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Exploring, documenting, and sharing the voices of young people around the globe.
89 backers pledged $10,267 to help bring this project to life.
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About

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$10,267

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The Vision: Arts education has a truly transformational power on the lives of young people. Music, and songwriting in particular, allows voices to be heard, breaks down barriers, and helps make connections between people, places, and ideas. Everyone deserves the opportunity to feel empowered by self expression, and music is one of the best ways to provide that sense of empowerment. 

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The Project: Beginning on January 26th, 2014, I will embark on a 10 month journey across the globe, teaching, documenting, and sharing how young people express themselves through music. During this time, I will facilitate a series of four-week long workshops (eight workshops in total) that will engage students in lyric writing, composition, and performance techniques. Each workshop will culminate in a live performance open to the local community as well as a recording of the original songs. Upon returning to the US, the recordings we make along the way will be turned into a digital album available for download, and the video footage we shoot will be turned into a short film documenting the journey. This film will serve as a cultural comparison of youth expression through song across the globe, utilizing student performances, interviews, and snapshots of everyday life in each country. 

 All of the workshops will focus on creating original music through improvisation, composition, and ultimately, writing a song with words and music. This will mean something different depending on the student’s level in the individual programs, but the main goal will always center on creating an original work to record and perform. The curriculum will focus on basic musical elements and techniques, the use of lyrics in a song, finding your personal story, searching for a creative spark, and becoming a confident performer. These workshops will essentially be a condensed version of the 10 week workshop conducted in 2013 at Tumo Center For Creative Technologies in Armenia. Feel free to find out more about the original songwriting workshop here

For more information on my background and why I am ready to take on this project, please take a look at my bio on the website. 

The Campaign: This project is something I am super passionate about, but the reality is, I can not make it happen alone. I need your help. In order to insure each donation goes as far as possible, I will be living and eating with schools and families along the way, keeping extra expenses to a bare minimum. This still leaves travel costs, equipment for documentation, and insurance expenses left. $10,000 dollars is the minimum amount I need to make the project happen. In return for your investment in this program, you are eligible to receive a series of rewards, including access to the final compilation of student songs, a short documentary about the journey, or a skype performance with the students. Whatever is reasonable for you- one dollar, the whole $10,000, or just a share on facebook, anything helps

(In order to remain as transparent as possible about where the donations are going, I have made a more detailed budget available on my website.) 

I will be leaving for Thailand on the 26th of January to begin work with my first school, Darasamuth Phuket School. I’m pumped! If our goal is not reached by February 7th though, the project will most likely end in Thailand. However, if we do reach the goal, the songwriting workshop will be brought to 7 more countries, making this a true world tour. For more information about this project and my past work, please check out www.conceptuallife.org

 Music is life. Play on. 

 -Thomas

Read what others have said about the project:

The Olympian

The UW Daily

Prologue Profiles

Birthright Armenia

Risks and challenges

World travel inherently involves many difficulties and challenges. Through my experiences traveling in the US and abroad and, more importantly, through my time spent as a classroom teacher, I have come to realize the amazing benefits of flexibility, patience, and a healthy dose of humor.

I am committed to stay true to this project's goals and vision, but I am anticipating having to deal with challenges such as delays in schedule, less than perfect experiences with schools and communities, potential health problems, equipment issues, and a plethora of other bumps in the road that could slightly change the course of this project, but will not alter the project vision and outcomes.

*I will be traveling with insurance to cover any medical issues or equipment theft.

*All visa concerns will be taken care of before arriving in each country.

*Any political unrest, problems with local organizations, or schedule delays may cause an adjustment in the proposed itinerary, but will not affect the project outcomes.

Do not hesitate to reach out with any unanswered questions you may have. I am dedicated to making this project happen, but I cannot make it happen without you. If this is something you want to be a part of, please do whatever you can to help out. Thanks again for your time. I appreciate it.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Oh yeah! A big thank you for being part of the team.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    As I travel from country to country, I will be recording the songs of the students in the workshops and local musicians. $20 gives you access to a digital download of the best song recordings at the end of the journey, as well as a personal thank you postcard mailed to you along the way.

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    29 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Upon return to the US, the video footage taken on the tour will be turned into a short documentary. $50 will give you access to a digital download of the Our Song: Workshop World Tour documentary, a download of "best of" song collection, and a personal thank you postcard mailed to you along the way.

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    16 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above, plus a private Skype performance by my students and I to show our appreciation for the support!

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    Limited 12 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the above, and I will come visit you or your organization for a day and give a talk on my journey, music education, songwriting and whatever else you desire. (within the US only)

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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (28 days)