FIVE SONGS FOR SUMMER: Write & Re-Write Five Songs You Believe In - Mondays 7/29 - Watch Class 1 / Join for Class 2

Make this your most creative, productive Summer yet. In Five Songs For Summer you will write five songs you can believe in. The unique, inspiring class format blends essential songcraft instruction, peer workshopping, and extensive one-on-one time with the instructor to help you write (and re-write) your next EP, set, or batch of songs for pitching.

GO HERE TO WATCH CLASS 1. Enroll for class 2, on-campus or online

Study with Rob Seals, creator and instructor of The Roots songwriting program and go deeper into your voice and style as a writer. 

The Class Format: 

  • each week the instructor presents new principles, concepts, or sets of skills in an inspiring lecture and discussion setting
  • this is followed by a hands-on exercise where you walk the walk and begin to put these ideas to use in your own work, in your own style, in your own way
  • the exercise portion is followed by group and instructor interaction as we explore how these principles are enacted in songs we admire and how they might become the heart of songs we write
  • after a short break we return and turn our attention to Workshopping songs--an instructor-led and peer driven positive, respectful setting where we explore what is working in one another's songs and how to strengthen and make those songs more impactful
  • the instructor sets aside "office hours" both before class each week and at separate prescribed times so that each student gets as many as 4 private sessions over the weeks of class

READ MORE BELOW ABOUT CLASS DATES, FAQ, THIS IS RIGHT FOR ME IF...



CLASS NIGHTS:

  • 6-7:15pm Office Hours by appointment
  • 7:30-9/9:15pm Class Begins: lesson, presentation, discussion, exercises, discussion, QnA
  • 10-15 minute break
  • 9:20/9:30pm Workshopping and discussion begin
  • 11:15pm class ends (depending upon number of songs)

There is an option to only take part in the content portion of class, both online and in-person, at a different tuition point. You will not be a part of the song workshopping but will gain the benefits of the tools, concepts, exercises, conversation, and community. Enroll in that option, on-campus or online, HERE.

CLASS DATES:

Class will meet 8 times:

  • 6 consecutive Mondays starting Monday, July 22 through August 26
  • Sunday August 25th* (or if the group requires, this can be moved to a mutually-doable date)
  • Class will be off for Labor Day Weekend (allowing two weeks to prepare for the final night
  • Last Class is Monday 9/7 
  • (so that's 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12, 8/19, 8/25*, 8/26, 9/9)

This Class is Right for Me if...

  • I have been writing for a while and I need a dose of inspiration, focus, and accountability
  • I want to deepen my toolbox as a lyricist and as a melody writer
  • I want to immerse myself in a group setting but keep the focus on my own work
  • I took the Roots and loved that setting and now I need some next steps with clear objectives
  • I am looking to clarify my style, my vision, and my message and I want to work with someone and with peers to help me trust and refine each
  • I need motivation and accountability. Five songs feels like a doable goal.
  • I don't have trouble writing songs, but I don't ever re-write songs. I don't know how, and I want to.
  • I want a setting that respects me for who I am and what I already know to do while giving me tools to grow and get better.
  • I have partially finished songs and drafts that I think are pretty interesting and I want to finish them
  • I am ready to invest in my creative life again and I want to be in the company of people who are positive, thoughtful, and encouraging and who will push me to do my very best work

QUESTIONS

OK, sounds amazing. But I have some questions...

Great! We'll let the instructor answer them himself. Let 'er rip!

Why "Five Songs" for Summer? 

It's catchy! (Ha, It's practically 5SOS!) To me, writing five songs this Summer means...

a) your next EP!
b) your live set!
c) a reasonable goal yet a substantial haul
d) a realistic number of songs to write and re-write in 8 meetings plus private work

If you spend more time writing the lists of things you want to accomplish than actually accomplishing those very things in your writing(!), five songs feels like medicine to that malady.

I have lots of unfinished songs, songs that have some cool parts and some that I don't know what to do with. I also have some ideas, titles, and hooks that might become songs, but I can't seem to find a home for them. Can I use any of this stuff? 

Yes, we will absolutely breathe life into dormant old ideas! One aspect of the art of writing and re-writing is gaining fresh eyes and ears by which to examine old ideas. We will also bring new ones into being. In my experience, when we sharpen the analytical muscles of the critic through revision, the artist ends up with some of her boldest, most compelling first drafts. The goal is to end up with finished songs you believe in, however you get there, and to feel even more confident in your process.

I really like the idea of writing five songs this Summer, but I know myself and I move more slowly. What if I only write one song, or maybe two, that I even care about? 

Then you win! The goal is not the five songs; the goal is the capacity to write and re-write and believe in the songs. Again and again and again and again and again. That goes with you. Forever. So that five songs becomes ten, becomes fifty, becomes your catalog, becomes your life's work as a writer. There are no grades here. I want to help you meet your standards.

What if I'm excited to learn the tools and do the exercises, but I am not ready to be a part of workshopping songs or showing my work yet?

All things in their right time! Yes, the format of class is such that the first 90+ minutes are all concepts, presentation, exercises, discussion, and QnA. Then a break. And then the workshopping. There is an option to ONLY take part in the content of class and not be present for the workshopping or the private sessions.

This might be a good solution also if
a) you can't stay as late,
b) you can't devote as much time during the week as you'd like
c) your budget dictates a lower tuition point

What if I just sign up for the content-only part but then I realize I really do want to hold myself accountable and benefit from some feedback, whether it's group or only private?

Right on! Then we can switch you and get you going. We want to serve you best, and the group will appreciate your contributions as well.


Can I be a part of the full class but only present work when (and if!) I choose?

Absolutely! You will derive profound benefit just from being involved in the conversation of the songs each week, whether your song is before us or not. The workshop format will be a safe, positive, constructive one, and you will both understand the groundrules and know when the time is right for you to put something forward. You can choose to only utilize private feedback.

How will the one-on-one feedback go?

I will post office hours and will make sure they are divided equitably, both in-person and over video conferencing. This will include the time before class each week and other times during the week, whether over video conferencing or in person.

I am a beginning songwriter, but this format sounds so perfect for me. Can I take this class?

First, thank you for your interest. Yes, this IS an amazing format, as it is driven by two observations I have had in more than a decade teaching The Roots songwriting class at The Songwriting School and in leading song feedback rooms such as Songmakers and The Songwriter's Workshop. First, that if we put well-conceived, artfully articulated concepts, principles, and tools in the unique hands of creative people, great things come of that. And if you surround those people in an inspired, inspiring setting where the hive-mind energy demands courage and invention, the work becomes its own reward. Second, if we can also have a chance to work individually with you to help you enact the concepts, we move the process forward meaningfully, personally, and directly.

The class format thus mixes the group work and the personalized work so we can dial this in for you and your songs.

So if you are a beginner, we really need to establish a strong foundation in order get to the finer points of your voice, your style, and your songs. If you were a dancer, for instance, we would want to develop steps, balance, posture, strength, and flexibility before we launched into choreography. Otherwise you might learn a move but have no context for it. Understand the context of the move and it's in your body forever.

My class THE ROOTS is designed to give you that foundation. I would ask you to take The Roots, either first or concurrently. Do reach out to discuss.

When is The ROOTS songwriting class then, and can I take both at the same time?

This Summer there is a daytime Intensive of The Roots starting the same day as Five Songs, meeting Monday through Friday 12-3pm for two weeks, 10 days total, 7/22-8/2.

There are also online versions this Summer, both self-paced and fully-interactive (video conferencing). The next weekly sections take place in The Fall, Tuesday nights starting 9/24 OR Saturday afternoons starting 9/28.

I love that show 'Songland' on NBC! I especially love how a song comes in good and leaves better. Will the workshopping part of the class be like that?

We love 'Songland' too! (In fact, two contestants from this first season are Songwriting School students, Josh Wood (Meghan Trainor episode), and Casey Cook (her episode has not yet aired). Casey is a graduate of my class The Roots, btw, and like Josh is a great person and a great writer and artist.) So if you're asking if Ester Dean's brand of awesome will be here, the answer is sadly no. If you are asking about the transformative experience of seeing and hearing how a song gets stronger before your eyes and ears, then yes, that is exactly what happens in a workshop setting. More valuable than the feedback you get is the skillset you are developing in having to form opinions and make helpful suggestions about another person's work. That objective muscle is what you carry back to your own writing. It makes rewriting possible and stronger writing inevitable.

Unlike in Songland you are not giving up part of your copyright to get workshop input--unless you expressly include a member of the room in the re-write going forward and thus choose to include them in the copyright. Your songs are your songs. We will make sure the groundrules of workshopping are clear so that no one fears any copyright infringement.   

 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Rob Seals
 is a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist whose work has appeared in feature and independent films, on ABC, CBS, ABC Family, E!, Bravo, MTV, VH-1, Oxygen, Fox, and an underpaying streaming service near you.  Rob holds an MFA in poetry writing and is a decorated teacher and former champion track coach. His songwriting class The Roots has helped many write their first songs, and it has been a creative home to multiple Grammy-Winning Artists and Grammy-Nominated Songwriters as well. 


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