Music for Futures Lyrics and Beats Making Workshop Cultivating resilience to organised crime in Albanian youth through music
Authors: Berry, M.
Publisher: Centre for Seldom Heard Voices
Place of Publication: Bournemouth - Tirana
The Music for Futures - lyrics and beats making workshop employed a series of sessions in which young people learned to critically evaluate rap lyrics, craft their own lyrics, and apply them to 'beats' of their creation. The intervention was a first in Albania but also employed innovative methods that have not been used previously in other academic interventions of this kind throughout the world. The project provided a music-based platform for young people to express their lived experiences and learn social, practical and critical thinking skills, whilst envisaging and working towards constructive futures for both themselves and broader Albanian society. The workshop is a form of participatory action research (see appendix for full discussion of PAR) that builds upon the previous research and activities conducted by the BU-RAYS team. It is informed by the developing ‘FAM-strategy’, (Schwandner-Sievers 2022), the learning and recommendations from an internal ‘Hip-hop Report’ (Schwandner-Sievers et al. 2022), a forthcoming working paper on music elicitation as a research tool (Levell 2023) and preceding focus group research in the target area (Schwandner-Sievers et al. 2023). The application of the FAMstrategy (Schwandner-Sievers 2022) aims to document and trigger cognitive change by generating creative, new ‘ways of seeing’ (Berger 1972) through participatory arts. Critical literacy was useful here as it involved the analysis of texts (lyrics) to uncover relationships between power and language whilst encouraging participatory social action.