The Irving Caesar "Lyric Project", seeded by money from the ASCAP Foundation, provides hundreds of inner city teens, ages 15 to 18, an outlet for expression through the art of song writing. For some the joy is finding a new talent that connects them to their music idols, for others the connection is deeper as they attempt to make sense out of the senseless. Lyric Project classes are held in detention centers, Los Angeles County high schools and after school programs.
The new lyricists work with established professional composer/songwriters to set their words to music. They learn how key, style, and rhythm enhance their text and how their lyrics powerfully direct the development of each component. The songs are recorded and the students are exposed to the art of music production, engineering and recording. In recognition of their status as emerging music professionals, an ASCAP professional introduces them to the business of songwriting. Finally, professional singers perform the new songs in an evening benefiting the students' school artistic organizations and STC.