My “Kickstart Your Songwriting 555 Challenge” Experience with the Songwriting Academy

When I came across the “Kickstart Your Songwriting 555 Challenge” with the Songwriting Academy, I knew right away I wanted to be part of it. Thanks to Martin Sutton and other hit songwriters, my week was unforgettable. I wanted to share my experience and biggest take aways from the “Kickstart Your Songwriting 555 Challenge.”

What the “Kickstart Your Songwriting 555 Challenge” was All About

From Monday February 15 to Friday February 19, I took part in five, 90 minute, webinars with Martin and very special guests. Each day dove into different aspects of songwriting. Day one was all about the spark. We learned about inspiration and how to find and hold on to inspiration. On day two, the focus was on finishing a song and the importance of collaboration. Day three dove into the music side of songwriting, and we learned a lot about melodies. On day four, we plunged into recording and what makes a great demo. Finally, day five was all about networking and the music business.

The Assignments

Also, during the week, I completed assignments after each webinar and shared my work in the community on the Songwriting Academy’s website. My first assignment was to come up with ten song ideas and expand on three of them. For the three I chose, I wrote paragraphs that explained what the song would be about. Next, my second assignment was to do freewriting for one of the ideas I came up with and create a storyboard. Basically, a storyboard breaks down the sections of the song, and as the songwriter, I decided the purpose of each section. Also, I really focused on the message of the song and how to tell a clear story. Then, my third assignment was to record a top-line. This was a fun challenge because in my songwriting process blog, I talk about how I like to write the lyrics and melody first. For this assignment, I chose a track and wrote lyrics and a melody to go overtop of it. I really enjoyed this assignment because it forced me to step out of my comfort zone. Next, my fourth assignment was to choose a song and answer production questions. I chose “Glad You Exist” by Dan + Shay. This was a little difficult because I’m not a producer, but I found that I knew more than I thought I did. Production is so interesting, and I love recording my songs with my producer. Still, I don’t know a whole lot about it. This was a fun listening assignment, though. Finally, my last assignment was to share my songwriting goals. I’ve been more dedicated to my songwriting than ever. I really hope that one day I get one of my songs recorded by an artist. I also hope I get the chance to co-write some incredible songs for artists. These assignments were so much fun. I learned a lot, and I feel like just in this one week alone, I grew so much.

My Favorite Three Takeaways 

Throughout the week, I got some really great pieces of advice. I’m going to share three of them. I could go on and on about the gems I picked up, but these are the ones that really resonated with me.

First, “Write from your truth.” This one is so important to me because I always try to be honest and authentic in my music. During the “Kickstart Your Songwriting 555 Challenge,” we were told so often to write from a place of truth. Sometimes, it’s hard to open up, but this piece of advice was a reminder I needed to hear.

Next, “The music is what pulls people into a song, and the lyrics are what keep them there.” This is huge. Personally, I’m pulled into a song because of the melody. I love compelling melodies, and once I’m hooked by the melody, I listen to the lyrics. So, it’s important for me to create strong melodies and invite my listeners into the stories of my songs.

Finally, “Serve the song.” The songwriter’s goal is always to do what’s best for the song. This is so important to remember. Sometimes, songwriters can get stuck on a certain lyric or melody, but it doesn’t fit the song well. At these times, the song must come first. The song should be given as many rewrites as it needs to shine. Through serving the song, it will have the best chance at being “the one.”

What’s Next?

I’m so excited to share that I’m officially registered for the Songwriting Academy’s five day intensive bootcamp at the end of April. I couldn’t be more excited to get to know the other songwriters and faculty. This is going to be a life changing opportunity.

Thanks to my experience from the “Kickstart Your Songwriting 555 Challenge,” I feel more ready than ever to pursue my dream. If you’re a songwriter looking for a fabulous group of hit songwriters to learn from, check out the Songwriting Academy. This is just the beginning of my journey, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.