Songwriting Classes


I'm excited to be offering songwriting classes at Madison Music Foundry this autumn and winter.  We're keeping class sizes at 5-10 people -- small enough for everyone to participate and get feedback, while large enough to get stimulated by a variety of approaches to the craft.

On the second Sunday of each month, starting September 14 from 2:30-4:30, I'll be doing songwriting classes for individuals. Each class will be a stand-alone workshop where everyone will write a complete draft of a song. It'll be very hands-on, using inspiring exercises for each step of the process. I'll cover all the basic tools (idea generation, lyrics, melody, chords, structure) using different approaches each time. For example, in one workshop we might start with a riff; in another, lyrics; in another, melody. Sometimes the lyric writing will start with a story; another time we might develop it using rhyme columns. I'll take student input to shape each class.

On the fourth Sundays I'll have collaborative songwriting classes. Geared to people who want to co-write with another person or with a band, these classes will delve into the special issues of the co-writing process. Similar to the songwriting workshops for individuals, participants will do a lot of writing at the workshop itself. We'll do exercises for keeping the ideas flowing, and participants will try on different roles with each other to master creative negotiations. Bands can also enroll together to start or finish songs. (I recently did one of these workshops as a band coaching session. We had a blast, and came out of it with a full song and a good chunk of a second song.)

2nd Sundays, 2;30-4:30pm
Sep. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9, Dec. 14

Songwriting gives you all the tools you need to create your own songs. In this hands-on workshop, we take you through the songwriting process from start to finish. You’ll learn and practice techniques for generating song ideas, developing lyrics, crafting melodies and chords, finding the right structure and putting it all together.

4th Sundays, 2:30-4:30pm
Sep. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 23, Dec. 28

Think Lennon & McCartney, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jagger & Richards. Some of the most highly regarded music of all time was written collaboratively. This class will cover the often delicate task of sharing ideas and critiques while encouraging creativity. Participants will practice different songwriting roles and experiment with "creative negotiations."

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