Stages of Life Productions

 

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What We Do Off Stage

Rick Weiss and Kate Finn have written, taught, and performed music in Portland for 25 years. From 1998-2006, Weiss and Finn taught songwriting and CD Production workshops in over 80 Portland public schools (3rd grade through high school) through the Community of Writers program. During that time, it has been hard to watch school after school severly cut or eliminate musical education.

Currently Weiss and Finn conduct week-long songwriting/CD production workshops in Portland public schools. For three days in each classroom, Weiss and Finn collaborate with the students and their teacher on choosing an idea for a song, writing to the topic, forming coherent lyrics, setting them to music, and editing their work. On Thursday, they rehearse the song with singers and musicians from the class. On Friday, they bring in microphones and digital recording gear and record the song (usually the students' favorite part).

NEW! We are working with local students on a new musical
"Science Rocks!"

touring local schools this fall.

See more information below

CD Cover ArtThey record in small groups in a "studio" set up outside the classroom. When kids are not recording, they are working on cover art and graphics fo their CD. Each song is their professionally mixed and mastered by Rick Weiss, Kate Finn, and Andrew Kent at Almost Cosmic Studios, and two weeks after the workshop each student in the class gets CD of their original song with their artwork, graphics and their names in the credits.

CDStudents can perform the songs produced on the CD at talent shows. And at the end of the year, participating students will receive a mass-produced compilation CD of all the songs written by each class. The school can also sell additional copies of the CD as a fundraiser.

Weiss and Finn feel this program accomplishes three main goals. First, it helps students achieve in several areas of the state standards for writing, including pre-writing, working cooperatively, using sensory images, developing a draft, revising and editing. Second, Weiss and Finn offer students creative outlets - vocals , instrumental, graphics arts- that many schools can only offer on a limited extra-curricular basis. And, most importantly, by involving several different grade levels to produce a polished, finished product the whole school can appreciate, the project helps foster community within the school and enable the students involved to leave behind a personal legacy.

The tale of the tail Writing a Song The World is Our Play Ground

Science Rocks

If you are looking for an assembly to spark students' interest in scienceā€¦
Have we got a show for you!

Science Rocks!

Science Rocks! features a talented 8-piece high-school rock band, powerful multi-media images, and 8 songs co-written by Rick Weiss, Kate Finn and students at Holy Family School. The show is a high-energy scientific tour-de-force through such topics as the physics behind music to DNA to super-massive black holes to the centuries of discovery and invention that led to the smartphone. Featured songs include “DNA” (to the tune of “TNT” by AC/DC), “I Love Rocks that Roll”, and “Heavy Metals” (which is literally about heavy metals.)

Science Rocks! is a 45-minute assembly length program. We also provide all the information-packed lyrics for students and a helpful study guide for teachers. We think it is most appropriate for grades 3-8. Younger kids will definitely find it entertaining, but might not comprehend as much of the material.

Our suggested fee for this show is $500, which covers our basic costs. But we are quite willing to offer a discount to make it affordable for your budget.

Besides teaching music at Holy Family School, Weiss and Finn are also the authors of previous Young Audience programs: "Origins of Popular Music: The History Behind the Hits" and "Pianopalooza!"

For more information, please Contact Us

Portland Musical for All Ages"The Rise of the Evil Hamsters (and other stories)"

In June we premiered an original all-ages musical: "THE RISE OF THE EVIL HAMSTERS (AND OTHER STORIES)", featuring songs we have written with hundreds of local students over the last ten years, performed by a talented ensemble of high school performers. We are currently touring this show in local grade schools, where our goal is to inspire kids to write and present, as well as offer our cast an opportunity to perform at a professional level.

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