We started a 4 week, intensive songwriting course with some of the middle schoolers in the Mounds View public school district. One of our MWM people is teaming up with Eric Stainbrook, the school’s orchestra teacher, to get this done.
We kicked it off in a big way today by inviting two powerhouses of the MN music scene to give us a whirlwind introduction to songwriting. Ann Reed, with more than 30 years experience and a multitude of accolades under her belt (such as Minnesota Music Academy Performer of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Best Recording of the Year, along with several awards from the multitude of nonprofits that she has supported while donating 25 percent of her time and efforts to organizations that primarily benefit women and children.) played some original music and a variety of other music to showcase different songwriting concepts, styles and techniques. Ann’s stuff is just fantastic and you can hear her around town or you can check out her discography here http://www.annreed.com.
Ann was joined by Joan Griffith, a woman who has seemingly done everything that someone can do with wood and string. She teaches at St. Thomas, plays on sessions, at gigs, in the pit of orchestral and musical theater productions…and she plays everything: guitar, mando, bass, banjo, uke, clarinet, the list goes on. She shared with us a bit about chord progressions, melodic structure and harmonization.
It was a great way to start the class. I think that everyone left satisfied for the day and hungry for more tomorrow. I think it also gave our class the high energy kick-in-the-pants start that we needed to get off on the right foot. It’s going to be a good month as we find our rhythm with this songwriting class, and we’re hoping to learn as much from the students as they’re going to learn from us so we can deliver an even better songwriting program the next time around.
Thanks Ann and Joan. We were so pleased to have you join us!