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Progressions: Songwriting

Section 3 -Cowriting and crafting


Week 1

"You write a hit the smae way you write a flop" - Alan Jay Lerner

Tuesday, November 25th, 2022

Thursday, November 27th, 2022

Tuesday - Co-writing

- Finding Co-writers

- Developing relationships

- Techniques

- Ways to collaborate

- Online communities for collaboration

- Ownership & Publishing

- Advantages and Disadvantages

Assignments -

1. Find a person to co-write with.Set up a time and method of collaboration. You present an initial idea and ask them to add to it.

Notebook - Make a list of five people you would like to collaborate with. Reach out to those people. Keep notes about how it went.


Thursday - Work-shopping Session

- Bring a song

Class Recordings


Passcode: VE.C.p6B



Week 2

"I started being a songwriter by pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could." - James Taylor

Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

Thursday, December 1st, 2022

Tuesday - Writing Exercises & Finding Ideas

Working through Ideas 

- Free Writing

    - Toward a Phenomenology of Freewriting - by Peter Elbow

- Webbing

- Cubing

- Metaphors and Similes

Honing Lyrical Skills

- Rhyming Exercises

- Meter Exercises

- Rewriting sentences and phrases

- Thesaurus You!

Honing Musical Skills

- What chord fits this note?

- Pivot chords

- Unusual and shifting meters

Form and Structure Exercises

- Repeating Lines

- Using the Bridge

- Building a Case

- Multiple Sections

Developing Imagery

- Controlling the Character

- Multiple Settings

- Working in the Abstract

- Landing on a single image

Assignment - what exercises do you do to warm up for writing? If you were going to give general advice to a songwriter who came to you what would you tell them to do? Send that to me!


Thursday - Work-shopping session [In Person]

- Bring a song to share.

Class Recordings


Passcode: +Pi&K@1L



Week 3

The more time you spend writing the "luckier" you will get.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Tuesday - Stagecraft

Thinking through your sets

- Set length

- Set Arc

- Choosing Songs

- Different stages

- Different performing situations

-Open Mics

-First gigs

    - Senior living centers

    - Coffee Shops

    - Brewerys


   - YouTube

   - Facebook & Instagram


Thursday - Martin Out [UNCO] Student Recital

Class Recordings

Passcode: $wng5fPF



Week 4

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” - Thomas Edison

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Tuesday -


Q&A Discussion -

Bring a Topic to present to the class

You will have fifteen minutes to present.


1. Song report - Bring a song and discuss the elements.  

         -  Why do you like/dislike this song?

         - Who wrote it?

         - Who recorded it? 

         - What are the arrangement elements (instrumentation,


          Was/is the song commercially successful?

          Was/is the song artistically successful?


         - What do you think we can learn from this song as


2. Process analysis - Read three interviews or articles about songwriting each from a different songwriter.  Contrast and compare their styles, approaches, success (commercial & artistic). 

       - Why did you choose these artists?

       - What do they have in common?

       - What can we learn from each of them as songwriters?

3. Choose three events from your life that were significant. Tell us about each of those events, how they relate to one another, why they were significant to you, and what we can learn from them

       - How could we make those events into a song?

            - What approach would we take? How would the song

            sound? etc.

       - What do you think we can learn from those events as



Assignment: Bring a writing prompt for another person in the class to work on for the week.

Demos, Charts, and Production of Music

- What do you need when you go into the studio

- Arrangements of songs

    - Instrumentation

    - Vocals

    - Key, tempo, texture, etc.

- Method of Recording

- Making Charts

    - Nashville Numbering System

    - Notation and Tab

    - Lead Sheets and Scores

- Producer or no producer?

    - how can they help?

    - How can they harm?


Thursday - Section 2 Workshop (In Person)

Bring a song written from Section 2 writing prompts


Class Recordings


Passcode: rq.F4d=j



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