Take a sad song and make it better: Considerations for songwriting instruction
Andrew Pennay, Take a sad song and make it better: Considerations for songwriting instruction
Winner - Queensland University of Technology VYT local programme (2023)
120,000 songs are currently baked and delivered to streaming platforms every day (Stassen, 2023). Yet, songwriting processes remain vague and mysterious for many music teachers, let alone students like Maddi. A melody might just pop into her head, but the whole song? Well, that can be much, MUCH harder to crack.
Maddi sets off with her music teacher, and together they find the right ingredients to help her say it like she means it. It's complex, though: Beyond these song ingredients, what exactly do songwriters do to "improve" their storytelling? Honestly, it’s all a bit hit-and-miss, and most music teachers are not experienced songwriters.
As a teacher, that’s why I’m heading into the songwriting kitchen to share my songs-in-progress for pro songwriters to taste test. I’ll leave the kitchen with a better framework for songwriting improvement. It’s an important step towards helping students (like Maddi) tell these hundreds and thousands of stories with greater impact.