Will you go pro
Thanks to our past WCS Board President.....
If you watch sports at all, you have probably seen the TV ad “There are over 400,000 NCAA student athletes, and almost all of them will go pro in something other than sports.” It is a powerful message that I am pondering as I head in the annual “Writers Week” event at our local high school. I am there to talk about song writing and answer questions such as how to be a songwriter, how to write songs, how do I write songs.
Guitar in hand, I go from class to class and do my best to hit the highlights - fundamentals of song writing, story telling and painting emotions, observing the world at a deeper level and how a well written song often puts into words what others cannot. Song writing provides a vehicle to work through personal emotions. I talk about the importance of a creative community, share a couple songs, touch on the industry (ugh), take questions and then the bell is ringing.
This year, I want to talk more on following your passion. Why do I write songs? Because it is the one thing that when I am in the zone, time evaporates. For no other reason than my own satisfaction, I want to hone my craft, push my musical boundaries. The act of song writing for me is not about money or fame. But just because I don’t earn a living at song writing doesn’t mean I challenge myself any less.
Like those NCAA athletes, if you write songs you will most likely go pro in something other than song writing. So my message to the students this year will emphasize passion. Write because of how it makes you feel, develop your craft so you do it well and get out to share your music. And for those who dream bigger, embrace the challenges. You may have to sit the bench for a while but hopefully, if you work hard enough, you might earn some playing time…no pun intended.
Shout back at me: What would be the one or two main things you would tell high school students about song writing?