Dee Jay Doc gives new voice to students at Lake Erie Ink
For the third consecutive year, Lake Erie Ink welcomes Dee Jay Doc to Ink Spot, the creative writing afterschool program for students in grades 4 through 6. On Thursday afternoons, Doc will assist students in the creation of lyrics and beats (rhythmic soundtracks) with a positive message. He will also offer the Hip Hop Recording Project on Wednesdays for students in grades 6 through 12.
“Our music is ‘change music.’ If given the opportunity to honestly and creatively express their opinions and vision through art, they can articulate the change they want to see. It also helps them change,” said Doc.
As Doc's lyrics suggest (in the "Fresh Camp Theme Song"):
Think about what to say and then speak
Think about who to know and then meet
Think about what to learn and then read
Think about what to do and succeed.
From start to finish, till it's complete.
That's how real change comes to the street.
Doc’s students use iPads and other equipment to create and record their work, and to perform their songs in front of a live audience.
In the past, Doc’s programs at Lake Erie Ink have been theme-based, with themes such as Words that Change the World. The projects are about creating positive messages through song, while offering students a way into writing for those who may not be interested in other genres.
Leilani, a Words that Change the World participant, was 14 when she composed the following:
Break from your cage,
Break from your hate,
Don’t stand there and just regulate,
Be the power,
Be the freedom,
Come on just you and me,
Let’s go change the world that you wish to see.
Gary, a 4th-grade student, wrote these lyrics:
My name is Gary and I like Steak and Shake.
If I can change the world there would be less earthquakes.
Cuz many people die and buildings crumble,
I always get scared when I feel the deep rumble.
Lake Erie Ink strives to offer young people opportunities for collaboration and teamwork. The live performances give participants an opportunity to take pride in their work and connect with the larger community. Students develop technology skills while learning to create their own recordings and videos.
The Hip Hop Recording Project is open to all teens, and meets on Wednesday, 7-8:30 p.m. through March 19. The fee is $25 for the 10-week program. Financial aid is available.
Lake Erie Ink is a nonprofit organization located at 2843 Washington Blvd., in the building formerly occupied by Coventry Elementary School. The organization strives to give youth in the Greater Cleveland Community opportunities for creative expression and academic support. For more information about programs or volunteer opportunities, visit www.lakeerieink.org.
Melissa DeWater is a writer and intern with Lake Erie Ink.