Hey, Hey, Hey—Listen to What I Gotta Say: Songs Elevate Youth Voice in Alberta Wildfire Disaster Recovery
Music pulses emotion in its lyrics, its tune, and in the creative process.A song can move people to dance, to reflect, and—often—to act. For an artist, a song’s creation can also reveal and clarify one’s own emotions. When people listen, a song can legitimize that the artists have something valuable to say—especially when the artists are youth who believe their ideas need a wider audience. This article talks about the power of song for youth recovery post-disaster in the context of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire disaster in Alberta, Canada. It highlights the use of music in a community-engaged research project that aimed to understand and amplify youth ideas for improving their community. The article draws on the value of Youth-Adult Partnerships, where eight youth worked with a professional recording studio in the wildfire-affected community to produce original songs for a youth-centric social media campaign. Focusing on the youths’ songs and personal experiences of their development, the article offers ways forward for wildfire recovery through processes that strengthen youth voice and wellbeing. The community-engaged research process underscores the power of music creation as an empowering method for enhancing youth engagement and reveals youths’ insights through their musical reflections on their priorities for a resilient community after disaster.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter separate, additional contractual agreements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted to post their work online (e.g., in an institutional repository or on their website) after the publication of their work in the Engaged Scholar Journal.
- Please note that while every opportunity will be taken to ensure author participation in the editing process, due to time constraints final copyediting changes may be made before publication to ensure APA adherence throughout all submissions.