The Masters' Workshop: Feedback on Your Songs from Master Songwriters - WINTER 2024 Tuesday Nights Starting 1/16/24

The song workshop culture at The Songwriting School is one of the essential elements to the growth and success of our community. If you've seen Songland, the NBC TV show about songwriters, you have witnessed first-hand the power of workshopping the draft of a song. In this Master-led and peer-driven setting, get input on your songs to learn to trust what's working and address what's not. And learn to do the same for your peers--a skill that, once developed, equips you for a lifetime writing and rewriting songs.

  • When: WINTER 2024, Tuesdays nights 7-9:30pm Pacific starting 1/16/24 (8 meetings)

  • WhereON ZOOM, fully interactive -- there will be some in-person meet-ups and sessions for LA people later in the Winter!

  • Format: one or sometimes two Masters in the virtual room each week; members present original songs in whatever stage of completion for feedback from the Masters and the group. Members can perform a song live accompanying themselves or a cappella, read the lyric if it's lyric only, play a simple phone recording or a full-blown track--anything to get the song across. The Masters lead the workshop conversation, with an emphasis on peer participation. Positive, constructive, respectful, honest feedback designed to yield the strongest song and a stronger songwriter.

  • Who: This class is right for you if you have enough of a toolbox and experience as a songwriter to make use of feedback. Need to develop that toolbox? We suggest The Roots and (for those without a theory understanding and wanting it) Music Theory for Songwriters, Levels 1 and/or 2. This is not a class where you should come expecting to be taught how to write songs. This is a class where you learn the art of re-writing songs by doing the work.

  • Masters: FALL 2023 Master is Platinum Writer Mark Winkler

WATCH THIS GREAT EVENT WITH MARK WINKLER and special guest Nikhil Korula on Workshopping and Re-writing Songs:



Previous Master Bob Cutarella will be in the room for most of the 8 wks with you, joined by fellow masters for part of the time to further round out perspectives on your songs.

Now includes a SEPARATE ONLINE SECTION for songwriters outside of the LA area.

In this essential workshop format class, receive feedback on your songs from 3 different Master Songwriters over the course of the Semester in this professional, respectful, peer-driven room.  The Masters for the SUMMER 2018 SESSION was led by Grammy-winning producer Bob Cutarella (Sting, Joss Stone, Eric Clapton, etc) may include some of the following who have previously lent their considerable expertise to the room: #1 hit writer & 2-time ASCAP Song of the Year Award Winner Phil Cody, hit pop writer Maria Christensen (JLo's "Waiting for Tonight"), former Motown staff writer Alan Roy Scott, and writer/producer/musician Michael Sherwood (Michael Jackson's Thriller 25), #1 writer John Keller, #1 Writer/3-Time Grammy-Nominated Lois Blaisch, and more.

Format : The Masters' Workshop is a non-curricular setting designed to give you professional input on your songs and how to improve them, and to equip you with the critical understanding to participate in constructive discussions about those songs.  Your task is to decide how best to use the room to advance your work. Some use it for the accountability to show up with a song per week. Still others take the input and return with re-writes of the same song. Still others might use the room to discuss the arrangement and production of a song further down its life-cycle. However the room serves you, your job in serving your fellow songwriters involves offering thoughtful, respectful, specific feedback on their work. In this way each member benefits from and is a benefit to the room. There will be 1 or 2 Masters in the room each class meeting to lead the discussion and offer their considerable input. 

Why a Workshop Setting is Valuable: The feedback from the Masters is incisive, insightful, thoughtful, and informed by decades in the craft and business. But that's the icing on the cake. Here are just a few aspects that make this such an essential, professional setting:

  • it can be difficult to get objectivity about your own songs; you develop a fit critical muscle by offering thoughtful feedback on your peers' work; you bring that keen eye and ear home with you each week and aim them squarely at your own work
  • the accountability of a weekly setting will have you showing up prepared
  • you get to decide how you will use the room: you might choose to generate a new song each week; you might bring existing songs in each week to vet before a recording project; you could bring the same song a few times, presenting revisions; you might do a hybrid of any of these strategies to best serve you on your path, right now
  • not only is the conversation about the songs empowering, but the conversation of styles in the room pays creative dividends for each writer
  • you will expand your network to a trusted room of fellow songwriters
  • you will benefit from the weekly mentorship of true Masters of the craft

Limited to 10 songwriters. We will sell out in advance so please reserve your spot early. We look forward to welcoming you to this invaluable, community-building, professional songwriting experience. 

Eligibility:  There is no audition requirement for this class, but songwriters should be graduates of THE ROOTS, our foundational course for song study, or receive special permission.  Class is limited to 12 songwriters. More experienced writers who are concurrently enrolled in THE ROOTS may be considered for the term of The Masters' Workshop.

ONLINE SECTION: Coming FALL 2019! Class format will include weekly submissions of song recordings (simple or produced and/or lyrics by a weekly deadline, with both individual feedback from the Masters and the chance for peer input as well. We believe the work you do offering thoughtful feedback is every bit as valuable to your critical growth as a writer as the input you receive.


What if I am a talented songwriter and I am not interested in taking THE ROOTS--can I still enroll in this class?
  While we describe it as our "foundational course for songwriting study," THE ROOTS is not a beginning songwriting course per se. Many students do write their first song in the class.  Alums have also included a Grammy- and Oscar-nominated songwriter, Billboard charting artists, numerous current or former major label acts, songwriters with substantial placements in film, television, and commercials, working actors and actresses, America's Top Model, accomplished playwrights and screenwriters, session singers, producers, and engineers, touring artists, and so much more.  A ROOTS alum was a 2014 Grammy nominated artist for Urban Contemporary Album of the Year. 

In addition to the skills and insights THE ROOTS imparts, the class provides writers of all genres and experience levels with a common vocabulary for analyzing songs and delivering insightful, respectful feedback.  In the positive, creative culture of The Songwriting School, this shared set of values and means of communicating combine with the remarkably diverse backgrounds, interests, and genres to yield a dynamic, open, encouraging, challenging, high-expectation sort of room of the utmost mutual respect.  Once you get in The Masters' Workshop, you can count on a high level of discourse about songs, a conversation led by a master to help everyone become better writers. 

So the long answer is this: the course is strongly encouraged, and a non-ROOTS student should demonstrate an understanding of craft that will allow him or her to be a benefit to and to benefit from the room. We seek first and foremost to put you in rooms that best serve you, ones which you will benefit from a be a benefit to. To discuss your candidacy, call 818-848-7664 or CONTACT US.

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