Sunday, March 27, 2011

Songwriting Seminar

Yesterday, I went to a songwriting seminar.  The instructor was Dave Clark, a lyricist, and the guest instructor was Mark Harris, the lead singer for the band 4HIM.  The seminar was Friday night and Saturday, but I actually didn't get to go to Friday nights class.  Well, it turns out that everyone who went Friday, was supposed to come back Saturday with the lyrics to a song that they had made up.  So everyone in the class except me had a brand new song that they either read or sang aloud to the rest of the class.  Well, I felt a little bad that I didn't have one, so I wrote one down during the lunch hour and sang it for everyone.  It's not the greatest, and it doesn't rhyme, but I'd say it wasn't bad for my first time and only having an hour to do it.  However, it's hard to see how all the words flow together without hearing it sung, so I'm not going to post it. 

After lunch the class was going to break up into 5 groups, so Ashley and I went and asked the instructor and another leading man if the 4 teenage girls could all be on the same team.  The man Ashley asked said that that was ok, but the man I asked wasn't so quick to answer that way.  He said that the reason that we were doing the exercise was so that we could get different perspectives.  That caught me off-guard and the first thing that came to my head was what I said.  "Well, we are different, I wear skirts all the time and they don't.  And since we're younger than the rest, the others might not like our ideas."  "So, you're saying I'm old," he said.  "Um," I was caught off-guard again, "no, just more adult...ish."  So anyway, in the end we 4 girls got to be on the same team, but the instructor kept bringing it up to the class that I had called him old.  He was joking of course, and it was funny, but every time he mentioned it everyone would look back at me and smile/laugh.

Anyway, the 5 teams were each supposed to come up with an idea that was "song worthy".  So, at first we a did typical teenager idea: the pressure that teenage girls who are Christians feel.  But that one was discarded.  The one we decided on was True Happiness: the difference between, say, the happiness a Christian man has living on the streets and a rich man from Hollywood who doesn't know the Lord.  However, our idea wasn't picked.  The idea chosen was: Find the Silence/Cutting Through the Noise.  So then everyone had to write a chorus for that idea and we would vote on the best chorus.  So, the chorus we girls came up with was:
                                            Turn off the TV, turn off the radio.
                                            I just wanna hear your voice,
                                            It's hard to hear it through the noise.
                                            Though it's soft as a whisper it touches my soul.
                                            Just tell me where to go.
                                            You lead and I will follow.

And that's got a really pretty melody to it, but again, ours wasn't picked.  The instructor said that if he were brought that, then he would fold it up and save it for another time, because it wasn't really on subject.  The one that was picked went like this:

                                             It's hard to fine the silence
                                            When the noise is all around.
                                            The world is screaming at us,
                                            And our thoughts won't settle down.
                                           So take me to your quiet place,
                                           To hear you still, small voice.
                                           Calming my random thoughts and
                                           Cutting through the noise.

And that was shortened to the last 4 lines.  And then we played around with the melody for that one, changing it to fit whoever was writing or singing it.

The whole thing was a huge blast!  They even had donuts and banana bread and cookies and brownies and juice!

I can't wait for Monday.  There's a Master Class for music and I'm excited to see what I'll learn in that.

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