Malcolm and I have spent a lot of time trying to clearly communicate what makes the Story-to-Song method different than other songwriting out there. Having been trained as scholars in the Prescott College Sustainability Education program, we have learned firsthand how important it is to be able to offer a clear and concise response to people who ask us why they should support what we are doing and why they should join us in our work.
The following is a beginning attempt to clarify what we are doing and why. You would not believe (or maybe you would?) how many hours of back and forth it took for us derive these few, short sentences. Creating art is a labor of love with labor pains along the way.
Statement of the problem:
Certain realms of society have a great responsibility for their social impact. Art and media are two of these realms. People are very susceptible to what they see and interpret as correct behavior and image. Once they have become are convinced of how they should look, act, and feel, it is very difficult to counter this internalized belief.
Commercial music and contemporary culture create an illusion of what people are supposed to experience in life. That is a problem because if and when people do not experience or accomplish these things, they feel like failures.
Solution we offer:
Rather than making assumptions or claiming that we are an authority about what people should or do experience, we are going to the source and honoring what we find out. We believe in giving people agency and a voice in what themes are communicated through art and music. Therefore, we are going to the source and asking people to share stories that communicate their real life experiences and struggles and creating music from the source.
Through songwriting in the Story-to-Song method, we act as musical sherpas, giving people the opportunity to share their real experiences in a safe space where they can feel valued and loved for who they really are.
We are very aware that this kind of grassroots movement will not be easy. However, we also know that it is time for us to dig our heels in and give it a try. To make a difference in people’s lives requires that we act because the difference will not be made through talk and intention alone.
There is a world of music out there that you can help create!
Will you join us in discovering this music?
We hope so!