On March 20th and 27th, Project READY participants were given the chance to work with a talented musician by the stage name Yako 440.  Yako’s engagement with the students was extremely productive from the start.  Yako was able to gain and keep the attention of the kids while having them participate in group sessions.  This allowed them to use their creativity as well as generated a sense of unity within the group. This unity came from the kids producing their own beats and having the opportunity to share it with one another. Every young person created an exclusive sound that fit them, and with Yako’s help and ingenuity, were able to make one complete beat using each student’s individual touches.

During this process, students were encouraged by Yako as well as one another to use their creativity to make their own sound. During the recording process of the workshop, each were eager to add their own individual flare and offered their support and encouragement for their peers. Yako’s passion for music was contagious and the students fed off that to make their own beats and turn it into one sound.  Even individuals who were not totally interested in music were able to get involved and enjoyed the process more than they thought they would.

Both sessions from start to finish were a great tool for bringing the group together, generating and maintaining an interactive space while raising self-esteem and an overall feeling of accomplishment. These workshops provided court involved young people with the opportunity to get to know one another differently, which in turn, helped to strengthen self-esteem and the group dynamic as a whole.

During Yako’s second session, he was able to introduce new sounds that let the youth build off of what they had created from the previous session. This was even more exciting because they were already exposed to beat-making from the previous session and were willing to be more creative the second time around. Once these sessions were over, theywere left wanting more and expressed their desire to have Yako come in on a regular basis.

*This article was taken from the Staten Island Youth Justice Center’s March 2012 Newsletter

About Arts Horizons

Arts Horizons is a premier not-for-profit arts-in-education organization that provides live professional performances and artist-in-residence programs to students and professional development for teachers throughout the entire tri-state region. Our commitment is to make music, art, dance, theatre, new media and creative writing an integral part not only of learning, but of life. Through the transformative impact of the arts, we reach young people through many dimensions, breaking down the barriers of language and culture, accelerating personal growth, and stimulating children’s full potential to prepare them for life in the twenty-first century.

Posted on April 22, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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