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Songwriting

Instructor:   Heather Blush

Songwriting

Instructor:   Heather Blush

Course Description:

Level: Not Applicable

Are you finally ready to dip your toe in and test the songwriting waters?  Or are you an experienced songwriter who feels like the well is drying up?  Or do you just want some alternatives to using water metaphors? All levels of experience are welcome to join Heather on this exploration into the inspiration and techniques of songwriting.  We’ll share and critique songs in a safe and welcoming environment, explore sources of inspiration, tackle the difficult work of editing for maximum impact, and stretch ourselves to experiment with new methods or directions.  Bring unfinished songs or ideas for songs, or plan to start fresh when you arrive.  Bring a pen and paper and accompanying instrument if you play one.  Leave with a fresh sense of purpose and a couple new songs! 

 

Heather Blush

Heather Blush has been writing and performing songs for 20 years, releasing 5 albums and touring across Canada. When not performing with her band Heather Blush and The Uppercuts, she may be found entertaining the younger crowd with children's duo Rattle and Strum or belting out vocal jazz standards with Lemondrop.  She also delivers music classes to some 1500 young children in daycares through her company Together with Heather Music, and leads songwriting workshops for schools, teachers, and young songwriters.  Her music has received nominations for a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Western Canadian Music Award, and she has been a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.  She truly believes that anyone can write a song, and that you can write a song about anything.  

 

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.