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Finding our voice through a song

July 08, 2019
Written by
Mel Hennigar

Mel Hennigar

Are you creative? It seems like such a simple question. But you would be surprised—when posed to a room full of people—how few hands will raise in the air. Or maybe you wouldn’t be surprised, because you’re one of those people who don’t consider themselves to be creative.

But here’s the thing—every single one of us is creative. Sure, our outputs may change, but being creative is part of being a living, breathing human being.

To demonstrate this fundamental truth, the team in Atlantic Canada recently participated in a workshop facilitated by award-winning singer/songwriter Meaghan Smith.

The goal of the workshop was to unlock the creative potential we all have through writing a song together as a group. That’s right. 50 people. One room. Writing a song. Together.

Meaghan has been helping other people write their songs through her business called Our Song for several years. And just as people and families have stories that can be shared through a song, so too do organizations.

With her expert guidance, we broke down the entire creative process from brainstorming, to the importance of just getting something down on the page, to reworking, editing, and revising to get to a finished product. And we did it all together.

The workshop was a combination of discussion and hands-on work in smaller groups. Each group was assigned a part of the song—verse one, verse two, chorus, bridge, etc. With Meaghan’s help, we determined the melody and then each group collaboratively wrote their assigned portion of the song. Then, we came back together as a broader group to refine and tighten, which was also a lesson in compromise and learning when sometimes the best decision is to make a tough edit. As it happens, verse three wasn’t quite working with the song, so as a group we collectively decided to cut it. But it lives on as the title of our composition.

What made the format of writing a song together so interesting was that it was a great equalizer. We’ve all given writing, drawing, painting, and other visuals arts a try. But making and creating music isn’t something that many of encounter in our daily lives. By creating an even playing field, it gave us all more opportunity to be open to the creative process.

At the beginning of the workshop, Meaghan asked who in the room was creative. Few raised their hands. But after completing the process, she asked the question again. The result? A sea of 50 hands raised high and proud in the air.

How’d we do?

Watch and listen to find out:

Interested in seeing how the team at NATIONAL Atlantic can help you tap into your creative side? Start the conversation!

——— Mel Hennigar is a former Senior Creative Strategist at NATIONAL Public Relations