Musician Jeremy Messersmith tells us that he has a piano in his house because he can’t play it and that many of his ideas come from his mistakes on the piano. How do you feel when you make a mistake – are you eager to learn from it or regretful that you messed up? Do you easily learn from your mistakes? How does Messersmith view learning and making mistakes? Could you see yourself expressing yourself using this type of art?

Messersmith says that he doesn’t always enjoy the songwriting process because he feels that two minutes is such a short period of time and he has to “wring meaning out of every word.” He wrote the song “Violet” in response to Proposition 8 in California, as a protest song that had hope. Although the song is three and a half minutes long, his lyrics contain only 68 words. Write the lyrics to your own protest song in 100 words or less. What are you protesting?

Streaks of earth matted in her hair Blade of grass in her aching fist
Beaten down, but she won’t scare Sets her jaw, no she won’t quit
Blinks her eyes, battered green and blue She’ll take the fight to streets and avenues
Ignorance can leave an awful bruise A little dirt can make a flower bloom

So get up! Get up! Come on and get up, Violet!