Ellie Smith, 14, with Isaac Smith, 14, and Jack Spink, 14, enjoy the Whats Real Hip Hop Workshop facilitated by One Vision Productions.
Ellie Smith, 14, with Isaac Smith, 14, and Jack Spink, 14, enjoy the Whats Real Hip Hop Workshop facilitated by One Vision Productions. Marc Stapelberg

Students get expressive with hip hop workshop

Hip Hop workshops: Hayley Hutchin, 14, Ellie Smith, 14, with Isaac Smith, 14, and Jack Spink, 14, enjoy the What’s Real Hip Hop Workshop facilitated by One Vision Productions.

A GROUP of Richmond River High students are shedding shame, building pride and coming out of their shells through a weekly hip hop workshop.

Facilitated by One Vision Productions, the What's Real Hip Hop Workshop runs throughout the semester, beginning with students collaborating to write a hip hop song, record the song, story board it, and finally see it come to life by starring in their own music video.

Facilitator Jamieson Mackenzie said the workshop allowed students to become more confident, develop a positive attitude and hone their communication skills.

"Our slogan is empower our youth and that's what we are looking to do," Mr Mackenzie said.

"Hip Hop is poetry to a beat and we try and teach the kids to find their own poems, to find their own voice and let out their experience. We teach them that the most unique thing they can be is themselves."

Mr Mackenzie said the most rewarding thing was seeing the students progression and growth.

"To see a kid who wouldn't say a word in front of anyone in the first session, to be the first one to grab the mic in the last session is so satisfying," he said.

"To see them being themselves without shame."

He said the song in progress from Richmond River High students was about what's real and what's fake in the world.

Richmond River student Ellie Smith, 14, said the hip hop workshop allowed her to feel more comfortable in her own skin.

"It's a safe place to express ourselves," she said.

"We are able to voice our opinions about what's real and what matters to us and get it out on paper.

"It feels satisfying to see something you've worked so hard to make come to life."

Ellie said she would like to see hip hop classes be a permanent curriculum option in High schools.

Watch the last music video made with Richmond River High School here.

Through the Links to Learning Community Grants Program, non for profit organisation, One Vision Productions is a Byron Bay based non-for-profit organisation working with schools from Benowa to Ballina. Head online for more information.