Ignite stands with youth on their journey to a home and a future with promise


  • How can one turn a story into a song?

  • What elements do composers utilize to create settings, characters, and dialogue in music?

  • How can a songwriter best distribute their music to the public?

  • What other can a songwriter make themselves known to their ideal audience?


  • Clients will create original songs from personal stories and/or poetry.

  • Clients will learn different ways to distribute their music and lyrics to a wider audience.

  • Clients will practice how to speak to a live audience and connect with them after their performance has ended.


With the guidance of Fifth House Ensemble, clients at Teen Living Programs were taught the connections between their stories and poetry and music. In response to feedback from prior residency sessions, Fifth House decided to focus more resources and time on the music composition side of songwriting rather than lyric production. By completing songs from HitRecord, participants were able to learn about the different parts of musical composition (melody, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, etc.) in each song that was completed. Once the music was written, clients were taught how to use the recording equipment available to them at TLP facilities to put words and music together. Completed songs were then distributed via different media outlets with instruction by Fifth House Ensemble teaching artists.


Many TLP clients were able to use recording equipment at their facility for the first time and learn how to best take advantage of the space. Clients also reported a strengthened sense of commitment after having taken part in an 8 week residency.


By combining the talents of multiple friends and family, clients at Teen Living Programs created these original songs. These songs were featured in a final performance for other TLP clients as well as administration of Belfort House. Songs performed at this event were then distributed via Soundcloud by the composers and made available to the public, free of charge.


2017-2018 residency programs at Teen Living Programs were supported in part by grants from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Association.