Sing It To Stop It
“Sing It To Stop It” is our youth-based program designed to address the most critical issues our children and teens are facing today: hate/prejudice, anger, division, racial injustice, fractured family units, poverty, bullying/cruelty, anger, depression, anxiety, mental illness, self-harm, addiction, and suicide.
“Sing It To Stop It” began as an anti-bullying through songwriting initiative in 2013, after witnessing a record number of youth taking their own lives over the crisis of bullying that had come to a drastic head – particularly cyber-bullying – in our schools.
We launched at Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) through their “Safe and Drug Free Schools & Olweus Bully Prevention” Department.
The data was impressive after only the first program…
- 42% of student participants had been bullied before either in person or on social media.
- More than 1 in 3 student participants have bullied someone else. (34%)
- Sing it to Stop it! may encourage real behavioral change in students who bully others. Of the 22 students who admitted to bullying in person or on social media, almost 82% said they would be less likely to bully in the future because of program participation.
- Sing it to Stop it resonated with students, with approximately 90% of student participants indicating they would like to see the program return. Among those who weren’t necessarily interested in the program’s return, 71% said their participation will make them think twice about bullying someone in the future.
- School staff who participated in the program unanimously agreed the program may have encouraged some new perspectives and, potentially, behavior for the students on the issue of bullying.
- All staff also indicated that using music and songwriting made it easier for the students to talk about bullying.
- Staff also indicated witnessing transformations in students during the songwriting process, such as opening up and coming out of their shells and students who are normally shy speaking up and feeling like their voices were being heard.
We soon moved into serving private schools and those schools serving students on the fringe or with special needs as well, who may not receive unique types of therapies and programs that their peers in public schools are exposed to.
“According to all reports, the students had such an exciting learning experience working with the songwriters during the writing session for anti-bullying songs at Gra Mar Middle School! “Sing It To Stop It” may encourage real behavioral change. Almost 82% of those students surveyed said they would be less likely to bully in the future after program participation. It is an amazing and heartfelt testimony of what can happen when an individual, like Jeni Dominelli, honors their purpose with such commitment. I’m so proud of the staff and students at Gra Mar and I am excited about next steps!!!!” – Stephanie Davis, Director of Safe and Drug Free Schools & Olweus Bully Prevention, Metro Nashville Public Schools
“The Beat of Life’s staff is knowledgeable and professional, and their mission is unique and viable. This is exactly what kind of social change we need and are looking for right now.” – William Coleman, Frmr. Director of Arts Access, Tennessee Arts Commission
“I just came to this school yesterday because I actually was bullied at my last school. After this program today, it’s like all the kids are now, like, seeing me in the hallways and talking to me now, and like, ‘Hey man!, you’re talented!’ and stuff. So this actually helped me make friends here now.” – Giovanni, student at Gra Mar Middle School, “Sing It To Stop It” participan
“BEST. DAY. EVER. Better than Disney World.” – Joshua Hamlett, student at St. John Vianney School, “Sing It To Stop It” participant
“It never ceases to amaze me, the transformative power of music… the act of listening to someone tell their story, and giving them a platform to share it. The Beat of Life does all of this with love and grace and in turn fosters healing and hope for so many.” – Casey LeVasseur, songwriter, mental health advocate, author, Co-Founder of The Jeffrey Steele Songwriting Academy
However, we began to note that our youth based programming needed to widen its net as we saw the crises in the schools reaching into vast arrays of other issues our youth are facing in addition to bullying/cruelty and suicide:
…hate/prejudice, anger, division, racial injustice, fractured family units, poverty, anger, depression, anxiety, mental illness, self-harm, and their own young stages of addiction.
“Jeffrey Steele & Friends” Celebrity Benefit Concerts &
The Alex LeVassuer Memorial Fund
In 2014, Casey LeVasseur, daughter of Nashville’s mega hit songwriter Jeffrey Steele, approached The Beat of Life to partner with her family for their annual “Jeffrey Steele & Friends Celebrity Benefit Concert” – which honors her late brother/his son Alex LeVasseur through the memorial fund they have with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
We have been honored beyond belief to have been a part of this event ever since, benefiting through the celebrity auction and grants made to support “Sing It To Stop It” and our youth programming in particular at The Brentwood Family Y’s Franklin YCAP program for at risk youth.
An ENORMOUS thank you to this continuing family partnership that we anticipate will impact the trajectory of scores of youth’s lives for years far into the future!
First Ever 12 Hour Virtual Music Marathon Presented by The Alex Fund
We closed out 2020 with our first ever “Sing It To Stop It” 12 Hour Virtual Music Marathon Concert, presented by The Alex Fund, to enable us to continue programming virtually during this uncertain time,
While we ALL were hurled into a strange new uncertain world in 2020, our youth often suffer the most as they are left trying to make sense of and process all they see raging around them… without having yet developed the coping mechanisms to do so.
Our already vulnerable, at-risk youth are among those who need this connection and strong presence of unity in their lives perhaps more than most.
Our incredible team of songwriters, bringing their magnanimous hearts alongside their magnificent skills for making sense of the hard parts of life through song, possess a magical combination to help our young future leaders navigate all that burdens our world and their worlds within… and we are so thankful to be able to keep doing so and we help them march onward with new anthems for their futures.