“A true believer in the power of music and education, Tim Cheesebrow connects to all learners to help them develop both as people and musicians. He realizes the strength of connecting with the learner first, giving them the confidence needed to create incredible song-writing projects.”
– Michael Moeller – Band Director, Mahtomedi High School
In 2011, Tim founded Discover Music, a music education non-profit, and has since been both delighting and digging deep with students as he teaches them to write their own music and find their own voice. Tim has experience teaching at all grade levels K-12 and ties his lessons, assignments and assessments to state standards so they’re plug and play experiences for educators that require no prep. Public, private, charter…he’s taught it all, and can’t wait to work with your students!
”This was the best class ever! I will always keep writing music because it’s a part of who I am now.”
– Westwood Middle School Student
A whiz-bang workshop where Tim helps the class write a song on an academic topic of the teacher’s choosing: The Nuremberg Trials, Tectonic Plates, To Kill a Mockingbird, Covalent Bonds, The War of 1812…whatever you’re teaching he can help the students retain the information in a fun and unique way. Tim will record a studio cut of the song and make it available online after the class, free of charge.
“This is my third year taking the songwriting course. Every year, I push myself a little bit further, open up a little bit more, become more confident with my abilities. It has been an amazing experience that I hope every kid will get to have, no matter how musically talented they are.”
– High School Student
The program teaches basic music theory and lyric writing concepts then allows students to explore different ways of expressing themselves musically. Students are encouraged through instruction and mentorship to process their thoughts and feelings, verbalize them, and use their own voice to share their stories with others. The results are astounding. 82 percent of students rated their songwriting experience as “very highly” or “highly satisfied.”
Statements gathered in exit surveys and follow-up interviews demonstrate the deep level of impact songwriting had on their wellness. They have self-reported benefits like: increased confidence, mental clarity, social awareness, anxiety and anger management, catharsis, self-awareness, personal development, compassion, empathy, general well being, emotional control, and gratitude for having learned healthy tools to express themselves. Delivering these programs over six years and in multiple school districts has yielded consistently positive results.
After students write the songs there is an option to go into a recording studio with professional musicians and make a high quality recording of their song.
“Music has given me a voice. It has given me access to expression and energy like nothing else. Without music I would be eaten alive and swallowed by my emotions.”
– Middle School Student, 3 years after participation in the program
An unforgettable experience where Tim comes to your classroom and writes a song with the class. In a single class period, students are guided through the songwriting process and the class participates in a group sing-along of their song. A professional recording is made available online at no charge.
Cost: $250/class $800/full day
A truly powerful series of 12 visits to your classroom over the course of the school year. Students are encouraged to dig deep and (with guidance) write their own songs as they learn about music theory, rhythm, rhyme, musical structure, storytelling, and self expression. This opportunity can stand alone or be offered as an enrichment to existing music programs. Optional recording of student’s songs.
Cost: $3000 Optional recording: $200/student
Tim works with school deans and counselors to offer songwriting as a wellness tool for identified students. Designed to support behavioral health plans, this program teaches students the language of self-expression and how to use music to process, model and convey their inner thoughts and feelings.
Cost: $250/class $800/full day (rates discounted for longer term projects)
For maximum impact and student learning, Tim will partner with district staff to provide a full-term class aligned with state standards in Fine Arts. There is no expectation of student proficiency in music, but by the end of the course they will be able to read and write in traditional and popular rotational styles, craft words and melodies, make chord progressions, explore careers in music, learn the science of sound, and will learn how to use music to express themselves in a safe and healthy way. This course includes visits from guest artists and professional recordings of student songs.
An interactive concert can be added to any songwriting program. Concerts can be for select groups of students, school-wide, or even for both students and families after school hours. The concert uses music and stories to talk about mental health and inspire students to find healthy ways to express themselves.
“Discover Music’s unique and creative program design has enabled them to reach many middle school students in our district who have not previously participated in any of our traditional music programs. The students have been able to find a meaningful way to express themselves and to learn many different aspects of the music industry.”
– Dan Hoverman, Superintendent
Tim leads a seminar style workshop that focuses on songwriting basics and how to use them as part of a daily practice of wellness. This program can be delivered directly to students, teaching them the importance of self care and empowering them with tools to make their own music, or it can be delivered to groups of educators/counselors interested in incorporating songwriting into their work.
The end result is a group inspired to conquer their challenges and help others using music as a vehicle for their expression.
Each workshop includes 20 free copies of Songwriting for Wellness: Using Music to Heal the Mind
Cost: $1000/day plus travel expenses
An optional concert can be included that demonstrates the power of songwriting as a healing tool through story and original songs, $500.
“Because Tim teaches a songwriting class, he understands that “putting yourself out there” is scary, and Tim provides the scaffolding needed for kids to push through their fears to create something truly magnificent.”
– Kevin Berdine – GT Coordinator, Lighthouse School
Why Songwriting for Wellness Programs?
We are in the middle of a mental health crisis. As a nation we are just beginning to understand the magnitude of the problem, but are struggling to find ways to address it. Songwriting is a tool we can provide for people right now to help them cope. They can develop a vocabulary and process to articulate what’s going on inside them. They can share their thoughts and feelings with peers, parents, teachers, and advocate for their needs by communicating critical messages in a safe and healthy way.
It’s not an intervention that requires a diagnosis. It’s a tool for self expression that EVERY student can benefit from. It’s fun. It’s a healthy way to express yourself. It helps you feel better…and it’s highly effective.
There is a high degree of personal choice in how the musical ideas are expressed. High degrees of student choice leads to high engagement, and this is perhaps the most critical window of opportunity to introduce healthy habits of mind. Ages 13-18 is an important time in every person’s development where, for good or ill, many of the lifelong beliefs and personality traits are formed. It’s a vulnerable time where we first begin to take risks, explore ourselves, and make lasting relationships.
For many it is confusing, overwhelming, harsh and isolating. It is also a time when they are open to new ideas and develop the neural pathways that govern how they react to problems and stressors. It’s the ideal time to introduce them to wellness tools like songwriting. Learning this process empowers them to act as their own healers. Songwriting is a mode of self-administered therapy they can apply whenever and however often they need to. Once they learn how to write songs to promote their own wellness, they have a tool they can carry with them their entire lives.
“Songwriting is the sole way of complete honest expression i have learned to use. I am usually shy, however when i write i feel free to express my deepest emotions which would otherwise rot within me.”
– Lighthouse Student