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TRUSIC, Lyrics, and Literacy- WOL Conference

On May 4th, 2013, TRUSIC Music had the honor and pleasure of conducting a workshop during the Writing Our Lives (WOL) conference at Danforth Middle School in Syracuse, New York. Dr. Marcelle Haddix of Syracuse University has been coordinating WOL events since 2009. WOL serves to promote to kids the importance of literacy and the positive impact writing can have on society. This WOL was centered on Hip-hop music. With this in mind, we named our workshop “TRUSIC, Lyrics, & Literacy”.

Members of TRUSIC Music took this event as an opportunity to share their approach to writing music and also to learn how some of the attending youth connect with today’s popular music. We were intrigued by many of the responses students offered. Some of the adjectives they used to describe today’s music included: nasty, emotional, and peaceful. We also asked them to name some of their favorite songs. What really stuck with us is that some kids weren’t able to tell us why these songs were their favorite. This lead to a great opportunity to introduce them to the values of TRUSIC (true, righteous, unique, successful, inspiring, and creative). We explained how music can embody these attributes and then displayed examples of how our “trusicians” incorporate these values in the writing of their music. The point we drove home with them was that TRUSIC can be applied to any and all aspects or avenues of life. We also emphasized the importance of thinking critically about the music they listen to and the messages it communicates.

Principal Clark, of Danforth middle school, congratulated us on how well we connected with her students. She explained that this has been a struggle for many of the teachers in the contemporary school system. Truthfully, it was easy to connect with these kids because they were all TRUSIC at the core. We learned a lot from the kid’s perspective of music and what they enjoy about it. We were pleasantly surprised at how receptive the students were to TRUSIC music and we hope to continue having these conversations with more kids in the future. Also encouraging was the interaction we had with other workshop moderators at WOL. We were among a large group of TRUSIC people. This confirmed and reinforced our belief that there is definitely a market for TRUSIC music out there. We’re grateful for events like WOL that brings people together and affords us these opportunities. In the future we will look to conduct this workshop and other similar programs in more schools and urban communities throughout the state. Look out for us in a hood near you. Keep it TRUSIC.

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