Workshop: Making Music With Impact

For young adult to adult musicians and songwriters: classroom program, workshop or residency

Do you feel like you're writing the same song over and over again? Do your songs still feel "flat" even after you've pored over the rewrite for hours or days? Often there are simple musical solutions that can bring a three-dimensional richness into your song.

This workshop shares tips and hints to add impact to your songs by giving the music the same creative care as the lyrics. Using some of his own material for examples and a host of engaging exercises, topics covered include:

  • Adding new tools and techniques to the songwriter's toolbox , such as melody development for vocal delivery, effective use of key changes, "stepping outside your creative cage", and shifts in musical delivery and arrangement that can bring new life to your writing
  • Management of song energy and dynamics, including verse and chorus differentiation, musical bridging, and effective use of space
  • Setting the song mood effectively with tension and release, movement and constancy, and use of interesting intervals, chord changes and rhythms


The workshop begins with a brief, easy-to-access discussion of the standard major and minor scales to introduce common chord relationships as well as complementary key signatures. The ability to read or write music notation is not required.