16 and older
Graduates of this class have ranged from current and former Major Label talent to those writing their very first song; a Grammy- and Oscar-nominated songwriter to open mic regulars; those making their first EPs to those writing the first songs they truly trust and believe in; from a Grammy-nominated artist on the 2014 ballot to a Grammy Winner and a Nominee in 2017; from an acclaimed screenwriter to America's Top Model. This mix of experience levels and backgrounds, styles and passions makes for a dynamic and invested room of creative people. Everyone takes the principles to their depth, in their style.
In this positive, respectful, challenging class, build a strong foundation for a lifetime in your art and craft and the confidence and skills to create songs that matter. In this class, you will...
THAT ALL SOUNDS COOL, BUT WHY CALL IT "THE ROOTS"?
- Learn innovative creative process principles and exercises in each class that, as a recent student wrote to a friend, "make it nearly impossible to go home and NOT write."
- Gain the ability to generate fresh and interesting ideas each time you sit down at the page--exactly when you fear you have nothing to say.
- Understand how to write powerful lyrics, from the blank page in your notebook to your polished final draft.
- Tune your writer's ear to create compelling rhythm and rhyme in your lines.
- Compose melodies that bring your own words to life.
- Discover song structure as a powerful tool to build a contract with the listener by communicating emotional intent.
- Understand basic concepts of music theory and the body language of a song. (Note: for those without a music theory background, Music Theory & Ear Training for Songwriters, Levels 1 & 2 are designed to connect with the ROOTS curriculum to fill in those gaps.)
- Cultivate your unique voice as a writer.
- Craft meaningful work that feels like you.
- Identify, nurture, and refine the kind of artist or songwriter you hope to become.
- Create a healthy and productive relationship between the artist in you (the part of your mind that generates ideas) and the critic in you (the part the judges them).
- Develop the confidence and enjoyment for a lifetime of songwriting.
- Enjoy the individual attention and valuable peer relationships that a small, hands-on class affords.
Is it because they're the greatest living band? Perhaps. And(!)...in songs, the notes your chords are built upon are called The Roots. Words have roots. The root carries meaning, and we attach prefix and suffix to give that meaning context. Pop culture may have taught you to think of "your roots" as your ancestry, your background, your unique personal history. You may make decisions in your life because of or, at times, in reaction to those roots. And from time to time you may feel the need to "pull up your roots" and enact change in your life. One look at the tree outside your window will remind you that to blossom, the roots must be planted and tended in fertile ground.
We believe that you can grow into the songwriter you hope to become if you first put down strong, healthy roots, deep in the creative soil of your experience. This class is dedicated to that powerful process. When you connect the meaning of words and the emotion of music with your growing understanding of who you are, as person and as songwriter, your style and your voice emerge.This class is especially for you if you...
- can’t seem to finish (or start) songs.
- have never written a song before but have always wanted to.
- are a more experienced writer but need the discipline, inspiration, or encouragement to improve.
- have a drawer full of napkins with song lyrics or songs starts (or an iPhone full of melodies and riffs...) and need help turning them into finished songs.
- have written songs but can’t seem to write ones you believe in.
- need help composing melody or working with song structure.
- are sick and tired of playing and singing cover songs
- are in a rut and need a fresh start.
- are not a musician but are looking for a way to unlock your creativity.
- have something to say (and you want it to sound good).
- would like to join a supportive community of peers with different styles and backgrounds who will push and encourage you to do your best work and with whom you can network for opportunities and support.
When you complete this course of study you will not only have finished songs, you will have begun to formulate a personal, creative, and (if appropriate for you) professional plan of action for a fruitful life writing compelling songs.
This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.
Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.
School Notes: For new students, there will be a $35 one-time registration fee, payable in person at the start of the class.