Songwriting Worskshop tips

On Sunday I drove into camp Sunnystones to take a workshop on songwriting.
On arrival, the hostess with the mostest, Steph Payne, informed me that some singers were excited about doing a songwriting workshop, and others were…less than excited. Okay, maybe daunted.

Once we were all settled, we started diving into our senses with some timed writing exercises. The goal was to become aware of all our senses.

You can check out the daily object writing online group here.

The group’s self-described experience ranged from ‘never’ having written a song, to writing ‘crappy’ songs- or the cousin of the song….the poem.

And there we plenty of moments of brilliance- our word, ‘butter’ gave us ‘the colour of egg yolks and daffodils’, ‘slippery butter pooling in the bread’ and evoking ‘Grandma’s kitchen.’

The was also enough ordinary* (read- sucky) writing that some people frowned at their page. But writing, to me, is about creating a lot of work- creating a bunch of words and phrases that may be, for the most part- very ordinary. But we’re mining for diamonds, or nuzzling around in the mud like a truffle pig. And we’re just looking for surprising moments; images and phrases that stand out from the mud of our inevitable ‘ordinariness’.

This choir was up for anything. We warmed up their voices and did a couple of improvisation exercises where they created their own songs without even realising it.

By the end of the session we had two song starts of a verse, a chorus, and enough laughs that I hope to hear the finished songs soon!

This photo is from a worksheet of a song I’m working on at the moment 🙂



Beginning Singing; One Story

I can’t remember if it was hot or cold, Summer or Winter in my first singing lesson. I do remember the pip of anxiety gnawing away inside. I knew the teacher auditioned her students and wasn’t sure exactly what that meant.

My teacher asked me to do a bunch of kooky things like blowing raspberries…and singing scales where my confidence swung wildly between thinking I knew what I was doing, to not having a clue.

At the time, I wanted nothing more than to sing jazz. The teacher pulled out ‘I Cover the Waterfront’. I did my best to fumble my way through the notes, and make it sound like a song.

I had no idea about the kind of journey I started on that day. I just knew that I loved singing, and was so excited when the teacher said she would take me on.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but doing something even though you’re afraid.
I stretched my comfort zone that day, and found something that turned into a life long passion.

How do you stretch your comfort zone?