Song-Share Breakout Room Info

Today's Song-Share Breakout Rooms

Saturday, 4/13 (Songwriting Workshop with Sam Evian)

For the first 3 min, just introduce yourselves and get to know each other a bit. We encourage you to share your name, pronouns, location, and for an ice breaker: 

  • What was the first CD, Tape, or Vinyl you owned?

Then, starting with whoever has the soonest birthday, post the link to your song in the chat, and everyone will go on mute and listen to the song.

While you're listening, pay attention to your experience as a listener. Grab a pen and paper to write notes on what you notice while you listen. Some guiding questions to help in this process:

  • What did you notice about the bass line?
  • What did you notice about the use of the drum loop/s?  

Then the songwriter will share first about any aspects they’d like about their experience with writing the songs. You can start by answering the questions: 

  • What about the song are you proud of?
  • What about your songwriting process for this song excited you? 

After that the other participants will share their thoughts and responses to the questions above. 

If you’re in a 3 person breakout room you’ll have 10 minutes per song, if you’re in a 4 person breakout room, you’ll have 8 minutes per song. I’ll be sending out broadcast messages when it’s time to switch to the next songwriter.

Note: we’re aiming for the breakout rooms to end around the 50 minute mark, and we’re not coming back to the main room afterwards, so when you’re done you can just leave the meeting. We’ll keep the meeting open until the end of the hour, so feel free to keep the discussion going on until then. 

General Song-Share Information & Guidelines

The "song-shares" are where we listen to recordings of our classmates’ homework submissions. These song-shares are a foundational component of the community we’ve built at the school — they’re where friendships are born, tears are shed...truly a beautiful thing!!

In order to have the song-shares be a good experience for everyone, we’ve laid out some guidelines for making them run smoothly. We’ll go over this at this beginning of class as well, but we want you all to have it in writing for your own reference.

Firstly, a bit about how the song-shares actually work:

  • Each song-sharing session is between 40 minutes to 1 hour (the length depends on the general schedule of the class, please see your class' course page to confirm the scheduled). They start right at the beginning of class. Please be on time so we can get you in a breakout room. If you’re late, we’ll ask you to come to a different class session.
  • We’ll divide the class into groups of 3-4 people and go around the room in turn to share our homework submissions, reflect on our writing experience, and share some thoughtful feedback with each other.
  • You’ll be sharing the link to your homework submission (from the jukebox, songs.schoolofsong.org), and everyone will go on mute and simultaneously listen to the recording of your song.

Now, a few notes on how to participate in the breakout rooms:

  • Be a good listener.
    • Be fully present on the call. Don’t be “multitasking”. Actively listen to what others are saying instead of just waiting to speak.
  • Make space for others.
    • Be mindful of the amount of space that you tend to take up during conversation. We specifically want to encourage those who might feel uncomfortable with speaking to speak up, and likewise, for those who naturally contribute a lot to the discussion, be aware of how much space you’re taking up and make sure to give everyone the chance to contribute. Even if you think this is something you’re aware of and practice well, there is endless depth to this skill, and we’d all benefit from trying to create even more space for others.
  • Give attentive, descriptive feedback.
    • The breakout rooms are not a space for critical feedback. Critical feedback can be extremely helpful, and we certainly encourage you all to seek critical feedback on your songs from people who you know and trust to be honest with you. But in this setting, when our songs are very fresh and we’re sharing with new people, we’ve found that giving descriptive feedback is more helpful.
      • evaluative (this is good, this is bad);
      • prescriptive (do this, don't do this);
      • descriptive (this was my experience as a listener, these are things I noticed about the song).
    • For example, instead of saying something prescriptive, (e.g. “I think you should add more vocals”, or “you should turn down your guitar”), describe the song & your experience of listening to the song: (“I noticed that the last lyric parallels the opening line and I feel like that reinforces the overall theme well”).
  • Come prepared
    • Submit your song before class! We’re all here to write songs, so making sure that you have something to present in the breakout room is crucial.
    • On the first day of class we all proved to ourselves that we can write, record, and upload a song in 20 minutes. No matter how busy and crazy our lives may be, each of us should do our best to dedicate at least 20 minutes to the writing process between classes.
    • To be clear, this is not meant to be a presentation of our finest work, but rather a welcoming environment for creative exploration and thoughtful conversation. So even if you think your song is rushed or ‘unfinished’ or whatever, it’s so much more valuable for you and everybody else to show up with something to talk about.

Thank you for bringing your best selves to the breakout rooms!