Rap music is a pervasive influence that can have a profound effect on teens. The ubiquitous global phenomenon is tightly woven into the fabric of many teenagers' lives. According to a study by the Black Youth Project, 58 percent of black youths, 45 percent of Hispanic youths and 23 percent of white youths say they listen to rap music daily. A study by researchers from the "American Journal of Public Health" reports that some teens listen to rap music for more than 14 hours per week. Because it's something they are already interested in, having teens do projects about rap music is an effective way to get them engaged in creative activities.
1. Remix It Up
Have your teen create remixes of her favorite rap songs. The process is fairly simple. First, have her select a song to remix. Next, use a free online music production or editing website to experiment with adding and removing vocals, beats and other song elements. Finally, create a finished song that has your teen's own stamp on it.
2. Write Your Own
Writing original rap songs is a project that allows teens to get involved with music while sharpening their writing skills. They can start by listening to and analyzing a variety of different types of rap songs. After they've found inspiration, they can begin writing their own lyrics. An online rhyming dictionary can help your teen find his flow if he's at a loss for words.
If your teen is a natural ham, suggest that she perform rap music. Encourage her to use rap as a conduit for creative expression in whatever way she is inclined. Many avenues exist for using rap as a performance vehicle, including rapping, singing, playing an instrument, hip-hop dancing and serving as a DJ.
4. Produce Videos
Creating rap videos is an excellent project for combining a passion for music with a penchant for video production. All it takes is a song, an inexpensive digital camcorder and a bit of imagination. Budding teen producers can even post their creations online and attract a fan base.
- Cleveland: Black Youth Project: Fact Sheet: Rap Music and Videos
- American Journal of Public Health: A Prospective Study of Exposure to Rap Music Videos and African American Female Adolescents' Health
- National Association of Music Merchants: Study Reveals Teens' Strong Commitment to Music and Music Making
- CNN in America; Hip-Hop That Helps Kids Stay Out of Trouble
- UCLA Today: How Hip-Hop Culture is Changing The World
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