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Jun 26, 2017, 03:54 AM

Hello! I have a passion for singing and songwriting. Unfortunatelly, I have little knowledge in said fields, I would very much like to learn everything there is to this trade. I have been writing lyrics for two years now, although writing melodies still puzzles me. I am searching for universities throughout Europe that could give me appropriate education in these fields, considering I am still on a begginers level. I was wondering if anyone on this site could help me, provide some information, or talk to me about their experiences studying songwriting?

 
     
Marina Sabo Joined Jun 26, 2017
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Jun 26, 2017, 04:29 AM

hi marina

i’m no pro by any stretch of the imagination, but i do have some limited ‘academic’ experience. i was
kicked out of guitar class in the 6th grade lol :) when you say ‘schools in europe’ i immediately think
‘wow’ classical training! i once read somewhere ‘be careful what you learn, once the knowledge is
there you can’t unlearn it’. i know that’s no help at all lol, but what i’m getting at is…. how do you
intend to apply your education? what direction do you want to take your music?

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Jun 26, 2017, 05:07 AM

Hello! In all honesty I would very much like to be an acknowledged singer-songwriter, but I do not see myself as educated or good enough to become one right now. Therefore I wish to get better in expressing my feelings and thoughts through music that a wide range of people will listen to. I have witnessed and felt the power of music when it comes to helping people both physicaly and mentally, the power to make them happy, which is actually what I want to achieve with my music. So in order to get better in writing and composing I am looking for universities that will provide me with appropriate education.

 
     
Marina Sabo Joined Jun 26, 2017
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Jun 26, 2017, 05:16 AM

Hi Marina.

My understanding is that you need to have sat or be on track to sit your A-Levels (or equivalent) in music before applying to a university programme. Many university music schools don’t expect you to be an expert, but they do have a minimum requirement in addition to demonstrating talent in your chosen field and passion for the subject. If you don’t have previous vocal training, you might want to look at getting some under your belt because the competition for places in these schools is fierce. Plus, if you take some formal vocal training ahead of applying for a university spot, the teacher will be able to help you through the audition process.

Another alternative is to enrol in a conservatory or some other type of school. For example, here in New Zealand, they have a wonderful jazz school that puts out some fantastic ‘graduates’ who have gone on to do lots of very exciting things in music, with graduates branching out into other genres by using the solid base in theory that jazz training gave them. I’m sure a Google search will uncover similar options in Europe.

If University is what you are after though, some of the best ones are Sebelius Academy in Finland, the Royal College in the UK, and there’s a great one in Vienna though I can’t remember the name of that one. Don’t trust me though. Run a Google search on best European music schools and do your homework. It’s a huge decision.

Oh, and definitely think on JAPOV’s questions ... very relevant things to think about.

Best of luck to you.
Jen

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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Jun 26, 2017, 05:54 AM

holy moly jenn! is that thing real? what have you been feeding it!

you forgot to ask marina what kind of music she writes :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Jun 26, 2017, 06:12 AM
JAPOV - 26 June 2017 05:54 AM

holy moly jenn! is that thing real? what have you been feeding it!

you forgot to ask marina what kind of music she writes :)

Ha! For goodness sake, that’s two of you who think my gorgeous pig is a fake. John thought it was stuffed AND combed for goodness sake. It’s neither. It’s my lovely Nibbles. She’s glossy and soft, comes when she’s called, and is 100% real. No grooming except what she does herself and the odd nail clip by me. She lives on good NZ grass, carrots and silverbeet. And she’s gorgeous so stop making fun of my pig all right all ready!!

As for asking about music style, I thought your “what direction do you see taking your music” kind of covered that question so I didn’t bother asking. Plus, these days, most universities cover more than classical training. I know a guy who got a degree in rock music! Though, admittedly, that’s a weird choice and one has to ask, ‘why bother?’  lol

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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Jun 26, 2017, 08:45 AM

Marina,

Hello. With all due respect, the majority of music learning as it relates to songwriting is done outside of a classroom or formal education. There are endless amounts of YOU TUBE sites that you can tune into to hear professionals talk about their craft, give tips on songwriting, And the majority of what you will learn comes mostly from trial and error. If you ask most writers, you will get answers as to different web sites and activities you can participate in. You learn by doing.

But there is also a “local” scene in almost every town and hamlet. There are talent nights, open mics and stages, and many in Europe. Usually you will find that by going to those and starting there, you will find many things that will take you in different directions. Also checking out local entertainment listings, local universities for creative writing or other related courses. Sometimes you have to look but they are generally out there.

If you do want to have a formal education, there are many of those, a Google search will usually yield a lot of results, but as Jenny said, they do have minimum requirements and this is the time for you to be learning much of that on your own.

One of the problems with musical education, is that it doesn’t often translate outside of the school. In my home town of Nashville, Tn. there are many music colleges that graduate enormous amounts of students with very expensive degrees, only to find that those degrees are not worth much in the “real world.” My daughter graduated one of these, yet she got a business degree, not music. Again, it is more life experiences that build songwriters than any formal education.

Right now there is nothing keeping you from doing that. You can write songs. You can learn things from web sites and developing personal relationships with others. Developing co-writing relationships, where you are working with more experienced writers is the best way to approach it. You can do song study and break down elements of popular and classic songs in the genre you most like. Finding what makes those songs work, what appeals to people.

And there are online courses you can take from a variety of companies worldwide. Again, GOOGLE is your friend. Join a few sites, and participate. Even here, you have a variety of writers, artists, who are on this site that post songs, videos, lyrics, that you can read along and learn from.

Good luck to you, The world is quite literally at your fingertips.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 26, 2017, 08:47 AM

Just get started at the beginning:

https://search.aol.com/aol/video?q=you+tube,+songwriting+lessons&v_t=wscreen50-bb

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 26, 2017, 01:25 PM

that’s right! nothing stopping you from starting right here right now. just post something in the
lyrics library and see what happens :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Jun 26, 2017, 08:12 PM

Hello Marina,

Good to see you, Welcome to SW101.  Not much more I can say to answer your question, given the excellent advice you have already received from some pretty seasoned members.  I would only add that it is best learning in the school of hard knocks, and by jumping in right now, don’t wait.  Good luck and best wishes,

Speak soon,

Ron

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 
     
Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Jun 26, 2017, 08:22 PM

Marina, I think a great start would be to learn instrument, like the guitar. You don’t have to be of performance standard to write songs, but it’s hard to write a song without at least being able to pick out the notes and/or strum the chords. As for melody, I think to some extent you either have an instinct for it or you don’t. No university is going to give you that. You may find that, as you practice on your instrument, you start to hear melodies.

And listen to lots of music. You’ll learn unconsciously from those you admire.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jun 27, 2017, 08:39 AM

Thank you all for exellent advice! I actually do play an instrument, I play flute. On the other hand, I am aware of the importance of guitar in songwriting, which is why I am currently in the process of learning the instrument. The matter here is that I am looking for further education and I decided that my focus is going to be (primary modern day) music. That is why I asked the question. I did try google search but it was of little help, so I went to knowledgeable people for help (you).
As for my genre, I am a big admirer of alternative rock and similar genres. Therefore, my intended genre would be a range from pop-rock, over pop-punk to classic and alternative rock. My lyrics so far can mostly be described as supportive, but I am in the process of imropving my writing skills so I can write a wide range of different types of lyrics.
I will take everyones advice and continue to imrove, in order to one day be able to make people smile by listening to my music.

 
     
Marina Sabo Joined Jun 26, 2017
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Jun 27, 2017, 09:03 AM

Marina,

I think you need to sort of re-think what you are trying to find. There are not really going to be any schools that teach exactly what you are looking for. That is actually learned BY DOING IT. You don’t find the people in alternative, pop-rock, in classes, (other than VERY OVERPRICED, UNDERDELIVERING CLASSES.) The very definition of “alternative” is to be DIFFERENT than the mainstream, and that is a learn by doing, type of endeavor.

I think you have not given Google a lot of a chance since there are literally MILLIONS of YOU TUBE and other type videos that talk about EXACTLY what you are asking about. You need to narrow your search.

#1. WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS AND SONGS IN THOSE GENRES YOU ADMIRE?
Google those people and go to the web sites. Pull up videos, study the lyrics and music.

#2. JOIN MORE EVENTS AND PLACES THAT CATER TO YOUR TYPE OF MUSIC.

#3. CONTINUE TO LEARN YOUR INSTRUMENT.
While the flute is an interesting instrument, unless you are doing 18th Century Mozart, or classical material, or a JETHRO TULL tribute band, you will find it of limited use in the modern age. Some instruments, the LUTE, the BASSOON, etc. are from a different age, and are of not much use in the modern era. And flute tends to be difficult to sing and play at the same time, which is the point of songwriting, unless you are doing jazz or musical writing.

#4. DEVELOP A GROUP OF PEOPLE YOU INTERACT WITH AND MEET FACE TO FACE.
This is what CO-WRITING DOES. Which is the entire point of the art and craft of songwriting. All notable writers, learned by being around and working WITH more experienced people than themselves. Even Bob Dylan, who is considered the “DEAN OF MODERN SONGWRITERS” learned by spending time with WOODY GUNTHRIE, his hero, in Woody’s later years. He probably learned more listening to Woody tell stories in his hospital room, than any class he could ever attend.

#5. PARTICIPATE HERE.
Post your lyrics, read other people’s lyrics, view videos, visit the songwriting forum and ask questions. If you get am idea of the “perametars” you are looking for, it helps narrow down the search of what you are looking for.


The things you need to remember about SONGWRITING is that it is the ultimate in self expression, and that really can’t be taught in a class or college program. You can learn technical aspects, like physical teaching on a guitar, or voice lessons. And it can show you structural aspects of the craft. For most people who take those types of courses, they usually end up being an encylcopedia of musical terms and technical things, but couldn’t write their way out of a paper bag.

And you don’t have to go to a COLLEGE for most of that. You can learn that in pretty much any music store, or community center that might have a musical scene. And you can learn more about songwriting, by going and seeing someone who does it well, than any multi hour course you might encounter.

If you are wanting COURSES, there are many of those.
PAT PATTISON, is a very good songwriting teacher at the UNIVERSITY OF BERKLEE in BOSTON, MASS. in the US, There are online courses that he and many others do. And in this day and age of instant Universal communication, you probably could correspond DIRECTLY with some of the people you want to emulate. Most writers and artists now are teaching courses, doing lectures, or having Online discussion or courses with people who follow them. Again,  you first have to identify WHAT IT IS YOU ARE WANTING TO EMULATE.

As far as writing itself, I would not be sitting around trying to find the PERFECT COLLEGE course to go attend to learn anything. What you should be doing now is actually DOING IT, because that is the only thing that could actually PREPARE you for any sort of course. As has been said, most have minimum requirements. And if you are waiting to find some course that does that for you, you will probably find you are too far behind the curve to even get started. Plenty you can do in the here and now.

Just gotta do it.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 27, 2017, 12:11 PM
Jenny Stokes - 26 June 2017 06:12 AM
JAPOV - 26 June 2017 05:54 AM

holy moly jenn! is that thing real? what have you been feeding it!

you forgot to ask marina what kind of music she writes :)

Ha! For goodness sake, that’s two of you who think my gorgeous pig is a fake. John thought it was stuffed AND combed for goodness sake. It’s neither. It’s my lovely Nibbles. She’s glossy and soft, comes when she’s called, and is 100% real. No grooming except what she does herself and the odd nail clip by me. She lives on good NZ grass, carrots and silverbeet. And she’s gorgeous so stop making fun of my pig all right all ready!!

As for asking about music style, I thought your “what direction do you see taking your music” kind of covered that question so I didn’t bother asking. Plus, these days, most universities cover more than classical training. I know a guy who got a degree in rock music! Though, admittedly, that’s a weird choice and one has to ask, ‘why bother?’  lol

Jen, thanks for the glimpse of your lovely Nibbles. You need to put some glasses on the little chap if you’re going to hang with the cool kids.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jun 27, 2017, 05:51 PM

Hello Marina,

You may or may not be aware of the expressiveness of the flute vs. guitar, maybe this was before your time, but try goggling “Jethro Tull”, that Band was the quintessential alternative rockers of the time, imagine if you can, being able to play a lead riff on your flute.  Work with some local musicians to develop melodies with your lyrics and incorporate the flute as part of the band.  Just a thought, best wishes,

Speak soon,

Ron

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 
     
Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Jun 27, 2017, 07:01 PM
Ron Nelson - 27 June 2017 05:51 PM

Hello Marina,

You may or may not be aware of the expressiveness of the flute vs. guitar, maybe this was before your time, but try goggling “Jethro Tull”, that Band was the quintessential alternative rockers of the time, imagine if you can, being able to play a lead riff on your flute.  Work with some local musicians to develop melodies with your lyrics and incorporate the flute as part of the band.  Just a thought, best wishes,

Speak soon,

Ron

Ditto!!! TULL!!! :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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