Workshop venue Camperdown Commons
31A Mallett St, Camperdown NSW 2050
(02) 9559 0050
- You can bring a song on CD or MP3 player, or (shock horror) maybe even PLAY LIVE!
- Don't forget to bring 10 or more copies of lyrics with you, as not all members are vocal in their critiques, preferring to write their reactions down for your later perusal.
- Musical instruments, including drums and keyboards are available if needed.
- Archived: July 5, 2011 - Guest speaker: Sue Duchesne - Song Central
- Archived: June 7, 2011 - Guest speaker: Robert Case - Old/New Pants Publishing
- Archived: November 1, 2011 - Guest speaker: Matthew Donlevy - CEO Peer Music Publishing
Workshops in Sydney are held on the first Tuesday of the month at TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute, Mary Ann St & Jones St Mall, building M, take elevator to Lower Ground, go down the hall to MLG.7.
Bring your voice and guitar or keyboard and sing it live, or bring your CD or mp3 track, with some lyric sheets copies. All members benefit from workshops, which provide an excellent forum within which you can air your musical ideas.
Here is a brief run-down on a typical workshop.
- Our capable Workshop Directors will commence proceedings at around 7:30 pm, outlining the nature of the process to any visitors on the night. Given that there may be upwards of 15 songs to be critiqued on any workshop night, Rita will keep tabs on the time taken discussing each, so as to allow for a fair amount of time to be spent on each song, and that the night doesnt run too late.
- Members are asked to provide copies of the lyrics to songs submitted to be critiqued.
- Non-members are welcome to attend. There is a $5 entry fee for non-members, if they simply wish to sit on proceedings.
- Membership applications are available at the door for those wishing to join on the spot.
- Why wait? You can join now for a special introductory fee of $50 for a full years membership.
- Also available at the door are information flyers, CD samplers and associated articles.
- Guest Speakers / Presenters
As often as we can, Songsalive! Australia like to invite music industry representatives, especially those whose work interacts with areas pertaining to songwriting, to speak about, present or even host the workshop, with a view to education members as to the machinations of the Australian music industry, its position within the global industry, and how it affects our members.
The following is a set of guidelines to help ensure that the workshops are efficient, worthwhile and fun for all attending.
- Songwriters will present their songs in order of arrival to the workshop, ie the order that names appear on the attendance sheet. Make sure you sign on as soon as you arrive.
- Please bring at least ten typed copies of your lyrics to hand out to attendees. Comments may be written on these sheets.
- Always put your name, copyright symbol and the date the song was written on your lyric sheet. Try and make sure you've printed the most up-to-date version of your song.
- If you have a CD, make sure you've checked that it plays in a normal CD drive.
- If you're playing live, try to have your instrument tuned and ready at the beginning of the workshop.
- Always be polite, descreet and sensitive in your observations and comments. Songwriting is a very personal thing and people can feel quite vulnerable presenting a song.
- There are no absolute rights or wrongs to writing a song. Every response is subjective and the comments offered are opinions. There are a lot of conventions and widely used formats, but ultimately, creative choices are up to the songwriter's discretion.
- When making a comment, try to be succinct and relevant and don't dominate - allow as many people as possible to also offer an opinion.
- Listen to and respect other people's comments. Pay attention to the flow of ideas: there's no point making a comment about the rhyme scheme in the third verse after the writer has already decided they're getting rid of that verse altogether.
- Remember, you're presenting a song, to be critiqued. You have to be prepared to accept comments and know that some people might not agree with some of your choices.
- Bring something you genuinely want help with. Don't bring a song you don't care about, so that you're indifferent to comments, or a song that's already finished and recorded and can't be changed.
Why do we need a workshop?
You've written a song. Now what?
Is there a hook? Do the words and music fit together? Can you really use "unguent" in a song and expect people to know what it means?
Songwriting can be a lonely and perplexing experience. That's why coming to a Songsalive Australia workshop can be helpful and enriching.
At the workshops you'll meet songwriters just like you. Even though people write for many different reasons, in many different styles, and with varied levels of skill, they all want to write a song that satisfies their creative vision and can be appreciated by an audience.
At the workshops we endeavour to help songwriters do just that.
What happens at a workshop?
Songwriters come along and sit in a half circle, with the Songsalive team and sound equipment at the front of the room. In turn, each songwriter that has brought along something to listen to, will present their song. Songs can either be brought on CD or iPod, or sung live (you'll need to bring your own instrument). Songwriters should also bring at least 10 copies of the lyrics to hand out.
After the song is performed/played, comments are invited from everyone in the room.
The production and performance are not important. We're listening for the essence of the song.
Every now and then we will have a guest speaker. It may be someone in the industry who has some skills, knowledge and experience to share with our songwriters. In the past, guest speakers have included producers, publishers, jingle writers, legal advisors, musicians and people who are in the business of helping songwriters get their songs "out there".
Who can come?
Workshops are open to everyone. They are free for members and $5 for non-members (or you can join-up on the night). You can be a complete beginner or published songwriter. You don't have to have a song to critique, you can just come and observe - you're still welcome to offer comments.
Where and when?
The workshops are held on the first Tuesday of each month at TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute - Mary Ann St & Jones St Mall, Ultimo. They start at 7.30pm and usually go for two to three hours depending on how many songs are being presented and whether there's a guest speaker.
Workshops are held on the first Wednesday of the month at
31A Mallett St, Camperdown NSW 2050
(02) 9559 0050
One of the best things you can do for your song, especially if you're almost finished, or have just recently finished it, is to bring it to a workshop.
Having your song listened to, and critiqued by fellow songwriters, often shows up elements which may need addressing, or extending. Sometimes, new ideas flow from the creative reactions to the song, and you find it benefits greatly from having been given a hearing before finally committing it to recording.
Songsalive! Australia is an independent songwriting community advancing Australian songwriters.