June 10th FREE Songwriting Event

12716393_886089444841702_6808405240979292463_oWe are constantly working to build the songwriter community. In addition to our workshops we love holding free events like this Informal Song Share June 10th at Kafe Kerouac. This is a great chance to be surrounding by other like minded individuals in a stress free (cost free) supportive environment. The idea is not really to critique each other songs but just to share what we are currently working on. This may be a fleshed out song, a part of a song, a new one, an old one, or in between, whatever you go you share it. Please check out the event and RSVP if you can, and let your friends know about it. Hope to see you there!

A Closer Look: Eric Gnezda

We’ve had the privilege of having Eric Gnezda teach multiple times at CSW. He’s been integral in the workshop, putting hours in behind the scenes and offering advice on how to grow the workshop among other things. He works countless hours at his writing as well as his TV show Songs At The Center. Since we’ve had him before, and asked him some of the standard questions we dove even deeper into Eric’s writing. We also asked him to give some insight on hosting a television show. He will be hosting a class that will dive right into writing, check it out here and without further delay, here is our interview:

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CSW: What is something you have learned from hosting a national tv show about songwriting?

Eric Gnezada: The privilege of being involved with Songs at the Center has taught me more than I can bring to mind. But at the top of the list are two things:

1) A great song speaks for itself, needs no introduction or set up. It’s often interesting to hear the background of a song, but if we have to set it up—or provide context—for it to be understood, we’d better take a long look at the song and rewrite it.

2) To succeed, it’s not enough just to be a great artist and songwriter. We have to be easy to work with, conscientious, professional, and, ultimately, view our job as serving our audience. The blend of talent and humility is a winning combination. The great ones who endure through the years, understand that it’s a privilege to step on a stage, and they conduct themselves with gratitude, humility and professionalism.

CSWHaving a tv show that you’ve produced from its birth, how do you balance that responsibility with also being a performing singer songwriter?

Eric Gnezada: The responsibilities of the TV series most often preempt my writing time, which is frustrating. Sometimes I feel more like a booking agent than a songwriter! On the other hand, the series has introduced me to people and opportunities that I might not have had otherwise, so my performance schedule continues to evolve. Like anything else in life, the secret is finding the right balance. I’m continually energized by the talent I interact with through Songs at the Center.

CSWCan you share a little about what people can expect in your class?

Eric Gnezada: We’ve all heard it a million times, but the best way to start writing is to start writing. So we’re going to jump right in, not worrying too much about self-editing or the end result. All good art is usually a natural byproduct of being focused on the process, which sometimes gives us a song we can be proud of.

CSWWe’ve asked about writing advice in the past, do you have any advice to young songwriters on performance or music business?

Eric Gnezada: Study the great songs. “What makes them work?” Be ruthless with self-critiques, and seek evaluations from informed sources. We can waste a lot of years by assuming we’re moving forward because we have a strong local following and a full gig schedule. But the way to rise to the top—and have a long career—in the music industry is through writing GREAT SONGS that appeal universally. To hear a great song is to be given something memorable in one listen. An image, a story, a line, a hook, a melody that can’t help but be recalled the next day, and well beyond. So a critical question is: What am I giving my listener that’s sustaining?

Thanks to Eric, and don’t forget to Pre-Register for a discounted $50 at ColumbusSongwritingWorkshop.com/Pre-Register and follow us on Instagram @ColumbusSongwritingWorkshop

 

 

A Closer Look: Jess Baldwin

Jess Baldwin is new to the CSW family of instructors. After attending one of our workshops we realized that Jess would be great teaching a vocal class. If you don’t believe us, take a look at her long list of accomplishments. Recently moving from Marietta Ohio Jess has her own band and performs regularly mixing styles of art pop, soul, and jazz. We sat down to ask her a little about her writing and what to expect on July 27th when she leads a vocal class. Here’s Jess:
CSW: How long have you been writing songs, also tell us a little about what’s next for you.
JESS BALDWIN: I’ve been writing songs for about three years. I’m getting ready to record my first EP of originals, and I’m looking forward to playing in Columbus more now that I’m living here full time.

CSW: What is your process with writing. Are you one that writes a little every single day, or is it more sporadic? Is the process uniform or is it varied?
JB: I definitely write sporadically, but my process is pretty uniform. I do sense-based stream-of-consciousness writing until some juicy phrases and words start to come through, and then I expand on those with the rhyming dictionary and thesaurus, creating a spreadsheet of pieces to put together like a puzzle. If the writing starts to feel too dry or calculated, I go back to stream-of-consciousness for more material.

CSW : Can you share a little about what people can expect in your class?
JB: I’ll be talking about how to find the balance between accepting your voice’s personality and expanding your voice’s capacity. Sometimes we get to push our voice into new territory, and sometimes we have to learn to love its limitations. I’ll share thoughts on ways to do both.

CSW: Do you have any advice for up and coming writers?
JB: Read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison.

Thanks to Jess, and don’t forget to Pre-Register for a discounted $50 at ColumbusSongwritingWorkshop.com/Pre-Register and follow us on Instagram @ColumbusSongwritingWorkshop

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A Closer Look: Billy Zenn

It’s time again to take a closer look at the upcoming Instructors for the next Columbus Songwriting Workshop. We’ve asked Billy Zenna little about him and what to expect in his upcoming class. Remember to Pre-Register for only $50, prices will go up soon. Here’s Billy:

CSW: How long have you been writing songs, also tell us a little about what’s next for you.
BILLY ZENN:
I’ve written for nearly 40 years, and I’m currently working on a new CD-length project.

CSW: What is your process with writing are you one that writes a little every single day, is it more sporadic? Is the process uniform or is it varied?
BILLY ZENN:
Sporadic, definitely. I tend to work as the muse strikes, whether it’s outlining a new tune or finishing something I’ve carried around for awhile.

CSW: Can you share a little about what people can expect in your class?
BILLY ZENN:
Being able to perform effectively is key to advancing your songwriting career.After hosting Open Mics around town for many years, I’ve seen a lot of what works , and a lot that could use improvement. We’ll be talking about all of it, as well as getting on our feet to examine various techniques for becoming a better performer.

CSW: Do you have any advice for up and coming writers?
BILLY ZENN:
Don’t be afraid to keep your own counsel for long stretches, and don’t be afraid to share your work when the time is right.

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A Closer Look: RJ Cowdery

It’s time again to take a closer look at the upcoming Instructors for the next Columbus Songwriting Workshop. We’ve asked RJ Cowdery, an award winning songwriter from right here in Columbus, a little about her writing and what to expect on July 27th at the Barnett Center3231810:
CSW: How long have you been writing songs, also tell us a little about what’s next for you.
RJ: A long time. As a kid I sang and then started to learn guitar. Writing and playing progressed as I found friends who did the same. My first songs were definitely a form of therapy to express my feelings.
What’s next – Working on tours to support my new record and and getting that out to radio and press.
CSW: What is your process with writing are you one that writes a little every single day, is it more sporadic? Is the process uniform or is it varied?
RJ: I typically write when I have something to say. I have ideas in my head that bounce around and I think might be an interesting to talk about. I play guitar all the time and write lots of snippets down. I am constantly trying to put those snippets in songs. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I tend to move on quickly if I don’t find it compelling.
CSW: Can you share a little about what people can expect in your class?
RJ:  I live by the WRITE.SING.PLAY. tag line as a songwriter/performer. It’s the way I write songs and even more importantly how I incorporate that as a mostly solo performer. They are all equal partners in my process when creating a song. I’ll share ways that I try and achieve that and offer tips and discussion on how to reach your full potential as a performer and writer.
CSW: Do you have any advice for up and coming writers?
RJ: Find your tribe. Listen and be open to lots of different music. Write up. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Venue (July 27th 2019)

The Barnett Center is Located inside Sullivant Hall right on High Street on OSU’s campus. It’s directly across from the Starbucks (the older location) at 106 1813 N High St , Columbus Ohio 43210.IMG_20190510_113326139_HDR copy IMG_20190510_113221564copy IMG_20190510_113151303copy IMG_20190510_113235269_HDRCOPY

New Workshop Announcement!

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Barnett Center

We are happy to have a new venue this time around at OSU. Here’s a little more info:

The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise educates and prepares students for successful careers in the arts and related entrepreneurial fields. This workshop is not a part of OSU we are just using the building, check out the website for the center here.

Address:

Barnett Center is located inside Sullivant Hall at OSU  
Building 106
1813 N High St
Columbus OH, 43210