Song-Share Breakout Room Info

Today's Song-Share Breakout Rooms

Sunday, 7/14 (Community Song Shares)

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

  • Who was your favorite artist when you were twelve?

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. Here are some guiding questions to help in this process:

  • Where were the lyrics most mysterious?
  • ​​What did you notice about the form of the song? 
  • Where did you feel tension?

Some guiding questions for the songwriter, (aim to answer at least 2 of these questions):

  • What about this song excites you?
  • What about this song are you most proud of?
  • What about the songwriting process was exciting for you?

Additional questions if helpful: 

  • Where were you when you wrote the song?
  • What was happening in your life when you wrote it? What were you inspired by?
  • Are there any visuals, imagery, or color palette that you see in relation to this song?
  • Has your perspective on the song changed now from when you first wrote it? 
  • Who is the community for this song? Who’s the audience? 
  • Are there any unanswered questions in the song? 
  • How would you describe the story of the song in other words? 
  • If the song was an animal, what animal would it be? 
  • What movie would the song be in the soundtrack of? 
  • What activity do you imagine people will do to the song?
  • What’s the ideal place to listen to the song? 
  • How do you want to feel on the day of the release? 
  • What season is the song most resonant with? 
  • Where in the setlist or tracklist would this live? 
  • If the song was a part of a meal, what dish? 
  • What time of the day suits the song?

If you’re in a 3 person breakout room you’ll have 15 min per song, if you’re in a 4 person breakout room, you’ll have 11 min per song. There will be broadcast messages that appear on your Zoom screen when it’s time to switch to the next songwriter.

There will be a warning message before the breakout rooms shut down at the end of the allotted time. Then the song-shares will be officially over, but we will take some extra time for an optional group discussion to debrief and keep talking. 

General Song-Share Information & Guidelines

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. 

A bit about how the song-shares actually work:

The Saturday song-shares will be divided up into 2 sections: a group discussion where we will reflect on some of the lecture topics, and a song-share in breakout rooms.

The breakout room portion of the class consists of a 40 minute song-sharing session where everyone will be divided up into groups of 3-4 people and go around the room in turn to share songs, reflect on the homework, share some thoughtful feedback with each other, and take notes on each other’s reflections.

You’ll be sharing the link to your homework submission from the jukebox (on songs.schoolofsong.org), and everyone will go on mute and simultaneously listen to the recording of your song.

How do we make for good breakout rooms? We’ve summarized some key points to keep in mind when participating in your breakout room.

  • be a good listener
    • Please be fully present on the call. Don’t be “multitasking”. Actively listen to what others are saying instead of just waiting to speak. For The Art of the Release, we are also going to ask you to take notes on the songwriter’s reflections.
  • 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, just be aware of how much space you’re taking up and make sure to give everyone the chance to contribute.
  • 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.
    • What is descriptive feedback? We can think about three different types of feedback: 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).
    • We’re going to focus on descriptive feedback. As songwriters, having listeners give us descriptive feedback can be useful because it can reveal what people are picking up on in our music – what stands out, what resonates.
  • come prepared
    • Submit your song before class! We’re all here to reflect on our songs, so making sure that you have something to present in the breakout room is crucial. Some of you might be bringing voice memo recordings of songs with elements that may evolve over time (like the sound of the recording or the production etc.) and some of you may be coming with mastered tracks that are basically ready for release. No matter what, we want this to be a welcoming environment for creative exploration and thoughtful conversation. So even if your song feels ‘unfinished’ it’s still more valuable for you and everybody else to show up with something to talk about.
    • On that note: don’t speak poorly about your own song or release ideas! We’re all here to explore new ideas and step outside of our comfort zone so there’s no need to give any preambles or caveats


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