Randy Peterson's Artist in Residence Song Writing Program
An exciting and fun way for Elementary School students to apply their writing skills!
Randy, This week was absolutely incredible and I just donít know if there is any way to tell you thank you enough. Your enthusiasm and creativity and patience and professionalism and (I could go on forever) was beyond what I could have imagined. Thank you so very, very much for making this concert one to remember. Ginger L. Snyder, Elementary Music Specialist, Martin and Beaumont Elementary Schools, Green Bay, WI 4/26/13
The artist in residence program by Randy Peterson involves students in a combination of creative writing and musical performance. It begins by applying their writing skills to the creation of song lyrics, and ends with the students performing the songs and recording a school CD. The concepts of idea, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, and conventions are identified as they are applied and the song takes shape. Students take part in the writing and revision of the completed song. The songwriting program is meant to reinforce lessons the students have learned and to give them a chance to apply their skills in a new and exciting way. The residency is a fast-paced, inspiring, and fun process that leaves the students proud of what they have accomplished.
All grade levels are usually included in the residency. The program usually runs five days in a school of 300-500 students. In a smaller school it can be accomplished in three days. Larger schools may choose to go with a seven or eight day residency. There is flexibility here, and Randy can go over the options for your school if you contact him by calling 920 469-9710 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an outline of what takes place in Randy Peterson's songwriting residency:
Prior to Randy's arrival, the student body should be divided into groups. Usually there are 6-10 groups. Randy will meet with each group three times. The goal of each of the groups is to create their own song, which they write, rehearse, perform, and record. Randy likes to begin the residency with an all-school assembly kick-off. During the kick-off program Randy will perform some of the songs he has written, discuss how they were created, and get everyone fired up for the days ahead.
Randy will then begin meeting with individual groups. During the first session, usually an hour long, the song is written. The subject matter for the song can be left up to the student's imaginations, a topic they have studied, or it could go along with a year-long theme such as respect or bullying. During that first hour, the song is written using the student's ideas and words. Throughout the residency, Randy strives to make the song the student's creation so they will feel ownership of the song.
Also, as soon as a song topic is picked, thought begins as to what the song should sound like. Students give their input as to whether the song ends up as rock and roll accompanied by and electric guitar, a calypso with acoustic guitar, bluegrass accompanied with banjo, or somewhere in between. Once again, the song's musical direction is the student's decision.
During the second session, usually running 30-45 minutes, Randy and the students look back at the song they have written and review how the writing skills were applied. Then rehearsal begins on their new creation. In this session Randy also demonstrates a banjo, mandolin, bass and electric guitar, showing how each is built to make the sounds they do. The main focus in this session is still the original song, however, and it is where we really fine-tune it. (pun intended)
In the third session, again 30-45 minutes, the students get a sample of what it takes to make a professional recording. Randy sets up a small recording studio and microphones in school. The students and Randy perform their new song and it is recorded to make a school CD of all their original songs. This CD can be made available for the students to purchase. Sometimes it can be used as a fundraiser. Ask Randy about details on this.
The week also culminates in a performance as an all-school assembly or a concert program for the parents.
This is a quick overview of Randy Peterson's songwriting artist in residence program. If you have questions concerning ANY aspect of this program, contact Randy Peterson at 920 469-9710 or e-mail him at email@example.com
Randy- I've been teaching for 25 years and this was the BEST PTA sponsored event ever! You were fantastic! Thanks for making the week so special for the whole school! Kim Turner, Bellevue Elementary School, Bellevue, Nebraska 4/23/2010
"Thank you to Randy Peterson! In three years here, I feel he was the best investment our PTO has made! It was great to see students and staff so excited about such an educational experience. I hope to hear CD's blaring in the classrooms in the weeks to come." Corrie Lambie, Principal, Garfield Elementary School, Marinette, WI 3/24/06
Last modified: 03/01/13