I ran a music activity one night in the female Crisis Program. It was a pretty quiet night, and only four youth attended. We had a piano, guitars, a ukulele, drums, and a microphone. At the start of the evening, all four of the young women were very quiet.
I started the night by asking if anyone had anything they wanted to share, or if they wanted to pick a song to collaborate on. Sandra said that her voice sounded like dying animals. Tracy said that she had no talent, and just came to watch. Genevieve and Hillary did not want to share either.
We sat around in silence for a few moments, and I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I had high expectations of this activity, and suddenly no one wanted to participate at all. My co-worker Claire began by sharing a song on the ukulele that she knew called “riptide”. I joined in.
As she played, Hillary began to sing along quietly. Genevieve did too, while still keeping her head down looking at her phone. Slowly, as the night went on. They began to open up and participate.
By the end of the evening, Hillary and Genevieve were taking turns singing songs they had chosen into the microphone, while Sandra played the piano. All of them were sharing by the end of the activity, except for Tracy, who still just wanted to watch.
The next day, I noticed that Tracy was listening to a song over and over in the living room. After some time, she grabbed one of the guitars and began to strum, laughing. I went out to sit with her and she asked me if I could teach her the chords to the song. Tracy later told me that she feels she finally has confidence since being here in the Crisis Program.
The power of music in bringing people together always surprises me, and I was so grateful that it could bring us together and encourage the youth to express themselves.
Shared by Kerry, Youth Worker at our Crisis Program