A songwriting group should be fun, educational, and a space for mutual support and trust. It’s worth experimenting with different formats to find what works well for you. Nothing has to be set in stone. If the group feels ready to change a format it has used for a while, that’s fine.
Here is one possible framework for a 2.5 hour meeting:
7:30pm – Arrive and make yourself a hot drink
7:40pm – Group check-in (20 mins)
- Group convenor reminds everyone of group etiquette, ground rules and ethos.
- Introduce yourself.
- If you want to, share something about what you are working on, or what your current songwriting questions are.
- Previous participants might want to share how they followed up on the last meeting.
8:00-8:45pm – Topic (45 mins)
A speaker or teacher presents on a songwriting topic, analyses a song, or facilitates the group in interactive learning (e.g. songwriting exercises, analysing a great song).
8:45-9:30pm – Song assessment and feedback (45 mins)
Run my Song Assessment & Feedback Exercise (SAFE) on several pieces of song material, including song material created by group participants.
9.30pm – Group check-out (20mins approx.)
- Participants name for themselves something that they feel they have gained from the session, and a specific action that they will take towards their songwriting.
- Participants can choose to share this with the group; it helps participants learn from each other, and encourage a friendly accountability for moving one’s own songwriting forward.
- Participants discuss any matters arising about meeting format, admin, future dates etc.