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I have been teaching songwriting for about a year so far. These lessons are wholly rewarding as I love to conduct it as a "jam session" of sorts, helping my students frame their ideas into versus-chorus form, as well as helping them with basic music theory and sheet music transferring digitally with Sibelius 7 or in paper form.
I started writing songs at age 7. I recorded my first song at age 16. I use theory and chord progressions with my instrumental students to help develop their own style sometimes by only adding suggestions. I teach a rock camp in the summertime where kids age 7-15 come out and learn to write original music and perform it on stage in only a week.
I have been writing music for years and teaching song writing for years. I approach teaching songwriting in a way that emphasizes allowing the voice and creativity of the student to pour fourth. I essentially walk through the song writing process side by side with them so that they write the song themselves and have a sense of accomplishment that that produced something unique.
Songwriting is a skill that is as unique and varied as the individual. Learn to cultivate your own creative voice through the craft of songwriting; with or without and instrument! Anyone can learn to write a song, and it doesn't take months or years of instruction to do it. Starting from the very beginning I can teach you the building blocks of a song, and together we can discover how best to express your personality through your music.
For about five years now, I have been actually completing playable music. The past couple years, my school's jazz combo has even taken a couple of my songs to compete with at local jazz festivals. I have studied primarily under the fantastic composer, guitarist and teacher, Tom Hynes the past couple years. Prior to my studies, I was self taught, as a way of expanding my improvisation. I write primarily for Chamber ensembles, Jazz small ensembles, and even some pop music. I use Handwritten, Finale and Logic pro for notation, so whichever is most convenient, I'll use. In lessons, I will ask students to bring in material they have written each week, which we will review together. I'll add some suggestions, but will not change the integrity of the music, just refine it. We shall look at composing in different styles, as well as expanding upon the styles in which the student is most interesting in pursuing.
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