“I always knew performing was for me, but I certainly had my doubts about whether I could really ‘make it. For a good part of my life I played it safe and became a yoga instructor, teaching all over NYC. It finally came to a point where I was incredibly unhappy because I was living a life that was entirely inauthentic to who I was meant to be.
“Attending classes at The Songwriting School has taken my songwriting skills to a whole other level,” Alisha says. “I've been writing for a while now, and I tend to stick with what I know I'm best at. The Songwriting School has completely broadened my set of tools, giving me a variety of methods to choose from. It has also challenged me to think outside of what I'm used to writing. I've discovered a whole new side of what I'm capable of creating!”
- Alisha Zalkin, songwriter, recording artist
"THE ROOTS program not only gave me the tools to write great songs, it gave me the whole toolbox. It helped me be proactive about writing and to construct imaginative, complete songs in place of the frustrating fragments I was used to."
- Mat Koehler, songwriter, guitarist, owner of Holy Grail Guitars
Mat Koehler turned to songwriting when his career as a TV writer took an unexpected plot twist. He wrote his first complete song in THE ROOTS. Now he makes his living with music--as a songwriter, performer, and as the owner of Holy Grail Guitars, a boutique service providing hard-to-find guitars for players who need them. This winter he won the full Scholarship to The Durango Songwriter's Expo for his breath-taking song "Juliana." Making music your life: there's a chorus we can all appreciate.
"The assignments in THE ROOTS instantly inspired me to write. Because I had the assignments to work on, I was too busy enjoying the creative process to feel worried about my life. . . Stretching beyond my comfort zone would likely have stopped me in the past, but being in the intimate class situation gave me an automatic sense of accountability and I saw things through like never before."
- Miranda Zeiger, singer/songwriter, The Gajillionaires, Willow Willow
"In my ever-constant search for the gift of inspiration from the Muse, I had to look no further than the Songwriter's Workshop. The talent, musicianship, compassion, and undying encouragement from my fellow artistic warriors was exactly what I needed to elevate my songwriting, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The Muse is a fickle lover, but as evidenced by all of the songs to have emerged, she has a definite affinity for the Songwriting School. As do I!"
- Julie Mintz, singer/songwriter
An actress who always privately yearned to sing her own songs, Julie worked at her craft at The Songwriting School in classes like THE ROOTS, Guitar for Songwriters, Writing Songs for the Marketplace, and as a longtime member of the advanced Songwriter's Workshop. She made the leap to full-time singer/songwriter in 2011 on the heels of performances at South By Southwest in her native Texas.
“I have taken classes with Grammy-winning songwriters on both coasts and various workshops in Nashville, and this place is, hands down, my favorite. It is a wonderful place for the absolute beginner to the advanced songwriter.
"One of my favorite parts of The School," Aliya muses, "is the people that I've met and the friends I've made. Especially because L.A. is so big, and it can be difficult to find people you connect with. I was very lucky in finding this place. . .because it put me in contact with people that are now good friends."
- Aliya Hashemi, singer/songwriter, actress, Los Angeles
Aliya has taken THE ROOTS, Songmakers, and is a member of The Songwriter's Workshop. She is recording her debut record this year with her band, The Gajillionaires (with fellow Songwriting School student Miranda Zeiger).
"Working in THE ROOTS class at the Songwriting School of Los Angeles was one of the highlights of my summer in Los Angeles. The class encouraged me to finish songs that I had sitting around for years, and they're some of my favorites now. Rob Seals will inspire you to be a better songwriter, and I can't recommend working with him enough."
-Shwa Losben, songwriter/recording artist
Shwa earned the prestigious ASCAP Robert Allen Songwriting Award, for which he was honored at Lincoln Center and has opened for artists like Ben Folds and OK Go. He is based in New York but spent a summer in LA where he took THE ROOTS and joined The Songwriter's Workshop.
The following appeared in an online interview conducted by the national radio airplay magnet Airspun with Arizona-based artist Brittney Elizabeth:
“I attended a singing camp in California,” remembers Brittney. “Rob Seals, who would be one of my co-writers, was teaching a class on songwriting. Within like 10 minutes, I wrote my first song. All these feelings came rushing over me. It was amazing.”
- Brittney Elizabeth , Desert Sunrise Recording Artist, Tempe, AZ
After that initial meeting in a songwriting class taught by Rob Seals, Brittney studied songwriting privately with Rob with video conferencing over the internet and in person in LA. The two would go on to co-write ten songs for her debut CD Breathe In. Rob produced, engineered, mixed, and played on 6 of the songs on the record. Songs have aired nationwide on networks like MTV and E!.
"Favorite New Discovery: The Songwriting School of Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to attend a songwriting workshop at this up and coming spot in Burbank. Very cool people, great vibe, and doing great things with songwriting. Check it out if you are an LA writer."
- Tim Blane, singer/songwriter, from his blog Lather, Rinse, Repeat
If you own a Mac you might recognize Tim Blane as the guy who gives the guitar and piano lessons in Garageband. You might recognize his thoughtful, smart, dead-catchy music from a radio near you, most recently from 2011's studio release 'You Can't Go Back'. Tim visits The Songwriter's Workshop, the advanced weekly writers group, when he is off the road and in LA.
- McKinley, singer-songwriter and engineer, television host for the History Channel’s mystery investigation series Decoded.
“The Songwriter’s Workshop has been an essential component in my own personal and creative growth over the last year. Visiting with a core group of focused artists who strive for excellence and bring their A-game to the pursuit of creativity has been revitalizing in a way that makes me measure other endeavors against it. “
-Syd, songwriter/producer/artist (Jessi Bridges, Hotels & Highways, Mia Dyson, The Co-Op)
Syd has been a frequent guest of The Songwriter's Workshop, lending his knowledge as a writer and producer and participating by workshopping his own songs. Some of the songs on the Hotels & Highways records were workshopped there.
“This is a good time to emphasize what a fabulous experience I've had in the Songwriter’s Workshop. Hands down the best songwriting ‘engine’ I've ever participated in.”
- Robert Miranda, songwriter & guitarist
Robert has been in many bands over the years, playing with the likes of multi-platinum artist Meredith Brooks. At The Songwriting School Robert took THE ROOTS and is currently a member of The Songwriter’s Workshop.
“[The people at] The Songwriting School of Los Angeles run an incredible facility in Burbank, CA. There are classrooms, a computer lab and a complete, up-to-date recording studio and the people are knowledgeable, passionate and truly dedicated. If you are a young or otherwise budding songwriter, living in the Los Angeles area, looking to develop or hone your writing talents, this is definitely the place to do it.”
Phil Cody's songs have been recorded by artists as diverse and successful as Sheryl Crow, Clay Aiken, Elvis Presley, and Huey Lewis & The News. He was a long-time collaborator with Neil Sedaka and a former Brill Building tenant.
"I have been taking online songwriting lessons with Rob Seals since 2006. Rob has incomparable teaching skills and attitude."My first language is Korean, so I was afraid of writing songs in English. Every time Rob gave me very detailed feedback in a positive way, so after each lesson, I was confidently ready for the next challenging step, instead of struggling or giving up. Of course, my English lyrics are not perfect yet, but Rob always respects and appreciates my music.
I wrote music before I took lessons with Rob as well. At that time... I just had NO IDEA how to write songs. I learned how to use rhyme, beats, and song structure properly, to choose and place the right word for the lyrics, to develop the ideas and put them into a song and… tons!!!
"Compared to my previous work, I definitely see a huge difference, and that keeps me motivated all the time!"
- Erin Lee, Recording Artist, Toronto, Canada
Erin received a scholarship to attend The Berklee School of Music in Boston and enrolled Fall 2008.
"One of the most sincere teachers I have had in the music industry, Rob Seals has shown me ways to be successful at songwriting while maintaining my integrity as a person, as an artist."I highly recommend him for any artist looking for an incredibly encouraging and professional teacher, producer or engineer. He will put you at ease in what can be a nerve-wracking experience - exposing all that's inside you to get some really good songs and/or recordings out of you."
- Valerie Orth, Recording Artist, San Francisco, CA
Valerie's latest record Faraway City was produced by Tori Amos bassist Jon Evans.
"I can’t say enough good things about Rob Seals, as a person, teacher and musician.
"That alone has opened up new opportunities for me as I have started working with other artists who need songwriting help. I look forward to learning from and collaborating with Rob as I continue my musical journey!"
- Humberto Castaneda, songwriter/vocalist for the band Missionary, Seattle, Washington
“Simply put, Rob Seals is a wizard in the classroom."His songwriting seminar for high school students is simultaneously a seminar in how to reach a demographic that is increasingly difficult to reach. I locate Rob’s success in his pitch-perfect tone. He is fluent in the hip, smirking irony of our times and he hooks students with his wit; ultimately, however, he wins them over with his passion and authenticity and his faith in the possibilities of song. (It is this combination of playfulness and gritty hope that I admire so much in Rob’s music.)
"It’s not every day students see someone who clearly believes in something, and boy do they respond. The students were there. Rob had them. “Anyone who has ever taught knows, first, that you can’t fake this kind of performance—students have Holden C.’s ability to spot a phony from a hundred paces—and second, you’re not born with this skill. Like his stage sets, Rob’s classroom sets have been honed through practice and performance.
"And his motivations seem deep but simple: A desire to share what he loves and a steadfast respect for young artists coming of age in a plastic land.”
- Chris Bachelder, Author, Creative Writing Faculty Amherst College, MA
"The difference between what I was able to do by myself and what Rob Seals was able to help me create was staggering.
"Rob has many skills that make him a natural as a producer and teacher... among them are his songwriting abilities, which allow him to help edit songs in the studio, and his calm but confident demeanor, allowing him to bring the best out of studio performances. I always know I am going to get honest feedback throughout the process. And, it can't be overstated that just having Rob's guitar playing abilities alone would make it worth working with him. Add to that his ear as an engineer/mixer and his vision as a producer, he is the total package."
- Dave Potts, performing songwriter, Auburn, AL
Since he began working with Rob Seals, Dave Potts has won many awards: Telluride Troubador Finalist, 4-time Kerrville New Folk Finalist, South Florida Folk Festival Winner, International Acoustic Music Awards Winner, New Folk Song of the Year by Just Plain Folks, Performing Songwriter Magazine Top 12 DIY, 2-time Unisong International Songwriting Finalist, South Florida Folk Festival Finalist, USA Songwriting Contest Finalist, International Acoustic Music AwardsTop 10, 4th place New Folk Album of the Year, Just Plain Folks; Mountain Valley Arts Festival - 1st place Folk/Acoustic,Suwannee Springfest Songwriting Contest 2nd Place, Mountain Stage NewSong Festival Semi-Finalist
“However, the most profound learning for me happened in the songwriting class of Rob Seals…
-Brandon Brophy, singer, songwriter, vocal instructor, Toronto, Ontario
(published in The 3rd Voice, an online blog)
"Rob Seals: The guy is about above and beyond."
"In the beginning, hesitating at Rob's threshold with a burden of unfinished musical works, Katy was discouraged and confused. Alongside Rob, Katy is blossoming, and while learning the craft of songwriting, she's learning that she has a powerful voice inside of her that has lots to say.
"As a teacher and producer, I think Rob has to be one of the most respectful people on earth, which is a rarity in the music industry. Plus, he's a genuine talent with all things musical. He champions everyone who is lucky enough to work with him; we all walk away empowered, and with a sense of love and peace."
- Molly Eggleton, Katy Eggleton's Mom, Orange County, CA
"It was pure joy attending class. I got so much from it about the craft of songwriting...but much more than that.
"Good people, truly GOOD people are a rare find at anytime; to find such people in such a tough, unforgiving business was an unexpected pleasure and delight."
- Gary Shrefler, Songwriter, Chandler, AZ