Deep-Dive: Co-Writing, Nov. 6-8, 2020


Deep-Dive: Co-Writing, Nov. 6-8, 2020

With 16 years of weeklong summertime songwriting workshops under our belts, the team at SongStudio has decided to launch a weekend series we’re calling Deep Dive, which will feature a concentrated look at topics of interest to songwriters of all levels and backgrounds.

November 6-8, 2020: A Deep Dive into Co-Writing

SongStudio Deep Dive: Cowriting looks at how songs are written by two or more people. What are the benefits of co-writing? What are the pitfalls? How do you even meet a potential co-writer? How do you decide whether they can add anything to what you can already do as a songwriter? How do you divide up the credit for the song’s creation? Who makes the demo recording of the song?

After a Friday evening of preparation and motivation with special guests Gordie Sampson and Judy Stakee, we’ll devote the full day on Saturday for you to write in groups of two or three, and we’ll help you through the process. Experienced mentors Barbra Lica, Blair Packham and Allister Bradley will visit each group multiple times, observing the progress you’re making, offering suggestions for how to move forward or even change direction if necessary. Mirroring a “real world” co-writing situation, we’ll allow just three hours for each meeting, then you’ll switch groups to work on an entirely new song. Each participant will experience co-writing with three groups over the course of the day. Sunday morning will be spent polishing your songs with your groups, and Sunday afternoon will be your chance to perform what you’ve come up with. It’s intense and demanding, but we know it can be done, because songwriters do it in Nashville, Los Angeles, London, Atlanta, and Toronto every day.

This session will be presented entirely online, over six private meetings. All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (Toronto/New York).

Friday, Nov. 6

7:00pm: Our opening night, with keynote speakers and discussion on preparation and motivation before a co-writing session. Featuring special guests Gordie Sampson and Judy Stakee.
*** This session is available for purchase on its own ***

Saturday, Nov. 7

Co-writing in three sessions, with assistance from our mentors Barbra Lica, Blair Packham and Allister Bradley.

9:00am – Co-writing 1 – writing teams assigned for you
1:00pm – Co-writing 2 – writing teams assigned for you
7:00pm – Co-writing 3 – writing teams assigned for you

Sunday, Nov. 8

Re-writing and Next Steps, with assistance from our mentors Barbra Lica, Blair Packham and Allister Bradley.

9:00am – re-writing with your session 1 co-writers
10:00am – re-writing with your session 2 co-writers
11:00am – re-writing with your session 3 co-writers

1:00pm – Sharing of all songs written this weekend, followed by discussion of Next Steps (including demo recordings, further rewrites, pitching, future collaborations, and more)


$349 (+HST) for the entire Deep Dive
$99 (+HST) for Friday evening only

Some great questions about our Deep Dive into Co-Writing

Q: I write lyrics, but I don’t sing or play an instrument. Does this make sense for someone like me?

A: YES! We are accounting for the strengths of our participants when we build the co-writing teams. A writer who tells us their strength is lyrics will be teamed with writers whose strengths complement that.

Q: I may not be available for the wrap-up on Sunday. Will a replay be available?

A: YES, video replays of the Friday night and Sunday afternoon session will be made available to participants. Participants will be able to record their writing sessions for their own personal use.

Q: Should I be bringing lyrics, melody ideas, etc. to the session?

A: YES, you should consider this to be very much like a professional co-writing session, in which you and your co-writer(s) will start by looking for song ideas. You can bring simple ideas or developed ones, anything that can benefit from the perspective of another songwriter.

Q: In the past, I have worked with co-writers remotely – meaning that we would send ideas to each other, work on them independently, and then share the work later. How does this work by comparison?

A: This is more like the in-person professional co-writing sessions that happen every day in music centres like Nashville and Los Angeles. The short nature of the session, plus the personal interaction and instant engagement with co-writers’ ideas, typically lead to much quicker and more exciting songwriting.

Q: What is the role of the mentors during our co-writing sessions?

A: Our mentors will drop-in a few times during your writing session, to offer assistance and try to remove any obstacles. We’re not here to be your co-writers, but to help “grease the wheels” if you need it.

Q: Who owns the songs we write at Deep Dive?

A: You and your co-writers will retain all rights to the songs you write together. Typically this is understood to be an equal ownership between you, unless there is a compelling reason to apply a different split between you. SongStudio and our mentors will have no ownership in the songs written at Deep Dive.

Q: Can I attend the Friday night session only? And what if I change my mind after attending the Friday night – can I book into the full weekend at that point?

A: YES. We knew that many writers would, for a number of reasons, be unable to attend the whole weekend, so we’re offering the Friday night as a standalone option. If you attend the Friday night and then decide to participate in the co-writing sessions, we will be able to convert your Friday-only registration into a full-weekend registration at that point.

  • Catherine M Thompson

    This co-writing weekend sounds fantastic and I know it will be a success. I’ve already recommended it and will give it whatever support I can. I can’t be there (virtually). However, I might get the Friday night. Catherine

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