Story provided by Stillwater Public Library
The Stillwater Public Library is happy to announce that participants in the summer reading program will have the opportunity to work with last week’s musical performer, two-time Grammy nominee Morgan Taylor, to learn about songwriting. The workshop for kids in grades 1-5 will be held Tuesday, July 6, and the teen version for grades 6-12 takes place Wednesday, July 7. Both workshops start at 2 p.m. Space is limited, and registration is required so participants can receive the Zoom link to join live and have time to pick up a composition notebook at the library to begin writing their own songs.
Taylor, creator of the “Gustafer Yellowgold Show,” performed his acclaimed art-and-music concert last week for the library’s summer reading program. In addition to his creative and engaging live shows, Taylor offers his unique expertise for educational arts enrichment programs.
In the workshops, attendees will learn how a song can literally be about anything, how to brainstorm for song ideas and how a musical imagination is like a muscle that needs exercise.
Taylor emphasizes that anyone can be creative but that it takes practice.
“Art is an essential element of human expression,” Taylor said. “Through hard work, you can hone that gift into something that is truly your own.”
Taylor will guide students through a “from scratch” song-building experience –from silence to sing-along in under an hour! Brainstorming the initial concept, studying lyric building, rhyme structure, verse-chorus framework and fine-tuning are a few aspects explored in this collaborative process.
Teen Librarian, Jessica Howe, expects teens and kids will learn a lot about a process that may seem mystical to them if they have not had much exposure to the world of music creation.
“I remember thinking it would be so cool to write songs as a kid, but, musically, I had no idea how to start,” Howe said. “No one in my circle of family and friends knew anything about music, and I wasn’t sure I could figure it out on my own. These workshops will expose attendees to the songwriting process so it doesn’t seem like such a big challenge that is impossible to achieve as a kid.”
Taylor started his musical journey at a young age so he can relate to children just getting started.
“Music was an integral part of my creative play and development as early as I can remember,” Taylor said. “I began writing full-length songs for my various bands starting as a young teen.”
Introducing the community to various forms of art is what this summer’s reading program is all about, thanks in part to a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Register for the songwriting workshops and learn more about the other arts-based summer programming and reading challenges at library.stillwater.org/summer_@_your_library.php.
Those interested in learning more about Morgan Taylor and the “Gustafer Yellowgold Show” can visit gustaferyellowgold.com.
To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit arts.gov.
The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.