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.