What a song writing session looks like…

I’ve been teaching composition and songwriting for seven years now, and it’s unlike anything else. The craft of songwriting is wonderfully collaborative, with each learning and drawing from the creativity of the other, and I see my role as that of mentor, collaborator, and producer, and my students as co-collaborators.

The artists in my studio are very different from each other, with specific needs and creative styles, and as their mentor it’s my role to help them discover and hone their own unique creative process. Some of the musicians come in to sessions with the melody for their next project already intact, some bring a single lyric to build a song from, and some begin with big picture concepts of what they want to write. Between sessions, I continue to collaborate with my songwriters, sending audio clips back and forth to give feedback on new melodies and lyrics to keep the momentum going, and when the song is complete, we record and mix it together, share it online, and find the next opportunity to sing it to the world.

I love to teach in this way, because I get to walk with them past the obstacles where fledgling musicians might be tempted to abandon their latent creations. Together, we make beautiful things. It’s stunning to watch these young artists go from being unsure about their potential, to becoming confident in their craft and in their ability to do more than they’d ever thought was possible—

it’s even more incredible to watch that idea permeate everything.