“The Song Shop” – Songwriting Workshops for Songwriters

Do you have a passion for, or simply interest in songwriting? Do you write poems but would like to know how they could become songs, or do you write music but struggle with words? Would you like the opportunity to network and learn with other like-minded people in a low-pressure, interactive environment? Jaylene Johnson is combining her background in education with her love of songwriting, and facilitating four weeks of interactive workshops for songwriters, Saturdays starting November 10th and running to December 1st. There will be a limited number of participants, so register soon!

Objective: To provide an opportunity to local songwriters of all ages and backgrounds to develop songwriting skills in a focused but interactive setting.

The first three workshops will comprise a combination of instruction/discussion, as well as a critique of participants work (by random selection). The final workshop will comprise a listening session of participants’ original works, written over the four weeks of the course.

Facilitator: Jaylene Johnson

If you watch network television, you've probably heard Jaylene Johnson's music. Her “smart-pop” music has danced its way to shows like Pretty Little Liars and Degrassi: The Next Generation. An avid collaborator, her work has been recorded by several other Canadian artists, including celebrated singer and songwriter, Amy Sky. Several records of original material showcase her “angelic pipes” (Wpg Sun) and soul-nourishing songs. She is an artist who makes you "listen more closely" (CD Baby), putting her own quirky, yet insightful, slant on life, love and matters of faith.

Location: Broadway Neighbourhood Centre (185 Young Street)

Session 1 - Saturday, November 10th – Noon-2PM (2 hours)
Session 2 - Saturday, November 17th – Noon-2PM (2 hours)
Session 2 - Saturday, November 24th – Noon-2PM (2 hours)
Session 4 - Saturday, December 1st – Noon-2PM (2 hours)

Participants: 8 maximum, plus instructor
Supplies needed: Paper and sharpened pencils; guitars (if applicable)
Session 1 = $35.00 pp
Session 2 = $35.00 pp
Session 3 = $35.00 pp
Session 4 = $35.00 pp
Sessions 1-4 package = $120.00 pp
*All for sessions = 8 hours total
*Individual coaching and consultation is also available for fees ranging from $35-$100 a session, depending on what is requested/needed.
Session 1 Review of the Basics and moving to a new level

Anyone who has been writing songs will have a basic understanding of melody and lyric writing. How does one move beyond what they know, to a new level of skill as a writer? Basic elements such as song structure, effective lyric writing and strong “hooks” will be the focus of this session. Participants will be invited to share original works (random selection) for feedback based on the instruction in the first segment of the workshop.

Session 2 Writing “Bad” Songs

The instructive portion of this session (40 minutes) will comprise a discussion of “good” versus “bad” songs; “writers block”; and the discipline of songwriting. How does a songwriter move past their own ego to a place where they can “receive” great ideas? Is there value in writing bad songs? Where does one’s “editor” come into play?

During the second portion of this workshop (40 minutes), participants will create an entire song from start to finish in the time allowed.

For the final 40 minutes participants will be invited to share their work and their experience and thoughts on the activity.

Session 3 Inside-out and Upside-down – Fresh Perspectives

The focus of this session will be on moving from the personal to the universal in songwriting, and finding new ways to express common themes, via story-telling in songs, effective use of metaphors and other poetic devices.

The “hands-on” portion of this session will include collaboration; developing several original ideas for expressing a common theme, given by the instructor.

Time will be allowed during the last portion of the session to share ideas and experiences.

Session 4 Song Circle

Participants will each be given a portion of time to share either a song, song idea or general comment or question about their experience as a developing songwriter.

A survey will be distributed for comments on the workshop series, with a section for suggested future workshops.