Malcolm Brooks is a multi-talented musician. He is a composer, performer and teacher and has created a program for writers, musicians, and ordinary citizens to express their feelings through lyrical song writing. During my week-long writing workshop with teens at Maine Media, Malcolm and his student and friend Khalid Taylor used his documentary method to help us turn a prose piece into a song. He said, "We don’t have enough songs that talk about our emotions,” and our song was full of such emotion and surprise.
During my workshop, Malcolm asked one of the students to tell a story. As the writer talked, Malcolm typed the words which appeared on a big screen in our classroom. Malcolm invited us then to look for words to knock out and for words that expressed the true emotion of the piece. We were creating a free verse poem. Once we chose the refrain, Malcolm and Khalid put the words to — using their guitars-- and we all sang the song. It was an exhilarating experience, one my students and I will take with us throughout our writing careers. I encourage you all to check out Malcolm and his good friend, Khalid.