Above: Teaching Musician Amanda McCarthy Performs for AIR Teens
Hello everyone! My name is Alex Buinicky and I am an AIR alum. I started participating in AIR in 2012 and continued until 2017 when I graduated from High School and became too old for regular programs. Since then I have participated in Advance on AIR programs, attended several showcases, and joined the Program Committee and Alumni Committee. This summer, I had the pleasure of being AIR’s summer intern for my Writing/Publishing Internship class through Keene State College.
This summer AIR was able to hold both online and in-person programs! The programs AIR offered during the Summer of 2021 were Original Characters, World Drumming and Mindful Movement, Visual Art in Nature, and Songwriting.
Alex in a Previous AIR Program
The Songwriting Program took place from August 2nd to August 6th, completely online. Teens worked with several teaching artists throughout the week. They explored different vocal warm-up techniques, wrote lyrics and melodies, and some teens even made recordings of their work.
During some program sessions, teens split into three Zoom break-out rooms to work on their music more closely with the teaching artists. On the first day, one group also worked on creating community guidelines which included things like what they want the week to look like, what they want to bring to each meeting, and being aware of other people’s comfort level with sharing their songs/art. Early in the week, there was a lyric writing workshop with AIR staff member Liz Lavoie.
The teaching artists worked with the group as a whole and led different workshops that introduced a variety of songwriting skills to the teens. The teaching artists also shared some of their own music! One chose to share their music through music videos they made while others chose to perform live on Zoom.
Music Video Made by Teaching Musician Derek Price
As a whole group, they played a fun guessing game! Everyone anonymously sent a song to AIR staff members Becca or Haley. Then, throughout the week they listened to a section of each song together and tried to guess which person in the group had sent in that song. It was so great to hear the songs people sent in and it gave us the chance to widen our own music library.
Thanks for reading!