Finding The Entry Point
Having a great song or a great idea for spreading a good message is good and well but unless you have a solid strategy for getting the message into the community, all your good efforts can end up to naught. This is why from the beginning of any project, right at the concept stage we’re thinking of how we’re going to get that message out to where it’s going to have the biggest impact and that’s always going to be in the community.  Your point of entry may not always be staring you in the face but we’ve found that if you speak to enough of the right people, ask the right questions and listen long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll find a way in.

If You Want To Quit Smoking
In Indonesia Health Songs found a strategic entry point for our ‘If you want to stop smoking’ program.  When the Japanese left Indonesia after WW2 they left behind a prefecture system known today as the RT/RW system.  This system was maintained by new order under President Sukarno and today is an indispensable part of Indonesian society.  In a nut shell it is a neighborhood collective of family heads which meets once a month in every part of the country to discuss neighborhood matters such as security and local health matters.  These meetings provided a perfect platform for Health Songs to present our very simple plan for quitting smoking.  The plan itself relies on the smoker’s willingness to delay taking that first smoke by 1 hour each day until they had quit altogether.  We ran a series of training workshops for volunteers to teach them how to present the method for quitting and these volunteers attended many local meetings.  At the end of each meeting we offered a simple photocopied calendar to help each quitter mark off their days.  At the end of each meeting, as a public show of acceptance, we asked “who would like a calendar”. The uptake level was around 95%.



Song Writing Workshops
Song writing has always held a special place with us and passing on our extensive knowledge to build capacity with local songwriters whether at the professional level or with children in government run schools is something we hope we’ll always do. Good song writing is about good ideas, rhythmical, melodic, lyrical and arrangement ideas.  We work with our students our students to put as many of these good ideas together to create better songs.  We could teach this stuff for weeks and in fact did run a 6 weeks ashrama based course in India several years ago but generally a weekend course is ideal to cover the basics.