Songwriting with the Young Makers and Young Apprentices

Since I have learned and explored so much throughout my time here at the Homeschool Program, I was inspired to share my passion for songwriting with the folk school. I feel that music is a vehicle for fostering a sense of community and healthy self expression––so Joe, a fellow Bennington student and musician and I organized a songwriting workshop for the Young Makers and the Young Apprentices. Joe and I figured that the curious children would be eager to jump right into the process. time now The Young Makers began writing their song by narrating a story that they would then set to music. The result was an action-filled, playful, and zany tale about a group of animals that “lived in the forest but didn’t get along.” One day the “monkey tricked them into playing hide-and-seek,” so that they would become friends. The story then took a fascinating twist––the dog “hid inside the vending machine!” All the animals came to look for the dog, and upon finding him, they all realized they wanted a snack from the vending machine. They all climbed inside and “were feeling kind of crammed.” Then––suddenly!––”they blasted into outer space!” Their final song, “Space Animals” by the Young Makers may be streamed below.   [soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]   The Young Apprentices also had an adventure with the process. Joe and I began by asking the group what they wanted to sing about; “Food––chocolate!” was their collective answer. Joe then initiated the tune by strumming a few chords while I sang out a melody. The chorus

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came to them first, with the lyrics, “Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate all day/I eat chocolate for three meals a day!” To flesh out our three verses, the Apprentices decided to assign breakfast, lunch, and dinner each to its respective verse. “We should sing the melody of the verse first, and then write the lyrics,” one Young Apprentice, Maisie suggested. We all then sang out a melody along to Joe’s guitar strumming. Soon the melody was born, and the Apprentices played with words to fit the lyrics to the melody. By the time we finished writing and singing, we all wanted chocolate for snack time! Below are the lyrics “The Chocolate Song” by the Young Apprentices:

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