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PMB Song Writing Workshop by Mind Map: PMB Song Writing
0.0 stars - reviews range from 0 to 5

PMB Song Writing Workshop


Maritzburg Christian School


Tuckshop - organised

Lunch, Finger food to support networking/ workshopping

Supper - order at lunchtime





John vd Laar

Charlotte Hillebrand

Mark Houston

Music & Backing

Drums: Brian Stone

Guitar(s) Mark Houston

Keys: Malcolm H


Grant Hillebrand

Live Sound


Support & Admin


Workshop Planning

Input Sessions

10h00 - 12h00

Brief Intro Grant H, Who's who, What this is not, Worship leading

"The Anatomy of a Song" John vdL, A lot of this seems to be covered by Charlotte - so maybe it's not necessary (and I'm ok with that). I would probably have looked briefly at the different parts (verse, chorus, bridge, hook, pre-chorus, etc.) John, I think you'd probably cover this better than me! I just thought it needed to be in there somewhere, but I'm not particularly familiar with the structure., Some possible thoughts that could add value here:, Different types of songs (including the varieties from Biblical/Church history), "An Open Letter to Worship Song Writers" - Brian McLaren (, Maybe we make this part of some handed out notes? Are there copyright issues (educational use, etc), No copyright issues on McLaren's leter - he wants it shared as widely as possible., Songwriting as a "theological" exercise., Perhaps I could say little about lyrics here - Charlotte covers that - but pick up on musical techniques in song writing (although this may be covered by Mark H?):, "Horizontal" vs. "Vertical" movements in melodies., Matching music to lyrical movements., Hooks, Choruses, Verses & "other bits" from a musical perspective., Song themes that the Church desperately needs more of (Lament etc. - see open letter [above])

Wordsmithing Charlotte H, Scansion, rythm,, Metre: feet(definitely iambs and probably trochees but not all of them!) Relating the number of feet/syllables per line to the time signature., Form (this might come up elsewhere too?), the 'narrative' or structure of common verse/chorus/bridge forms - I will just mention what John vdL said, I think, rhyme: end rhyme, internal rhyme, vowel rhymes. Misconception that songs/poetry have to rhyme produces some really awkward-sounding stuff, Lyrics, Meaning, Is this where I say that every word should contribute to the theme/message of the song, and if it doesn't, cut it, because you can do something better with that time?, I imagine that the concepts of meaning/theme/purpose will have come up in the previous session. (?), The sound & connotations of words, Purpose, Wordsmithing 101, > Poem-vs-lyric, > Search ? ..., Not sure what else/less I need to say. Maybe some stuff about poetic devices? Vater mein, what do you want from me?, Basically, about 20 minutes of guidelines and thoughts and hooks to hang thoughts on around words. This can't be a full year course, with reading, theory and practise. It's a heads up and 'be aware' of these things - ringing bells and opening minds

Arranging Mark H, What is the song, What works/ doesn't, Styles, Who are you?, What is it for, Intent, Mood/ etc, Backing, Can they play the way the song requires, Recording, See other notes, It'll have to be recorded live, because recording part by part (properly) will take years (metaphorically), Indeed! This will be a one-take multitrack live recording of the performance I can do 14 tracks, so we should be fine here., G: I don't mind recording fragments during the workshop time either

Publishing John vdL, "You've written a song. Now what?", "Why did you write it?" Why do you want others to sing it?", Looking at how to get songs "out there" to be used, registering with CCLI and some other info that might be helpful., G: Could we look at formats - chords, leadsheets, etc?, Publishing, Copyright. Industry "issues". Personal responsibility etc., Recording, Probably best to cover under Mark H's stuff?, GCH: I can talk a little to the producing space, certainly to recording & mixing & a little to mastering, + some of the 'impartial ears' stuff, CCLI, Web, + Social Media


13h00 - 15h00

Small 'stations', we can use classrooms as quietish, privat-ish venues, The hall stage will have drums & kbd

take your song, work it in the different dimensions, Work with other delegates as well, Take the time, Have coffee etc on sale too!



This will require more people

Create space for peer input/ review/ workshoping, Use classrooms?, Outside space



Get it doable in public

This could be a time crunch issue?

Backing band, Mix & match, Some resource people as well, drummer, Brian Stone, bassist, Mark H, KBD, MTH

Soundcrew, MCS Crew

"The Gig"

18h30 - 20h00

(What) do we charge?

Small, informal 'performance' of some of the material

Some thoughts - see the notes under the (=) icon

Recorded, Delegates get a CD of mp3/ stems, Would have to be after the event - real time is too tight

Order a demo level mix, Do a post-production mix



10h00? - I would go with this ( says John vdL), Other votes?


Gig: 18h30 - 20h00

Useful Tools & Resources

Stuff to help get organised

Freemind - for working offline

Music Notation S/W for leadsheets?

MuseScore?, Free, Does the job, including transposing letter based chords, The 'local' manual is enough to get going

I've used Noteworthy - but that's $49


Recording and Mixing

Reaper $40 - fully functional - for mixing music

Audacity - free for simple recording

Songwriting sites

CD Baby

Berklee, Songwriters


This is where online versions of mixes will likely go

Or would anyone prefer soundcloud

This is totally up for debate - please add/ suggest!

Date: 16 July



Workshop Notes

McLaren's article

Other notes/ materials

CCLI Stuff?

CD of tools?