Our vision is to see youth flourish into their best selves, and we recognize there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this journey. We built our music program for this exact reason.
What is Fernie’s Island Road music program?
One of our favourite growth opportunities at Fernie is the fully functional music recording studio inside the Island Road Open Custody Facility. The studio is run by a talented staff member, affectionately called Jenn P. She has been an integral part of Fernie for over 15 years. Jenn has a background in music production and engineering combined with a passion for youth work. Her expertise and welcoming energy create a safe space for youth to explore and heal.
When it comes to learning about music, the paths are endless. We have user-friendly software that youth can learn while recording. They begin to understand the process of writing, recording, and finalizing songs, but most importantly, they discover that music is a positive outlet.
Who uses the studio?
At Fernie’s Island Road facility, the boys in custody have full access to book recording sessions with Jenn P.
Some participants come with experience and are ready to record and create their own beats. Others that are new to the process can choose a rhythm and work with Jenn to write a verse or a whole song that feels true to them.
Jenn works with youth at all levels of musical experience. Together, they move through their ideas and curiosity, using music as a type of therapy. The participants can use the studio and get support if they are interested and actively invested in the process. There is one guiding rule in the studio: youth must speak from the heart, be honest about what they’re saying, and always be authentic.
What is the goal?
Youth in custody or in conflict with the law rarely have a protected place to experiment and find their voice. The studio is a space for them to be creative, bring their thoughts and emotions forward, and find a new outlet for their feelings while leaning on supportive adults.
Like all of Fernie’s efforts, the music program prepares youth for adulthood. Our young people are on the verge of independence, and this program teaches them to set themselves up for success in music and all aspects of life. The boys must be prepared and use their time wisely to use the studio. These are essential skills to renting a professional music space, starting a new job, or graduating from school.
There are endless outcomes of Fernie’s therapeutic music program, all of which are positive.