If you’re interested in an artist in residency for song-writing and recording workshop or scene writing and acting workshops, please contact us. Depending on availability, Allen Desnoyers may be able to visit your school for a full day, a full week, or even two weeks depending on the needs of the school. Costs will be determined on a case by case basis depending on the requirements,  but plan on approximately $500 per day, $2250 per week, or $4000 for a two week residency.

Allen taught high school drama at a private school for two years as well as occasional teaching in junior high and elementary school. He has a classical piano degree, and is versatile on guitar and banjo.

Case Study

Back in June of 2004, Zeta Funk, an arts teacher at Harry Sayers Elementary in Abbotsford, British Columbia called me with the following challenge: Could I help students write songs based on the following topics or “values” as her school referred to them:

The first letter from each “value” spelled REACH and their school wanted to instill these values in their students through a program they called Reach for the stars.   My response was, “What rhymes with attitude?” In all, there were nine classes from grades one through five participating and the school was comprised of 90% Indo-Canadian students many of who were still learning English as their second language.

Zeta asked if we could write nine different songs with each class in different styles of music.  During a two-week period in November 2004, each of the nine classes met on a daily basis with me as we workshopped a variety of styles of music and brainstormed lyrics.    Fortunately, the school had introduced a variety of musical styles to the students: rock and roll, calypso, classical, jazz, country and celtic.    I added boogie-woogie, ragtime, and bluegrass and we had 9 styles to choose from.

We had great fun creating together, and you’re welcome to listen to the results on our Mp3’s and read the lyrics from the different grades.


Artist In Residence Program: Harry Sayers Elementary

Harry Sayers Elementary staff and students were pleased to welcome Allen DesNoyers as an Artist In Residence during the 2003-2004 school year.

Social responsibility is one of our school goals.  In our efforts to encourage positive attitudes and behaviours in our Kindergarten to Grade 5 classes, Harry Sayers Elementary focusses on the development of life’s virtues.  Our school motto is “Reach for the Stars”.  The guiding stars for Harry Sayers Elementary include respect, effort, attitude, cooperation and honesty.

With Allen’s guidance, the staff and students created two songs for each of our guiding stars.  Songs were written in different genres (e.g.: rap, rock, calypso, blues, folk, country and western, etc.).    Allen worked with staff to review the virtues and brainstorm for phrases that described these virtues. He helped the students and staff to create lyrics, using rhyme, meter, creative imagery, language development, mood, and poetic devices.  Once compositions were complete, classes participating in the composition process taught their song to another class.  All songs were shared with our school community at an evening music concert.

A CD entitled “Virtual Gold” was produced with Allen’s capable assistance.  Copies of this CD have been shared with other schools in our district and with other districts in the province.

At the B.C. Safe Schools Centre opening at U.C.F.V. held in November 2004, a group of Harry Sayers Elementary students performed two songs from this CD to an appreciative audience.

We continue to sing these songs with students at all grade levels on a regular basis.  The powerful messages conveyed in these songs will always be relevant.  The songs are as popular at Harry Sayers Elementary today as when they were first composed.

The Artist In Residence Project undertaken last year exceeded all of our expectations!  As the school administrator, I appreciated Allen’s abilities, both as an artist and as a teacher.  His immense talent and his ability to inspire and encourage students at all age levels was impressive.Susan Antak, Principal, Harry Sayers