A Piece of Paper Always Listens

A Piece of Paper Always Listens

Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association

Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School This past week I had the honor of visiting Mother of Mercy High School, as an “Artist on Tour”, for the Cincinnati Arts Association.  I delivered a writing workshop centered around building self esteem for young girls.  My writing program is called, “A Piece of Paper Always Listens”.  I continue to be amazed by how strong the writing practice truly is!

I’d love to take this opportunity to share some photos from this weeks school program as well as the program description.

Kelly Richey, Building Self-Esteem Through the Creative Arts
Renowned singer-songwriter Kelly Richey’s dyslexia was undiagnosed during her school years, which made reading very difficult and presented many challenges and obstacles, most notably when it came to self-esteem. Today, Kelly’s greatest pleasure is sharing her story with students and teaching and inspiring them to overcome their own obstacles through creative self-expression. Using interactive, timed creative writing exercises called “fast writes,” Kelly helps students express themselves in an emotionally safe environment. Kelly’s innovative workshops help students learn to “self-express” through journaling and poetry. The workshops are interactive and fun and include a mini-concert where Kelly shows the students firsthand just what is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself.

Objectives: Students can learn to “self-express” through journaling and poetry.  The following are a list of topics for writing exercises to be used to build self-esteem.

» Lesson Plan 1: The Inner Critic
» Lesson Plan 2: The Procrastinator
» Lesson Plan 3: The Muse

A pre-program guide is given to teachers so they can prepare students for thoughtful discussion around the following topics.

Topics Discussed:

» Self Worth and Healthy Self Esteem
» Taking Action
» Creative Outlets
Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School
Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School
Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School
NOTE: In addition to schools programs, I use these writing practices in writing workshops, coaching workshops, and when working one-on-one with coaching clients.

Guitar and Writing Workshops in the Schools

Guitar and Writing Workshops in the Schools with Kelly Richey

I spent the day at Batesville Middle School yesterday and had a great time working with the students! I did three guitar instruction workshops for the music department, four writing classes for the language arts department, and a live solo performance after school for the community!

I gave Leon Lenneking, head of the music department, access to my “Blues On Steroids Guitar Instruction Video Series” six weeks before the program and was thrilled to see that the 6th grade students were all playing “Ramblin’ On My Mind”, a 12-bar blues song included in the series.  It was so much fun having three classes jamming to the blues with me!

In the writing classes I shared my poetry book and we discussed the importance of writing as a form of self expression.  I did several “fast-writes” that invited students to write about a success and a challenge they’ve faced.  We covered topics around “bullying” and healthy forms of expressing feelings.  I shared with them my struggles around reading and dyslexia, explained to students the importance of asking for help when they need it, and that they can do overcome almost anything with the proper support.

After seven class periods and a quick dinner, I put on an electric solo performance for the community.  It was a very warm turn out on a very cold night!

I’d like to thank the Rural Arts Alliance for sponsoring this program, and a very special thanks to two very amazing teachers– Leon Lenneking and Lisa Barnett, for orchestrating the days events!

Kelly Richey at Batesville IN Middle School - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey at Batesville IN Middle School - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey at Batesville IN Middle School - Photos by Sonya Ziegler Kelly Richey at Batesville IN Middle School - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

 Kelly Richey at Batesville IN Middle School - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey at Batesville IN Middle School - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Music for Change

Music for Change
Blues In The Schools Programs, Workshops and Live Performance – Part 2

I returned home late Sunday night after a two-week solo tour in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.  3,000 miles, 12 high schools, 2 middle schools, 2 universities (where I held 7 individual class lectures), 9 assembly programs, 3 guitar instruction workshops, 2 theater performances, 1 fundraiser for Music for Change to help support these types of educational programs for the public, 1 live radio show appearance, a live TV interview with performance footage, and a club date in IA on my way home.

Having an opportunity to share my story with young people was a powerful experience.  I talked to them about what it takes to be an artist, as well as what it was like being a student with learning disabilities, graduating high school with a 4th grade reading level, and embracing and overcoming those challenges in order to succeed and follow my dreams.  I learned a lot from being in a series of new school districts, meeting hard working teachers who are deeply committed to their jobs.

Music for Change: You can make a difference!
paypal button

M4C is a 501c3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Kelly Richey Blues in the Schools M4C

Here’s an excerpt of the response I received from one of the students I met along the way:

I really enjoyed your performance for us. I’m involved in our school’s drumline and two of the business clubs offered at my school. I play percussion in the school band, and play drum set in my free time. I’m also an avid songwriter so when you were telling your stories I was able to relate to a lot of them. That was the best performance I’ve seen at Central since I started attending high school in the fall of 2012. I’ve been participating in music classes since fifth grade when I started with flute because they wouldn’t allow me to play percussion all because I was a girl. When I got into middle school, I signed up to play percussion and found my niche. I am the first child in my family to be in band, and my eighth grade brother is following in my footsteps. When we were younger, I taught him a lot of drumming techniques and he tried to teach me guitar, but instead we held little concerts for our family that we called our “Jam Sessions”. I have written approximately forty or fifty songs since fifth grade, and now I’m slowly starting to write the music to go with my lyrics. You really captured my attention and I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and love of music with me and all of my peers. The world can use more music lovers, and less violence.

Thank you again for a fantastic performance and a mind-blowing experience!

I also had another student share his passion for writing with me and even sent me a poem that he allowed me to post on my blog “The Valley of Death” By Garrett Thoreson.

Kelly Richey and Music for Change - M4C

I’d like to share my gratitude for the efforts of one person who made this amazing trip possible. A gentleman by the name of Steve Matzke drives a truck and manages stage crews in the ND and MN area for a large number of live music events in his area.  I first met Steve when I played the Fargo Blues Fest in mid- 2004, and he was responsible for opening the door for me to play the Empire Arts Theater in Grand Forks and a number of other dates in the area.  The amount of work that went into pulling this off is mind-blowing.  I watched as he took a dream and turned it into a reality, and I’m not only inspired, I’m impressed and deeply moved.

I’d like to share my gratitude for the efforts of one person who made this amazing trip possible. A gentleman by the name of Steve Matzke drives a truck and manages stage crews in the ND and MN area for a large number of live music events in his area.  I first met Steve when I played the Fargo Blues Fest in mid- 2004, and he was responsible for opening the door for me to play the Empire Arts Theater in Grand Forks and a number of other dates in the area.  The amount of work that went into pulling this off is mind-blowing.  I watched as he took a dream and turned it into a reality, and I’m not only inspired, I’m impressed and deeply moved.

Kelly Richey Blues in the Schools M4C

Steve had a dream to bring artists into schools to support music awareness, blues history, and the empowerment of young people learning through music and the arts.  He raised the funding from individual donations, small business contributions, and the University of Minnesota-Crookston.   Steve doesn’t do email and he doesn’t have an office, meaning he got in his car and went from school to school, talking to principals, teachers, professors, donors, and friends, to pull this off.  I’m honored to have been the artist asked to perform, and as a result, I’m inspired to continue this work.

Steve had a dream to bring artists into schools to support music awareness, blues history, and the empowerment of young people learning through music and the arts.  He raised the funding from individual donations, small business contributions, and the University of Minnesota-Crookston.   Steve doesn’t do email and he doesn’t have an office, meaning he got in his car and went from school to school, talking to principals, teachers, professors, donors, and friends, to pull this off.  I’m honored to have been the artist asked to perform, and as a result, I’m inspired to continue this work.

Kelly Richey Blues in the Schools M4C

You can follow Steve’s lead and make a difference!  I’m an “Artist on Tour” for the Cincinnati Arts Association and have been doing school programs since 2003.  In 2006, I started “Music for Change”, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to bringing music to schools and communities.   This year, anyone who makes a donation to Music for Change is eligible to receive one of the following gifts:

  • For a donation of $75: a digital download of my complete CD collection from 1994 through 2014 – that’s 15 CDs worth of blues, enough to keep you rockin’ all through next year!
  • For a donation of $100: an autographed CD bundle including Eyes of a Woman, Sending Me Angels, and Carry the Light
  • For a donation of $150 or more: the autographed CD bundle AND a digital download of the entire collection

Music for Change: You can make a difference!
paypal button

M4C is a 501c3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Kelly Richey Blues in the Schools M4C

–Finally, BIG THANKS to the following supporters!

University of Minnesota-Crookston, A&L Potato Co. Inc., Advanced, B&E Meats, Bremer, Brost Chevrolet, Cash Trucking,  Christian Brothers Ford in Crookston, Crookston Welding, Frandsen Bank & Trust, Free Lance Dreamers Facebook Group, Gasper Air Spray, Gregorie Trucking, H&R Block, Karriers Inc., Longton Agency Inc., Midwest Chiropractic, Minnesota Blues Society, Noah Insurance, Northdale Oil Inc., Pecka Trucking Inc., RBJ Restaurant, State Farm Insurance, Suncoast Blues Society, Top Quality Motors Inc., Triangle Coach Services, Valley Plains Equipment

Kelly Richey Blues in the Schools M4C

Kelly Richey Blues in the Schools M4C

Blues In The Schools Programs – Part 1

Blues In The Schools Programs – Part 1

I arrived in Grand Forks, North Dakota a week ago today.  Last week I lectured and also performed for three classes at the University of North Dakota, and performed assembly programs at WIN-E-MAC and East Grand Forks High School.  On Saturday, I conducted a guitar instruction workshop for the public, and in the evening I performed at a fundraiser for Music for Change to help support these types of educational programs.

So far this week I spoke to a group of seniors,  and held two assembly programs for Grand Forks Red River High School and Fisher High School.  I also did a live on-air interview on KROX AM 1260 this morning, and wrapped up the day with an assembly program at Sacred Heart High School.

Stay tuned…! Tomorrow I spend the day at the University of MN where I speak to the music class at 9 AM, perform an assembly program at 10 AM for University students and several regional high schools, conduct a guitar instruction workshop from 2 PM to 4 PM, and do a live solo performance at 7 PM which is open to the public.

Music for Change: Blues In The Schools Programs

Thursday– East Grand Forks High School.
Friday– Guitar Instruction Workshop @ 3 PM with a live performance at 7 PM at The Arlene Theater in Minot, North Dakota.
Saturday – Solo Show at Byron’s in Pomeroy, Iowa at 9 PM.

Music for Change: You can make a difference!

paypal button

M4C is a 501c3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Kelly Richey Blues in the Schools M4C

For a donation of $75: a digital download of my complete CD collection from 1994 through 2014 – that’s 15 CDs worth of blues, enough to keep you rockin’ all through next year!

  • For a donation of $100: an autographed CD bundle including Eyes of a Woman, Sending Me Angels, and Carry the Light
  • For a donation of $150 or more: the autographed CD bundle AND a digital download of the entire collection

Check out these new photos:

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - University of North Dakota
Kelly Richey Speaks at University of North Dakota for Music for Change

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - University of North Dakota
Kelly Richey Speaks at University of North Dakota for Music for Change

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - WIN-E-MAC
Kelly Richey Assembly Program at WIN-E-MAC for Music for Change

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - WIN-E-MAC
I was asked to sign a silver slipper and a cowgirl boot!!!

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - WIN-E-MAC
Kelly Richey Assembly Program at WIN-E-MAC for Music for Change

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - WIN-E-MAC
Kelly Richey Assembly Program at WIN-E-MAC for Music for Change

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - East Grand Forks High
Kelly Richey Assembly Program for Fisher High School and  East Grand Forks High for Music for Change

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs KROX AM 1260
Kelly Richey on AM Talk Radio – KROX AM 1260

Music for Change Blues In The Schools Programs - Music for Change - Sacred Hearts High School
Kelly Richey Assembly Program – Music for Change – Sacred Hearts High School

Music for Change: You can make a difference!
paypal button

M4C is a 501c3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Words can be very powerful

I presented a school program today at East Grand Forks High School in North Dakota. After the session I had a young man share a poem with me that he had written titled “The Valley of Death”.  Words can be very powerful…

“The Valley of Death”
—By Garrett Thoreson

The midnight moon was shining bright
for it had reached its final height
The wind was whistling through the roughly carved slopes
as if it was calling to me
It was calling me as if to say
it was coming to bring me to the grave
The trees like the grim reaper
trying to bring me to perdition
The condors circling above
like omens of the end
The dull torches lit a path
that led me forward
it was predestined
I never had a chance
It was the illusion of freedom
messing with my head
Then like a blessing
I found the end
In a moment I realized me finding the end
wasn’t of my own accord.
I was meant to be here
to fight the war.
The war between the skeletons
and the forsaken souls.
Then as if blessed by holy light,
our God hath given me a boon of might.
For am no longer a mortal,
I am the skeleton king.

Kelly Richey - Music for Change - East Grand Forks High

M4C Magic Bus – Kelly Richey Solo Tour!

M4C Magic Bus – Kelly Richey Solo Tour!

I’m wrapping up the artwork and final mix approvals this week so we can master and go to press with my new CD!  Once the CD is off to the manufacturer, I’ll be hitting the road for a two week tour through North Dakota, , Minnesota and Iowa. This will be my first of many solo tours for Music for Change and I’ll be performing for 12 high schools, 2 universities, plus 2 guitar instruction workshops, a theater and a venue performance!  3,000 miles, 14 events in 13 days! Look out for the M4C Magic Bus!

The Kelly Riche Band at Alpen Blues Fest - Photo by Sonya Ziegler - 119

11/04/15 – Grand Forks, ND – University of Nort Dakota – 8:00am
University Lecture Series and Solo Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/05/15 – Erskine, ND – Win-E-Mac School – 9:00am
School Program and Solo Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/06/15 – East Grand Forks, ND – East Grand Forks High School – 10:00am
School Program and Solo Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/07/15 – East Grand Forks, ND – East Grand Forks American Legion – 11:00am
Guitar Instruction Workshop by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/09/15 – Grand Forks, ND – Red River High School – 9:00am
School Program and Solo Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/10/15 – Crookston, MN – KROX – Radio – 9:00am
Interview and Radio Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/10/15 – East Grand Forks, ND – Sacred Heart School – 1:00pm
School Program and Solo Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/11/15 – Crookston, MN – University of Minnesota-Crookston – 9:00am
University Lecture Series and Solo Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/12/15 – Grand Forks, ND – Grand Forks Central High School – 9:00am
School Program and Solo Performance by Kelly Richey / Music for Change

11/13/15 – Minot, ND – The Arlene Theater – 3:00pm
Guitar Instruction Workshop by Kelly Richey / Music for Change
The Arlene Theater / 115 1st SE. / Minot, ND
Venue: 866-667-1977

11/13/15 – Kelly Richey Solo – 7:30pm
The Arlene Theater
115 1st SE.
Minot, ND
Venue: 866-667-1977

11/14/15 – Kelly Richey Solo – 9:00pm        
Byron’s
112 S Main St.
Pomeroy, IA
Venue: (712) 468-2372