Getting the most from a song-sharing session, both as the writer presenting a song and as a writer hearing another's song.
A song sharing session is a great opportunity for a writer to test out songs (newly-written, long-since-written, or partly written) on a few friendly listeners and get some constructive feedback, without needing to take a self-defense course first. Writers get to hear their peers' take on what they hear in the song, followed by a give-and-take discussion and exchange of ideas about the song.
The group agrees to spend 15 - 20 minutes on each presented song. Each session follows roughly the same format:
- The writer gives a brief introduction to the song.
- The writer performs the song the first time.
- The listeners offer in turn their first impressions of the song.
- The writer distributes lyrics for the song, and asks for feedback on any specific issues.
- The writer performs the song a second time.
- The listeners offer feedback, suggestions, and ideas.
- The writer collects the lyric sheets.
Presenting Your Song
- Please bring at least 5 copies of lyrics for your song.
- If you would like help from your listeners with a specific issue you
are having with the song, please describe that issue before performing
- Be prepared to perform your song TWICE (or play a recording of it). A keyboard will be available for those who prefer to present their song using one.
- Feel free to record the session for your song (but not for songs presented by others!).
Reviewing Another Writer's Song
- Most importantly, offer comments on other writers' songs in a positive, supportive manner.
- Asking questions about what you heard is an excellent form of feedback.
- Critique trouble spots by describing your experience as a listener, rather than in "absolute" terms.
- If the writer asks for feedback on a specific issue, try to address it before critiquing other parts of the song.
- Do not record songs presented by others.
- Return lyric sheets to the writer at the end of each song session.