Through an Artist-in-Resident grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, we were able to bring Dr. Monte Selby to our Fargo campus to work with Ranch kids on writing their own songs. Selby, a musician, songwriter, author and educator, spent a week at Dakota Memorial School (the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch), working with the students to write their own lyrics and put them to music.
In their songs, our kids shared their stories, their pain, and their healing. Kids said,
"I didn't know I had all of that inside me. When I started writing the words just kept coming. I shared my song with my mom and I think it helped her understand what I am feeling inside better."
"I am a recording artist! I recorded a song, I did it! And the proof is on YouTube."
"I never thought I would have enough courage to write a song, but I faced my fears and did it."
"When I was writing, I realized that I need to find my own motivation to make better choices if I am going to change my life."
Click here to watch the music video of "Try to Get Better," written by our high school girls. If you listen closely, you'll hear background vocals by the girls themselves.
Here are a few of the lyrics...
"Mama says I need to try to get better
I should make a change for her or whomever
Take responsibility. Do it for God or my family.
But someone else is who I need to get better for
Now I believe That someone is me.
I'll get better for me.
But I'm still learnin'. I'm still hurtin'. I'm still prayin'. I'm still waitin'. Motivatin. I'm achieving and believing that
I'm worth getting better for.....ME."
Watch our Facebook page for more music videos!
This project is supported in part by a grant from The North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.