Preparing for Podunk

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This August will be my first opportunity to teach songwriting at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in Hebron CT, and am really looking forward to it. I had never actually been able to attend the festival previously as each year it conflicted with an annual summer family event. Back in February at the Joe Val Indoor Bluegrass Festival Roger Moss approached me about conducting a two day Songwriting Workshop at Podunk this summer and the idea really appealed to me. I have held workshops at music festivals in the past including Thomas Point Beach and Joe Val among others, but I never really had ample time to cover everything I had hoped to discuss. At Podunk I would teach two 1 1/2 hour workshops (on consecutive days), allowing me to cover a wide range of songwriter related topics.
Accordingly, I have been spending a little time each week game planning and preparing for Podunk. That includes writing an agenda for both days, creating handouts, choosing and rehearsing songs to play, making a list of things to bring etc. As always my goal first and foremost is to share important elements of songwriting I have learned over the years. As there will be some writers who are new at it, as well as some more experienced, I need to offer something to both.
The first day will be more covering some of the fundamentals like identifying the elements of a good song, developing good songwriting habits, saving your ideas, making time to write etc.
The second day we will focus on taking your songwriting skills to the next level, including re-writing, discipline, the value of co-writing, developing your own unique songwriting style, song demos, pitching songs and more. At both I will play a few songs, or pats if songs, that connect with the particular topic we’re discussing.
I really enjoy meeting and interacting with other writers at the workshops. In addition to the rewards of helping others, I always learn some new things along the way. Only wish workshops like this were available when I first became interested in songwriting some 30 years ago.