The University of Iowa

Kids Collaborate to Make Music at IYWP

The Iowa Youth Writing Project and The Dream Center will be hosting a Collaborative Songwriting Workshop led by Grammy Award winning musician and educator Monte Selby on Saturday, February 28 at 611 Southgate Avenue in Iowa City. The workshop will allow aspiring young musicians in 7th‐12th grades to explore the techniques of songwriting through Selby’s unique and collaborative method. Attendees will also have the opportunity to perform their work during a live concert directly following the workshop.

IYWP Director Rachel Yoder says the workshop will be a great opportunity for kids to meet new friends with similar creative interests and also to participate in a group activity where honesty and expression are emphasized. “The kids at The Dream Center want to explore the theme of ‘being real’ during this workshop, and I think this is a topic that all of the participants will really latch on to,” Yoder said. “There’s so much posturing in junior high and high school. Hopefully this workshop will help kids to feel more comfortable in their own skin and know that their authentic selves are more than good enough.”

The day’s events will also be filmed by University of Iowa Lecturer and Emmy Award winning filmmaker David Gould, who intends to produce a short documentary about the workshop. “The documentary will allow an audience to see the arc of the songwriting workshop experience, and get a feel for the impact it has on the young IYWP and Dream Center participants,” says Gould. He and Selby will be keynote speakers at an April 2015 international conference for middle school administrators and educators in Tokyo, Japan where the documentary will debut. “With any luck, we can inspire a group of global educators to return to their schools and do the same.”

The workshop will run from 10AM‐3PM on the 28th, with a concert at 3PM that showcases the song written during the workshop. Students can register to participate in the event at


The Iowa Youth Writing Project (IYWP) is a University of Iowa‐affiliated outreach program founded by Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduates that educates, empowers, and inspires Iowa’s youth through volunteer‐led language arts and creative writing workshops. The IYWP brings together community members, university students, and well‐known writers who volunteer with students in grades K‐12. Whether it’s Boggle Poetry, individual journaling, group story‐time sessions, or word games, the IYWP seeks to make writing fun and valuable. Along with our involvement with Iowa City institutions, we have unique writing programs and events in Cedar Rapids, Monticello, and throughout the state of Iowa. More info at

Rachel Yoder, Director, IYWP, 319‐415‐6079,
Rachel Gosch, Marketing & Communications Intern, IYWP, 616‐238‐6700, rachel‐


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