A growing number of Australian youth are facing social and emotional challenges in daily life. Many youth have been referred to by a host of labels; emotionally disturbed, behaviorally disordered, youth in conflict, delinquent, deviant, wayward, maladjusted and at risk. Australian youth centers, through the use of creative music and artistic expression, are trying desperately to reach these children before it’s too late. There are many programs being implemented to provide a successful outlet for the pressures that derail our youth.
Connecting to youth through the arts.
Though many artistic youth programs are available, there are three primary goals universal to them all.
- Provide all youth with consistent access to art.
- Provide consistent opportunities for youth to express themselves publicly through art.
- Create healthy communities by connecting at risk youth to a broader community through art.
The goal is to make art the bridge to connecting youth to the community they live. Using art to integrate children in their community, allows them to realize a greater sense of belonging to the areas they live. The belief being, the earlier a child is involved in the community, the less likely they are to isolate and become unproductive.
Connecting through musical outlets.
The ability to express one’s self is highly regarded in the music industry. It is highly appealing to youth by allowing them the freedom of expression in a unilateral format. This often provides a less invasive freedom of expression for shy or introverted children.
Programs centered on music strive for three primary goals.
- Provide music writing classes to provide an accurate platform for expression.
- Provide children with as much ‘hands on’ industry experience possible.
- Provide supportive adult mentoring to increase trust and build personal, healthy relationships.
How can I help?
Youth centers throughout Australia will forever be underfunded and understaffed. Think of any donation that could help your local youth center and contact them. Relying on government or community funding is not sufficient to offer the programs needed to successfully help our youth.
If you can’t contribute financially, there is always a shortage of compassionate, caring adults needed to mentor children on a daily basis. If you find you have some free time, stop in your local youth center and see what you can do to help out.
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