Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rapping with Teens

This past week was rather casual around my workplace, because my guys were on "vacation." Since I work for a residential treatment program, that means they were at the residence, rather than the school where I have an office. Although I went to the residence as usual during the week, I gave my guys the freedom to meet with me or not, work on something or not and since there was no school, we didn't have any groups. 

When I arrived one day, one of my guys had created a positive rap about himself and the program to share with me. Since we have started working on a video for groups, I gave my guys the option of filming something during their vacation and I encouraged this boy to use his rap as his video to share with the group. The guys I work with have "developmental delays."  This translates into several difficulties, including being a few years behind grade level. Reading and writing is often a big struggle for many of my guys. Writing a rap is an advanced skill with my kids; reading, memorizing, presenting it could be even more tricky. So, here's what we did: we went over each line and I had him practice and repeat, choose an appropriate space, camera angle and movement and we filmed it one line at a time, so he sounded his best with each line. I think we created something he can be proud of. Plus, it is a positive reminder to stay on track in his own words.

Coincidentally, one of my other guys wanted to write a rap with me. He rapped and I wrote. He was so proud of his work and showed all of the staff his rap collection. I photocopied his work and I am thinking about helping him make something with his rap hits like a book or c.d. Any creative ideas for translating written word to another art form?

As for my own goals and self-care. My book of the week is Art and Yoga by Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa and I have been doing a simple DVD practice at home from Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga along with listening to the lecture. Both are highly recommended. Here is some fast art in response to my practice.
Chakras, watercolor 

Silence, watercolor

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