The Song Catcher Program seeks to create a sense of belonging and believing through the creative process. When students feel they belong to a family, a school, a people and a place then within that structure of community, they can flourish and find their strengths. Likewise, if there is a belief in their futures holding possibilities and that an education can help them, they are better equipped to realize their dreams.
The program supports character education goals in that it offers creative outlets to empower good decision-making, confidence and self-esteem. At the same time it creates a safe outlet for all range of thoughts and feelings to be expressed before alternative intervention is needed. The Song Catcher Program culminates with elementary, middle and high school students’ performances (twice-a-year concerts) at the elementary school to build a sense of community across all grades.
Another goal is for the songwriters to be able to sing their songs during recordings and at performances. Nothing builds confidence and self-esteem with their words in musical form better than successful performances and a sense of a job well done. The Songcatcher program is unique because of its kinesthetic component-students receive instant feedback. As a way of preserving cultural heritage and language survival, the program also has some students learning to sing songs in the traditional languages updated with hip hop rhythms, synchs and guitar in a way that respects the past and honors traditions, all the while keeping it in the present.