Front Row: Virtual Songwriting Series

This month, we launched our first virtual Songwriting Series within our Artist Development pathway where nearly forty aspiring young artists participated in a fundamentals of song-making workshop, designed to develop confidence in each artist’s songwriting abilities.

Our workshop series dissected the art of songwriting into four parts and provided a blueprint for accessing self-creativity in the most effective way to create songs despite formal songwriting training. This workshop was able to ignite and elevate the songwriting skills of our participants from the start and brought out the best of the young artists who continued the series for 2 weeks.

We were extremely fortunate to have amazing industry experts and professional songwriters as special guests for each workshop which included: Kelsie, Polly A. (Alicia Keys, J. Cole), Lunchmoney Lewis (Dr. Luke, Jessie J, Fifth Harmony), Kat Dahlia, and Medhan Abraha. Each industry professional provided the participants with their own expertise in their respective fields in a really practical and obtainable way encouraging and inspiring our participants. The students were so engaged and noticeably excited to be learning from these industry pros.

I was surprised to see so many young artists willing to put themselves out there during our “Collaboration” workshop in the series. My favorite moment was the songwriting activity with our volunteer expert, Kat Dahlia. The activity consisted of the entire group creating a song on the spot with Kat, and it turned into a high energy moment of creativity flowing. It was super exhilarating and intriguing to see a song come to life with 30+ people connecting virtually.

I personally was most surprised by the gratitude and engagement from the participants. After each session, we would receive so many messages from the participants exclaiming how much they were enjoying the sessions and how honored they were to be able to learn from top industry experts. I was overwhelmed to see how this group of artists was so humbly receptive.

As additional Artist Development workshops are added, we anticipate future opportunities to continue to provide participants with the opportunity to connect, create, and express their artistry. Also, we will continue to reveal the different methods and formulas that will sharpen the tools inside every artist’s toolkit regardless of their starting skill level.

The next Artist Development workshop will take place on April 28th and provide an “Intro to Brand Strategy”, where artists will learn how to create a cohesive brand for their music product and learn the importance of brand identity.  Registration is now open.



Written by: Nick Henderson, Music Forward Program Coordinator 

Nick is a dynamic Music Forward Alum (Class of 2016) whose love for the stage and music perfectly translates into him being a passionate advocate for future generations of aspiring musicians as our current Program Coordinator based in Chicago.

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