$40 School for Songwriters
By Beth Kille
Most successful songwriters I know have some degree of natural talent, but in my experience, the ones who really shine have invested a fair amount into their musical education. I’ve always been a pretty good student. I went to college and earned an advanced degree in health care. Surprisingly, there weren’t any music education courses in that curriculum and unfortunately for me, I discovered I was a rock-star-at-heart shortly after sinking tens of thousands of dollars into higher education. I picked up the guitar & started writing songs obsessively pretty much right after I graduated from P.T. School and I started playing out a year or so after that, but of course, I still held down that day job. Who needs sleep, right?
I quickly found myself frustrated with my songwriting so I sought out opportunities to learn more. As stupid as this sounds, I think all my years of college made me a LAZY learner basically if I didn’t sit my ass down in front of someone who was spoon feeding me information, I couldn’t learn. When I was working my real job (as friends & family like to call it….we’ll save that discussion for another article), I had the cash to sink into attending songwriting classes, going to conferences, etc. Ah, the good life….right? Well, to be honest, I could never give 100% of myself to that day job because my head was always writing a song, my hands were always aching for my guitar & heart was breaking that I wasn’t chasing that crazy rock star dream.Â It only took me 8 yrs and a mini-mental breakdown to work up the courage, but I finally took the plunge into being a full time songwriter.
It was a pretty rude awakening for me when the day-job cash flow ceased.Â I actually thought it would be wise for me to take an online Publishing course through Berklee school of music shortly after giving up my bi-monthly paychecks. Now, I’m not saying that it wasn’t a great course, but I realized afterward that I’d basically paid someone $1000 to force me to read a frickin’ text book.Â How dumb can a smart girl be??
So I bought a bunch of used books off Amazon.com that were put out by Berklee and I found a friend that was interested in reading them. We agreed to meet roughly every 2 weeks to discuss what we’d learned. So instead of paying Berklee $1000, I bought a few used books off amazon.com for around $40 and learned the same damn thing. I never was very good at math, but that sure seemed like a better deal to me 🙂
So maybe you’re already as smart as you need to be when it comes to music & music business, or maybe you’ve got those funds to keep taking expensive classes, but if you’re looking to get smarter on the cheap, I hope this helps.Â If you’d like a comprehensive list of my books, feel free to shoot me an email. Rock on, my friends.
Recommended Reading: by Beth Kille
Recommendations by: Head Above Music