Can a song change a life?
What if it was Your song, your WORDS?
The Irving Caesar "Lyric Project", seeded by money from the ASCAP Foundation, provides hundreds of inner city teens, ages 15 to 18, an outlet for expression through the art of song writing. For some the joy is finding a new talent that connects them to their music idols, for others the connection is deeper as they attempt to make sense out of the senseless. Lyric Project classes are held in detention centers, Los Angeles County high schools and after school programs.
Students begin by exploring contemporary and musical theater song structures. Under the guidance of the instructor they work with hands-on, interactive questionnaires, brainstorming charts, and sample lyrics to transform intimate moments and personal experiences from their lives into well-crafted lyrics. Once the lyrics are completed the teacher goes through them and submits a group of the lyrics to a review panel from the Skylight Theatre and ASCAP; the panel identifies fifteen to twenty of the lyrics to be set to music.
The new lyricists work with established professional composer/songwriters to set their words to music. They learn how key, style, and rhythm enhance their text and how their lyrics powerfully direct the development of each component. In recognition of their status as emerging music professionals, an ASCAP professional introduces them to the business of songwriting. Finally, professional singers perform the new songs in unique concert enhanced with dance and video interviews celebrating not only the teen's songs, but their lives.
The Lyric Project is filmed documentary-style, beginning with the initial workshop conversations through the final performance presentation.