As we believe here at the Real Life Real Music Foundation, music has serious power to heal. Music can help us overcome hardships, assist in healing us from trauma, and gives us an outlet to express ourselves freely. Music also has the power to affect our immediate emotions. For example, heavy metal may cause us to feel anxious or stressed, while an upbeat song may trigger a dopamine release, putting us in a happy mood.
While listening to music is therapeutic, making your own music brings this healing power to a whole new level. For many, a song is an outlet to tell a story. Whether that story is metaphorical or personal, many feel music is a safe space to express emotions. Music allows you to put your feelings, (no matter how messy), into words to create something beautiful and melodic.
Have you ever had trouble trying to explain how or why you feel a certain way? Try writing a song instead- you may be surprised at how natural it feels. This sentiment especially applies to foster children. A lot of foster kids have gone through so many hardship and traumatic experiences in their lives from such a young age, that they have a hard time understanding their feelings at all. By teaching them songwriting as a form of expression, they are able to release some of this built up tension, frustration and confusion in a healthy way.
As you may know, foster care and education is actually a huge part of what we do. In conjunction with our sister non-profit, A Place to Stay Texas, we host ‘Songwriter Experience’ camps specifically for foster and adoptive children! Here, children are mentored by experienced songwriters and musicians, who teach them to write, record and perform their very own songs.
“The songwriter camp was a powerfully healing experience for our kids. We serve adolescent girls who have experienced severe emotional trauma, abuse, and neglect. The songwriting experience allowed each girl to tell her story in her own unique way, which was empowering and cathartic. The girls were courageous and proud of their work.” – Darcie DeShazo, Executive Director – The Settlement Home for Children
Not only is songwriting a form of therapy for these foster kids, but it also encourages them to be more creative, and empowering them to believe they can do anything they set their mind to. Besides, it’s fun! Sign up for some songwriting lessons and see what your foster kids can create!