MICHAEL GREEN MUSIC

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Here I'll be doing interviews with creative people involved in music. I'll be asking about what tips and experiences they have to offer.

You can't teach songwriting!... Or can you?

By Michael Green, Jan 27 2016 02:30PM




You either have it or you don't, yep I've heard that one before. You can't teach someone how to write songs you either have it or you don't. Now I understand you can't teach inspiration but you can use techniques to get the juices flowing. Once you've got the inspiration going then that's where the craftsmanship comes in.

Think of songwriting like a mould of clay that you want to shape into a piece of art. You may have an idea of what you want it to look like but for it to look the best it can be you need to learn the techniques. That's what songwriting is.


With songwriting you can teach song structure, rhyme structure and how to write lyrics. Recent lessons I've giving have been teaching students how to write melodies and how they work. I've also taught how to put chords to melodies.


I feel even if you've never written a song before you can be taught how to put one together. Now I'm not saying that you can be taught to write number 1 hits or classic songs however I do feel you can be taught how to put a song together and understand how it works.


Songwriting is a skill that you can learn as long as you have the desire to do so and are prepared to put in the hard work. It's also really fun and when you do write a song that people connect with you will want to do it again and again.


So if you are someone who feels songwriting is something that can be taught or improved upon take a look at the lessons that I give. They are either 1 to 1 in person or via skype click http://michaelgreenmusic.com/teaching for more information.


If you're someone who feels you've either got it or you don't leave a comment I'm open to all opinions on the idea.


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10 comments
Feb 6 2016 12:27PM by Jay Johnson

Hi Michael,

Love this topic. I agree with your view on this. In short, songwriting is a craft whose inner workings can be taught and learned. But, like any craft, their are some artisans who have a gift for expression in this form that can reach wider audiences. Add gifting in this modality to skill and you've got something special.

Feb 15 2016 05:25PM by Michael

My first thought is, perhaps this is similar to teaching art. Of course centuries ago, those who tried to make a living through their artwork would promote the idea that their skills were "God given" talents that could not be taught. This served their purposes well, including acquiring the support of rich patrons of the arts. More recently the proposition has been furthered that art CAN BE TAUGHT, and teachers have created skillful ways to help people uncover abilities within themselves which were heretofore thought impossible. I have personally taught people who would never consider themselves artists, to become artists to the point of making a living selling their works. So, I put forth the proposition that music composition can also be taught, despite the convenience of being able to claim our ability in this field as GOD GIVEN, or as A GIFT, A TALENT possessed since birth.Musical composition has even been reduced to mathematical formula. Commercial formulas have proven very successful in POP MUSIC. I quote, "The only real limitations are those we impose upon ourselves". Our self-limiting thoughts are all that hold us back.

Feb 15 2016 07:50PM by Barry Moore

I think you can teach songwriting. I have been working-up songs from a 'libretto' for an operetta and would spend up to 4 1/2 hours at a stretch in a cafe with the writer parsing her script and reformatting into singable verses.

Feb 16 2016 07:45PM by michaelgreensongwriter

Hi Barry thanks for the reply always good to get other views on the topic

Feb 16 2016 07:47PM by michaelgreensongwriter

Hi Michael great view point talking about teaching art thanks

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