The Empowering Song Approach
The Empowering Song approach was originally developed in Massachusetts prisons by André de Quadros, Emily Howe, and Jamie Hillman to create an artistic interdisciplinarity that, while rooted in music, stretches into different arts areas. This approach which traverses improvisation and storytelling through poetry, songwriting, visual arts, movement, and theatre, has been used in multiple choral settings and missions, including prison education programs, community choruses, reconciliation and peacebuilding projects, mental health programs, and displacement contexts.
For more information on Empowering Song, check out these resources at your local library:
de Quadros, A. (2015). Rescuing Choral Music from the Realm of the Elite: Models for Twenty-first Century Music-Making – Two Case Illustrations. In C. Benedict, P. Schmidt, G. Spruce, & P. Woodford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education. Oxford University Press. Link.
de Quadros, A. (2018). Community Music Portraits of Struggle, Identity, and Togetherness. In B. Leigh-Bartleet & L. Higgins (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Community Music. Oxford University Press. Link.
de Quadros, A. (2018). Nurturing Vulnerability in Imprisoned Manhood: A Spirit Journey. In K. Hendricks, & J. Boyce Tillman (Eds.), Queering Freedom: Music, Identity, and Spirituality. Peter Lang. Link.
Howe, E., Clark, A., de Quadros, A. & Vu, K. T. (2020). The Tuning of the Music Educator: A Pedagogy of the Common Good. In I. Yob, & E. Jorgensen (Eds.), Humane Music Education for the Common Good. Indiana University Press. Link.
This video features an excerpt of our most recent podcast conversation with Emily Howe and Bobby Iacoviello and some of the art work and poetry of participants in the Boston University Prison Education Program.