WAV (We Amplify Voices) partners middle school students with professional music producers to create radio-ready songs. Students write the lyrics for the song and guide its artistic direction. The producers collaborate with the students in order to synthesize these ideas into a professionally produced song that is broadcast on local radio and online.
Formerly The Dick & Jane Project, WAV’s mission is to empower students through songwriting. Founded as an after-school music education program by Columbus-based charter school administrator Ben Shinaberry in 2011, WAV has since provided programming in over 25 Franklin County schools, serving between 80-100 elementary and middle school students annually.
Professional local musicians, who serve as program instructors, receive training from WAV staff, and then lead students through a five-session songwriting process, culminating in a recording session at a professional studio. Participants learn writing and teamwork skills and receive professional exposure to music production. They also work with adult leaders representing the music and recording industries, providing experiential learning and insight into these fields.