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New Songwriting Workshop Starts Sept. 25!
A new session begins Tuesday September 25 and will run through November 13, followed by a celebratory performance at The Monkey House. Classes include in-class writing games and exercises, group feedback of songs in progress, and home assignments to help sharpen specific elements of songcraft. The class has three primary objectives. ONE: To push past blocks and help you re-discover the childlike art of “creative fumbling” TWO: To help you get in touch with your own instincts as a songwriter by tuning into your own creative voices. THREE: To heighten awareness of aspects like chord substitutions, internal rhyme, musical intervals, dynamics and rhythmic variation. I believe inspiration is just another word for excitement: fooling around with musical and lyrical ideas until you find that one little thing -- a melodic line, a lyrical image, a chord progression -- that gets you going and gives you the enthusiasm to push the song through to completion. Cost is $300 for eight sessions, September 25 - November 13. First-time students also get a free 40-minute one-on-one session. Please contact me: ira @ themonkeyhouse.org to set up Paypal payment, or address to mail a check. (The WePay system on Meetup takes a big cut and this saves us both money.) Please visit www themonkeyhouse .org / classes to read rave reviews from students.

The Monkey House

1638 University Avenue · Berkeley, CA

What we're about

A new songwriting class begins at The Monkey House in Berkeley on Tuesday May 2, running eight weeks through June 20 -- plus a celebratory performance on Sunday, June 2. The first six classes will examine classic songs (nominated by students) as a means of illustrating important techniques: visual storytelling, lyrical focus, setting up choruses and hooks, using chord substitutions and fresh musical intervals, building contrast between sections, and more. Each of these six classes will end with an assignment aimed at sharpening elements of craft. We’ll also do in-class exercises aimed at silencing your inner critic and rediscovering the childlike art of “creative fumbling”. I believe inspiration is just another word for excitement -- playing around with musical and lyrical ideas until you find that one little thing -- a melodic line, a lyrical image, a chord progression -- that gets you going and gives you the energy to push the song through to completion. Our final two weeks will be spent polishing the songs generated by the at-home and in-class exercises.

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