Charlotte’s Lyrics: Thoughts on collaborating with kids


I have to listen to them closely. I have to inherently trust the power of the creative process and be comfortable letting go of my grown up perspective of “success”.  When I am guiding them, I must abandon my detailed agenda, and my dualistic thinking. I must truly SEE them with open eyes, so sharp that their individual sparks are not missed. And I must be armed with my toolbox filled with skill, knowledge and years of experience.

Two weeks ago, seven year old Charlotte came to her voice lesson ready to sing. She brought her blow up microphone, blow up piano keyboard, recorder and music binder. We began learning “Daddy”; a song I wrote for our annual camp production of The Children of South Bend. 

“Miss Laurie, this (lyric) should say ‘it’s been six weeks and sixteen days’, not ‘fifteen weeks and 13 days.” Charlotte said.

“Tell me what you’re thinking, Charlotte.”

“If you say six weeks and sixteen days, they both start with ‘s’ and they both have the number six in them.” she explained. 

Absolutely brilliant, I thought.

“Charlotte, would you like to rewrite the lyric with your new idea?”


Last week we continued our work on the song. Without any reminders, Charlotte sang her new lyrics as if she’d been singing them a lifetime. They danced out of her melodic, clear as a bell tone, delightfully sweet lyrical soprano voice into the world she was creating with song, props and preparedness.

This song had been waiting for Charlotte’s Lyrics. I can almost bet that Charlotte will never forget her lyrics when she sings them this summer. I can see her onstage, prepared and organized, confident, her voice projected and her eyes bright and eager to share her creation.

I hope Charlotte knows her voice has been HEARD. I hope she understands that her Sweet Soul has been SEEN. She’s rehearsed the technical skills of singing and performing and she’s had fun. (I can tell!) She’s ready.

Thank you, Charlotte, for a beautiful collaboration.  You make a difference.


Miss Laurie

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