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Trevor Strong: Humour, Story, Song

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In one hour I’ll help your class make a song about absolutely any subject! Let my experience as a member of the Arrogant Worms and as an educator (B.Ed, M.Ed, OCT) help your students discover the possibilities of the creative process.

student song writing

ABOUT ME: 

I’m a writer/performer/musician best known for my work with the music/comedy group, The Arrogant Worms. With “The Worms” I’ve toured the world and even had a song played on the space shuttle (as the request of Chris Hadfield). I’m a certified teacher (OCT) and have researched the role of creativity and humour in education through my Master’s degree from Queen’s University. I’ve written several books as well as for television and radio.

I teach everyone. I help elementary students write songs about their lives, show high school students the difference between being goofy and being funny, and give Master Classes on writing at literary festivals. I’ve delivered workshops to schools, taught courses through Queen’s enrichment for grades 6-8, and given workshops to High School students enrolled in the High Skills Specialist Major Program

Creative skills are essential for a productive emotional and intellectual life. In a world where everthing is changing, the ability to deal with change creatively is vital–its also fun. I love helping others find an idea, expand on it, and share it. The joy of creation, of bringing something into the world, feels like some sort of magic.

To see my teaching philosophy please click here.

WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?

I provide creativity based workshops that help students develop not only imagination, but the ability to come up with an idea and follow it throught to a final product. The steps of creation–getting an idea/gathering material/organizing material/putting it together/reworking–can be applied to the creation of absolutely anything. 

Workshops/Programs for Students

SONG IN AN HOUR

Song in an Hour lets the whole class participate in the process of songwriting. My most popular workshop, it makes writing fun and installs a feeling of accomplishment for everyone involved. And you get a catchy song you’ll be singing for days.

By creating a song as a class, the act of songwriting is de-mystified, and students take ownership of the creative process. This way of writing starts with action and leads to understanding. After the creation of the song, the students can see the steps taken to get there–getting an idea, gathering material, organizing, writing, presenting, and rewriting–and directly relate it to the experience they just had.

 

EVERYBODY HAS A SONG

(From a 1 hr class to as long as you want) Everyone can write a song.  Whether you approach it from the music or the lyrics, or even both simultaneously. Learn about list songs, story songs, and how to make a hook that will catch your audience. There are many ways to write a song. I usually start by using improvisational approaches to creating lyrics to free the students’ minds from their inner sensor. After that I start to talk about different ways of approaching lyrics. The simplest being to create “list songs” which are songs whose lyrics are simply a collection of information about a certain topic or idea–but it’show this information is arranged that really matters. I then talk about “story songs” in which the elements of storytelling are incorporated. But writing a song is much different from telling a story in prose. 

WRITING AND ACTING FUNNY

(From a 1 hr class to a full course) Comedy is a skill like everything else. It can be appreciated, understood, and mastered. I help students develop their talents with exercises that improve their abilities to both write and perform humorous material. 

Comedy it everywhere—in movies, on television and the internet—but making comedy isn’t as easy as it seems. Through my classes all forms of humour are encouraged—music, song, sketch, stand-up, monologue–and the focus can be on creation, performance, or both. I’ve taught humour-writing as a Master Class at the Kingston Writersfest to adults, as a week-long class to high school students, to younger kids at my summer “comedy camp”, and to university students in workshops and guest lectures.  I use an  intensive, interactive, irreverent aproach where students learn how to find something funny, make it funnier, polish and edit it. I cover everything from the importance of context, to developing the comedic “kernel”, to some tricks of the trade. Students learn how to find a comedic idea, develop its possibilities, and make it better using such tricks of the trade as repetition, exaggeration, timing, and repetition. 

 

WRITING COMES ALIVE

 (From a 1 hr class to a full course) Want to write the next great song, book, or movie? All you need is an idea and the tools to make it grow. Join me for a trip into the limitless world of creative writing. Learn how to find ideas, develop their possibilities, and make your writing as good as it can be.  

What is a story? Well, at its most basic it is “something happening, somewhere to someone, somehow.” The “something happening” represents the plot (or incidents), the “somewhere” is the setting, the “someone” is the character, and the “somehow” is the writer’s style. Each one of these things is a way of approaching a story, whether its to get the idea, expand upon it, or to just make it that much better. 

But before you can do anything, you need an idea. But where do you find them? Everywhere! And with some simple exercises you can find more than you ever knew were possible. Using a series of brainstorming exercises the students learn that finding an idea is easier than they think, and that they already have lots of ideas already inside them just waiting to be used. Students create ideas of their own and capture the ones all around them. Ideas are everywhere and they’re just waiting for you to find them.  Learn how to find an idea, develop its possibilities, and make your writing come alive. 

Website Link
City
Kingston, Brockville, Belleville, Ottawa, Toronto, GTA. (I'm available for all of eastern and central Ontario, and possibly outside that area as well. Just send me an email!)
Province
Ontario
Grade
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Program Type
Outreach - Travel to you
Cost
Fee
Offering
Classes | Workshops
Presentations
Professional Development
Language
English






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