Our final workshops have been the most energetic and exciting, as our students are completing their songs and getting into performance mode. There are 4 bands, and a total of 5 original songs among them! The three of us are playing and singing in the bands, filling in back-up vocals, harmonies, and instrumental accompaniment. But the girls have proven to be total independent rock-stars these past couple of weeks, gaining confidence in what they’ve written.

The most amazing thing to watch, however, is how supportive everyone is of each other. We’ve had a couple of tough moments throughout the semester, with personal and musical frustrations, or even just feeling shy or embarrassed about messing up in a song. But every time, the other girls are there, expressing their support in words, in cheering, and with arms wrapped around one another.

The songs will be showcased next week in 3 performances; one will take place in class, in front of the guitar-ensemble that meets next door to us; one will take place at the Art Center South Florida; one at the New World Center.  The music ranges from indie-folk style to all out pop, and each of the lead vocalists has a distinct and beautiful timbre.  Instrumentally, the students have shown us that they learn quickly and have flexibility. Liana, our class multi-instrumentalist, has covered drums, guitar, and keyboard over the span of one class. Elizabeth, our bass-player, learned an entire new song on the spot yesterday.

It’s hard to even remember back to the beginning of this songwriting journey, to the time when all we had was one lyric, or one melodic line. Yesterday, watching the girls do their first full run-through of their songs, with so much natural stage presence, we felt all of the aspects of the workshops coming together in a tangible way. Most of all, we got to see and hear the full creations and expressions of a group of passionate girls, who we are so lucky to have gotten to mentor these past months.