Chris Pitts
Seattle, WA
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Chris Pitts

Chris P.

Seattle, WA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Songwriting is the conveying of both lyrical and emotional ideas in the most effective way for the audience. No lyric should ever exist without purpose, repeating of words or phrases should drive home their meaning or create emphasis on an idea. Clumsy text setting can distort your meaning or leave your words unheard. The music and lyrics must play together in an effective manner in order to create the best possible song. This is a process often overlooked in the pop world leading to decades of misunderstood songs, vapid bubblegum pop, which of course snowballs into a perception of this is how songs should be instead of this is what songs could be.

I want to help you hone your craft so that you can stand among the greats. In a world of technical laziness, I hope to show you how to shine.

About Chris P.

I took an interest in music probably around 6 years old and I started out with choirs and ukelele. After a year of lessons I switched to guitar. In Jr. High I started to teach myself piano and took lessons throughout high school. I was fortunate enough to find about a dozen used instruments for sale and started learning them as well including french horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, clarinet, alto and tenor sax, and electric bass. In high school I became obsessed with dance and musical theatre and decided that I would go to college for it. Being late to that game when I applied to Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle I was accepted into their music program as a composer instead of a musical theatre performer. By that time I had already completed writing Within Darkness and Where the Wild Things Are (as part of a program to promote literacy). Both of these musicals proved to be great examples of what not to do but remain among my most inventive.

At Cornish I studied classical music and was constantly bucking the school's traditions by writing for large groups for our bi-annual recitals and was very successful as both a composer and music director. For my junior recital I had written a 6 part oratorio with piano which was set to Edgar Allan Poe's Tamerlane. By my senior year I had completed two more musicals, Beyond the Rose Field and The Betty Bow Affair, and we staged and performed Betty Bow as my senior recital.

After college I wrote my 5th musical, Ask the Butler (a dark comedy parody of Agatha Christie murder mysteries). I then completed a 7 month internship with the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and shortly thereafter took a job as a conductor for a double woodwind quintet in Seattle. From there I helped a close friend stage Savage Asia (a musical making fun of the food service industry).

As a teacher I believe technical and historical understandings of music are the foundation which invention is cultivated. I also believe that perfectionism has no place in writing a first draft. For more information read John Cleese's "Creativity: a Short and Cheerful Guide". To summarize, in order to create one must first silence the internal critic, close the door, turn off the phone, unplug the internet. Once that is done, the composer must, metaphorically, dance like no one is watching. You can be critical when you edit and prepare the second draft, till then freedom is your best friend.

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Photos & Videos

8 Photos & Videos

Experience

Conductor
Jun 2008 - Jul 2009

Chinook Winds Double Woodwind Quintet

Intern
Jul 2007 - Feb 2008

5th Avenue Theatre

Worked with the music director. Helped develop the music library, created arrangements for rehearsals and promotions, helped teach child outreach programs, assisted in auditions, and created lead sheets.

Education

Music Composition
Aug 2003 - Jul 2007

Cornish College of the Arts

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