2017 was a very productive summer at Singing For Love. Although camp and other activities affected attendance, as expected this time of year, the small group of talented kids achieved a great deal. They learned he chords C, CMaj7, Am, Am7, F, Dm, Dm7, D7, G, G7, Em, Em(11), and E7. They learned a Blues in A, using a a sliding “double-stop” (a two-note shape that creates an “interval,” in this case a tritone), and heard that it will eventually allow them to quickly and easily play a Blues in any key. They learned why do re mi isn’t just child’s play, and one of the girls, C.R., then used solfege in order to compose the melody of the song we wrote. They shared the reasons they think people want to write songs, and explored several ways to approach songwriting. Together they chose a theme to write about—Canada’s 150th anniversary—brainstormed “power ideas” that form the main concepts they wanted to communicate about their chosen theme.
The kids drew pictures of their favourite things about Canada, to get more ideas for lyrics. They all contributed ideas and lyrics, which Rosy and Richard helped them to organize into 3 verses that built on the “power ideas” they brainstormed in the first two sessions.
We talked about Truth and Reconciliation—but perhaps not enough. We know our workshops took place on the traditional territory of the Missisaugas of the New Credit, who never ceded the land. We know Canada has not always lived up to all the ideals the kids chose to be in their song. In keeping with the student-centred guidelines we set for ourselves we felt it isn’t our place to tell the kids what to put in their songs. We only encourage and guide them in shaping their own ideas into music, and acquiring the musical and instrumental skills they need to do their ideas justice. We came to trust that this generation will lead Canada ahead in the direction sharing, caring and daring to build a nation on tolerance, acceptance and peace.