viBe SongMakers is a (free) music writing, recording, and performance program for high school girls in New York City. Every year, six girls (no music experience required) come together and forma a band in collaboration with professional mentor musicians. Through songwriting workshops and clinics in keyboard theory, drumming/beat programming, guitar, bass and voice, the girls write songs that tell ti like it is. The program culminates in club performances and a professionally engineered album. viBe SongMakers is a part of viBe Theater Experience, active since 2003.
viBe is a small nonprofit funded by foundations, private donors, and the government. We target urban girls seeking creative outlets and opportunities. Most of our staff and teaching artists are volunteers. Our greatest expense in SongMakers is recording. We will use the FEAST award to pay for the recording and manufacturing of our 7th album of original songs by NYC teenage girls.
This year, for the first time, we are recording a LIVE album (it's been studio-recorded up till now). The club shows are always spectacular, and we decided to harness that energy for all time! viBe is unique to New York City. Small groups of girls come together from all 5 buroughs and collaborate on plays, poetry, music, dance and spoken word. In any other city we would be specific to a school or neighborhood. viBe girls ride the subway (we provide metrocards) and exit their comfort zonrs, forge creative relationships far from home, and come back again and again to mentor younger girls. We emphasize creative literacy. My message to SongMakers, in whateer they do: Own Your Time.
viBe SongMakers vol. 7 begins rehearsals august 14. Twelve weeks from now, the girls will have written the bulk of their album, and will perform at the next FEAST! Depending on the proclivities of the group, they may or may not be playing all the insturments themselves, though all the words/ melodic inventions/ arrangements/ vocalizations/ and choreography are their own. Their professional mentors are there to play the songs as they want them, if they cannot execute the instrumentation. Since no music experience is required, SongMakers can be a revelatory experience for the bedroom rapper, shower singer, or latent virtuoso. It is a collaborative process, and they will perform as a group.