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May 26, 2016
by: Beth Carreno

Mosaic Student's EOL Takes on Autism and Bullying Through Songwriting

Mosaic Student's EOL Takes on Autism and Bullying Through Songwriting Header Image

Abigail, a middle school student at Mosaic, began her Exhibition of Learning (EOL) with an introduction to the project process and a 3-2-1 bridge. She asked those in attendance to share three short explanations for the creative process in all art forms; two questions they still held about the creative process in all art forms; and one analogy for the creative process in the art forms. This component was valuable in preparing the audience for her creative interpretation of the topic.

After this short discussion, Abigail shared the guiding question to her project, “How can I, as a musician, express what goes through the mind of someone with autism?” The inspiration for this came from a book Al Capone Does My Shirts. One of the main characters is a teenage girl with autism. The story includes themes of giving voice to those without, autism, bullying, and love. The book inspired Abigail to write a song. As part of the process of research and discovery, Abigail researched autism and bullying. She also learned that there are students at MOSAIC and IDEAS with autism.

Abigail decided to write a song from the perspective of the two main characters in the book. The chorus was written from the perspective of Natalie, the character with autism. The verses were written from the perspective of Moose, Natalie’s brother. The words are changed slightly for the final chorus to share the perspectives of both characters.

Abigail’s new knowledge on autism and individuals with autism, her pre-existing compassion for those who are “different,” and her disdain for bullying are evident in her song and heart-felt performance. Her choice of words, for example using “hobby” where some might have used “obsession,” compelled listeners to reflect on what we know about autism, people we know with autism, and the language we use.

Abigail’s commitment to the subject of her EOL continued as she led a “Used to think; Now I think” activity. She opened up this portion to people’s comments on both autism and songwriting. It was evident that those in attendance valued the project and process, word choice, and the resulting song. Abigail’s talent as an emerging songwriter and performer was showcased while the process guided her work and deeper thinking.

 

More on Abigail’s Exhibition of Learning:

Artist Statement

I wrote this song about a book I read this trimester called "AL Capone Does My Shirts." My driving question is how can I express what goes through the mind of someone with Autism? I chose this because I know that there are autistic kids that go here and a lot of people don't understand. With autism I chose to write about this book because I feel like I could get a lot of the strong feelings out of the book and into a song. This book is about a 16 year old girl who has autism. She is obsessed with buttons because they make her happy. Her brother Moose is the one she looks up to. When she is having a bad day she just thinks of him and then she will snap back to reality. She has a lot of mental breakdowns during the day and she get judged a lot. In my chorus I am expressing how I think she feels in the inside and in the verses I am taking Moose's perspective and telling her to stay strong. In the last chorus that I sing it is changed slightly so it is from both of their perspectives. I chose to write about this book because I feel like the idea of bullying is not addressed enough. My song is showing an example on why you shouldn't bully. The message I am wanting to give is that everyone is different and you shouldn't judge someone on why they are different from you.

“Everybody” Lyrics by Abi

Chorus:
Everybody's
Got a hobby
So what so bad about mine
Everybody's
A little bit different
So what so bad that I am
Everybody's
Their own person
So what's so bad that I am mine
Everybody's
Got a hobby
But what's so bad about mine

Verse One:
I know that time may be different
But you gotta stay strong
And I know that times may get a little rough
But you got to hang on
And I don't want you to give up
My sweet little darling
I promise you
that I am never leaving
And I promise you
That I’m always here
If you need me

Chorus:
Everybody's
Got a hobby
So what so bad about mine
Everybody's
A little bit different
So what so bad that I am
Everybody's
Their own person
So what's so bad that I am mine
Everybody's
Got a hobby
But what so bad about mine

Verse Two:
I always want you to remember
That it's okay not to be normal
No one is in this world
But we are also not all equal
We may all wanna be the same
But don't you think the same is a little boring
Make yourself unique
and your own person

Chorus:
Everybody's
Got a hobby
So what so bad about ours
Everybody's
A little bit different
So what so bad that are
Everybody's
Their own person
So why can't we be ours
Everybody's
Got a hobby
But what so bad about mine

 

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