpret, consider, and interact with the work in a way that created a new understanding of the words. She went out on a limb, tried something new, and attempted something different. Creating spaces within which students feel comfortable enough to do such things is exactly what Sympatico is all about.