By CATAdvanced Cash

Writing Songs of Compassion With Kids

Steve Seskin has gone back to school. These days he’s spending 50 to 75 days a year as an “Artist in Residence,” teaching children of all ages how to write songs and in the process writing one with the students he works with. The goal of this program is to instill a love of creative expression in the kids, as well as helping them create their own songs that speak to issues that affect the entire school community, such as bullying, respect, peer pressure, appreciation of diversity, empathy and self-esteem. When students write their own song, they’re more apt to live by the words and quietly convince other students to do the same.In this workshop I will demonstrate how teachers can use music with their students to convey compassionate messages to their students.

About the Workshop Leader:

Steve Seskin is a successful songwriter who has written seven number one songs, including Grammy-nominated “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” recorded by Tim McGraw, and “Don’t Laugh at Me,” winner of NSAI Song of the Year and Music Row Magazine Song of the Year in 1999 as recorded by Mark Wills.“Don’t Laugh at Me” was also recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary and became the impetus for the Operation Respect/Don’t Laugh at Me project, a curriculum designed to teach compassion and respect in schools. This program has already been implemented in more than 35,000 schools across the country. Steve now enjoys performing at school assemblies in support of this program and teaching students songwriting,incorporating the same goals into that effort. The song is now available as a children’s book, Don’t Laugh At Me, which was featured on PBS’s Reading Rainbow and has garnered many prestigious awards since it’s initial publication in 2002.