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 80-150 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 ten-session workshop that includes producing a radio quality song and music video.
WAV sessions focus on building self-esteem, character, and collaboration skills aligned to Social Emotional Learning strategies. Through interactive activities, small group discussions, meditation and mindfulness exercises and music, students get to know themselves and develop: respect for themselves and others; awareness of self and emotions; self-regulation skills; critical thinking and problem solving.