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School of Song

Challenging Default Decisions: Songwriting with Ellen Kempner (November '21)

Challenging Default Decisions: Songwriting with Ellen Kempner (November '21)

Regular price $160.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $160.00 USD
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All access to lecture recordings, songwriting prompts and all course materials for Ellen Kempner's (Palehound) songwriting workshop taught in November 2021. By purchasing this past course, you're able to watch Ellen's lectures and go about the course at your own pace!

    Ellen's lectures cover the following topics and themes:

    1. Process - Ellen will break down the journey some of her songs have traveled from voice memos - to garage band - to the fully produced versions of the songs on the record.
    2. Hooks - We all love a good hook. Ellen will be giving us her rundown on what makes a hook strong, how to place a hook within a song, what kind of lyrical and melodic material makes for a strong hook, and how to place multiple hooks in the same song.
    3. Storytelling - We will discuss how lyrics, composition, and arrangement can all work together to achieve a compelling narrative arc in our songs. We’ll also discuss how to give our lyrics a more nostalgic feel and universal reach by deciding which specific details we should include or alter.
    4. It’s (mostly) ok to steal - Examples of how Ellen has taken seeds of inspiration from artists that she loves and how those seeds grew into original songs.
    5. DIY - Ellen will walk us through the ins and outs of having coming from a lo-fi DIY background.

    This course also includes songwriting prompts from Ellen such as "Storytelling", "Hooks", "Reflecting on Process", and "Influence".


    -- Testimonials from November 2021 students --

    " Can't really summarize with words how amazing this was. Without trying to sound dramatic this was a bit of a life changing experience. I feel like I broke through a serious mental block that I've been struggling against for a long time and it's affected me beyond just songwriting so thank you so much. You were an incredible lecturer and I really appreciate how honest and candid you were about all your processes and insecurities."

    " Ellen was a phenomenal teacher. I've taken a handful of online classes and this was by far the best, most rewarding experience I've had. She organized the class very well thematically, and each lesson was full of thoughtful nuggets of insight and advice that really left me feeling inspired."


    This "Past Course" includes:

    1. Class Video Recordings – Watch all 5 of Ellen Kempner's lectures + Q&A's on her songwriting process.
    2. All course materials, including songwriting prompts crafted by Ellen.
    3. Access to the "community jukebox" – upload your new songs to the jukebox and share the tunes with fellow classmates!


    Q: What musical experience is required to understand the material in this course?

    A: People across all musical levels will be able to gain something from the course. However, it will be helpful to be comfortable playing a few basic chords on any instrument of your choice in order to complete the songwriting prompts.

    Q: What if I’ve never written a song before? Can I still participate in this workshop?

    A: Yes! As with any new skill, just starting is usually the hardest part. This workshop will provide the structure and accountability we all need to get started and follow through, for beginners and old guard writers alike.

    Q: What is different about watching this past course versus participating while the workshop is run live?

    A: By purchasing this course, you'll have access to the same resources as the students who took the course while it was running other than the live songshares. 


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