It can be difficult to know where to start with songwriting, especially when you've never written a song before. Do you write lyrics first? Lay down a beat? Compose some chords? The answer to the question, "How do I write a song?!" should have as many answers as there are people on the Earth. So a community-based workshop setting, featuring guidance from several locally based songwriters, might be a good place to start. This seven-week workshop series, featuring Madison musicians including Annelies Howell (The German Art Students), Beth Kille, and Nick Brown, even offers students a platform to share songs developed during the course.
A good workshop isn't the place to get hard-and-fast answers. Think of it as a place to brainstorm, listen to others, receive feedback on your own ideas, and expose yourself to techniques people have been developing for decades. The workshop's six basic questions, the "Who, What, Where, When, Why and How" of songwriting, could be a useful springboard for the uninitiated, writer's block victims, and the experts looking to shake things up. Or, maybe you will discover that this is not how you want to write music, in which case you have learned something about yourself as a creator. Disagreeing with people is often the best way to learn about yourself, and this can be a productive way to approach workshops. Each facilitator will cycle out each week, which should ensure that no one approach to music becomes dogma. The choices of locally-based experts emphasizes folk music, and also features rock and pop musicians. Hip-hop and rap experts are conspicuously absent, though spoken word is mentioned. Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/xa9ybja4ZMgjQdgS2 —Reid Kurkerewicz