Steve Seskin Workshop – September 27

We’ve got a humdinger of a songwriting workshop coming up this month! Steve Seskin is coming back to Charlotte! Steve is an amazing songwriting teacher, and you don’t want to miss his workshop! We announced his workshop at our monthly NSAI meeting last week and 18 people signed up on the spot. Steve wrote Tim McGraw’s #1 hit, “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” Mark Wills’ #1 hit, “Don’t Laugh at Me,” and many other hit songs. Steve’s website address is

His workshop will be held on September 27th from 9:30 am til 4:00 pm, at our regular NSAI meeting place, The Well, in Pineville (directions at Steve will be covering melody, writing/rewriting, rhyming, metaphors, hooks, payoffs, and, time permitting, point of view. More details about those topics are outlined at the bottom of this email. The cost for the workshop is $50 for NSAI members, or $75 for non-members. We’ll provide pizza and soft drinks for lunch at no additional cost.

If you signed up for the Saturday workshop at our NSAI meeting last month, please choose your method of payment and complete the sign-up process, either by PayPal or make out a check to NSAI Charlotte and send to:

Steve Simpson
1147 Thornsby Lane
Matthews, NC 28105

If you have a PayPal account, you can sign up using one of two PayPal links below – one for NSAI members and one for non-members. If you choose the PayPal option, a PayPal fee of $2 will be added to the cost.

NSAI Member Sign-Up

Non-Member Sign-Up

Steve will also be doing one-on-one sessions the following day, Sunday, September 28th, from 12:30 pm til 5:00 pm, also at The Well, for $60 for a half-hour session. But those sessions sold out at our monthly meeting last week. However, you’re welcome to come and listen to Steve’s one-on-one sessions as an audience member. You will learn a whole lot by listening to him critique other people’s songs.

If you signed up for the Sunday one-on-ones, you’ll be receiving a separate email from me with the details on that, including a schedule for the sessions.

Also, Steve will be performing at The Evening Muse on the Friday night before his workshop. You owe it to yourself to see him in concert.

So, sign up now. The workshop may sell out… you don’t want to miss this one!

Steve Simpson, NSAI Coordinator

More details from Steve Seskin on what he’ll be covering:

Melody – In focusing on melody writing, I teach from a place of writing melodies for lyrics. Prosody is the marriage of music and lyric. We explore ways to determine if the overall vibe of the music feels right, and look at specific parts of songs in terms of choosing an appropriate melody that milks the emotion that the writer would like the listener to feel from the lyric. I also talk about phrasing and accents. There is an important word in every sentence. We look at choosing accent places that stress the right syllables and help drive home your point. Music can actually change the meaning of a lyric when used to its fullest potential. We also discuss rhythm and range and how to use them effectively in songs.

Writing/Rewriting, There is a Difference – Writing can more easily come from that dreamy/stream of consciousness place. Rewriting involves considering what you’ve already written and in many ways is a lot more tedious. In this seminar we examine all types of rewriting. Are you rewriting because the content is not serving the moment in the song, or is the problem the tone of how you put forth your idea? We’ll also look at how to know when a song is done and the wisdom of sticking to the task versus putting a song away for a while and giving it a rest. Many times I write more than I need just to give myself choices.

Rhyming and Metaphor – Rhyming is our best friend but it’s also our worst enemy since it constricts us and makes it harder to say what we want to say in a song. We’ll look at inventive ways to use rhyme that sound natural, not drawing too much attention to the rhyme and letting the listener concentrate on the content of the lyric. We’ll also look at metaphor and figurative language and how they can deepen the emotional experience of a song.

Point of View – In this seminar we explore eight different perspectives to choose from when deciding how your characters can best tell their story. We will look into figuring out how to find the most powerful way to tell any given story. We’ll talk about 1st, 2nd, 3rd person and various combinations as well. We will then look into more complex ways to use perspective to bring out the most emotion in all your lyrics. I believe this is one of the most important lessons on the road to writing great songs.

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