Lyric Project provides hundreds of inner city teens, ages 15 to 18, an outlet for expression through the art of song writing. Some students, experience joy in finding a new talent that connects them to their music idols, while others discover new insight into their lives. For a select group of the teens, Lyric Project provides an opportunity to work alongside a professional songwriter as they shape their words into a song that will be performed in concert at Skylight Theatre.
The Lyric Project workshop classes are held in Los Angeles county high schools, after school programs and detention centers. Students begin by exploring contemporary and musical theater song structures, under the guidance of the instructor. Using hands-on, interactive questionnaires, brainstorming charts, and sample lyrics, the teens transform intimate moments and personal experiences into well-crafted lyrics. The instructor reviews all the lyrics and submits a cross section from each set of workshop classes for consideration by a review panel. The goal of the panel, which is comprised of songwriters, theatre artists, and Skylight Theatre Company staff, is to identify fifteen to twenty of the new lyrics that will become songs for this year’s Lyric Project Concert.
Those teen lyricists work with established professional songwriters to set their words to music. They learn how key, style, and rhythm enhance their text and how their lyrics powerfully direct the development of each component. Ultimately, the new songs are performed at Skylight Theatre in unique concert enhanced with dance and video interviews celebrating not only the teen's songs, but also their lives.
The Lyric Project is made possible in part by support by the Los Angeles City Department of Cultural Affairs and contributions by individual donors. It was established with generous financial support from the ASCAP Foundation.
Songwriters donate their time and considerable talents to work with the Lyric Project teens.