“Jasper is a perfect example of what creative expression can and should do,” says his Music Clubhouse Director.
Earlier this year, 16-year-old Jasper had confided in a Music Clubhouse staff member that he experienced some personal trauma and as a result, he had a hard time controlling his anger and sometimes got into physical fights. He wanted to make better choices in his life but didn’t know how.
Jasper had already started studying guitar at the Music Clubhouse. When a staff member learned of Jasper’s struggle with anger, she asked him if she could help him write lyrics for one of his guitar chord progressions. Jasper chose to write lyrics about his niece and how his love for her made him want to be a better person. He expressed how music changed his outlook on life for the better. He wrote about how writing music gave him a sense of empowerment that violence did not.
“Writing music helps me feel better. It relieves stress and makes me not want to fight,” says Jasper.
Through his songwriting, Jasper found a healthy way to express his feelings. His anger has subsided. What’s more, he helps mentor and teach guitar lessons to younger members. He is working on his first EP and exploring performance opportunities.
Even at school they’ve noticed a positive change in Jasper. “He’s been asking every day to come to the Clubhouse. He’s a good kid. Underneath it all, he knows what’s good for him,” says one teacher.
In Jasper’s case (as with so many others), says the Music Clubhouse Director, “music provides not only an outlet for changing self-destructive behavior, but also a platform to discuss the things these kids need to discuss – like family hardships, violence, emotions, etc.”