Tuesday 11th November 2014
In late October, Nicholas James Paul, Social Media Executive of London Urban Arts, visited the John Roan School. He observed one of several PRAP (Positive Rap) workshops held by Shay D, who in her own right and by means of recognition, is an award winning UK female rapper.
Nicholas James Paul spent an afternoon watching the session. He said, “I sat in a session with a selection of year 8 pupils: the wit, the banter and the energy was high. They were very full of energy, pleasant and not to mention very enthusiastic about the workshop and Shay, they were well behaved and eager to take on the tasks. Shay began with an exercise called ‘my name is’ where she played a beat a passed the mic around so everybody could introduce themselves.”
The students worked on the flow at the workshop, Shay taught them a series of freestyle exercises that allowed the students to increase their phrasing and timing. One of the exercises required a great deal of group work as the mic was passed around each student was only allowed to say one line, which must rhyme with the previous students line to create some form of story.
The pupils were instructed to complete writing the lyrics they started the previous week, each student had a different subject matter for their raps and poems, although many spoke of and about family and loved ones. The room was filled with music, art and creativity. All people, including the children at this workshop, have different tastes where music is concerned.
Nicholas said, “The true art of music is that it holds the power to unite all types of people. I witnessed a mentality within the pupils that the world should take note of: respect for each other and the lyrics being created.”