This one day, small-group songwriting for beginners class focuses on the tools you need to develop your songwriting in a supportive, collaborative environment. Perfect for beginner and intermediate songwriters. Instruments are welcome, but you do not need to play an instrument to benefit from the class.
Don’t be intimidated! With simple, easy to follow instructions, you will write a song based on the lesson with advice and feedback from the instructor, regardless of whether you’ve written a song before or not. Classes are taught by Murray Foster, a Juno-nominated songwriter, producer, and performer with songwriting credits on multiple certified gold and platinum recordings.
Feel free to attend just one class, or come back each month and finish the entire Songwriting for Beginners course. Have questions about the class, drop us an email!
Every new attendee receives a free Toronto Songwriting School notebook.
1st – Lyrical techniques: Poetic v literal lyrics, uses of nonsense lyrics
Why do Leonard Cohen’s lyrics have such power? Why do Bob Dylan’s lyrics take you to another world? In this class we study the power of poetry to give your lyrics some added magic, and look at how nonsense lyrics can liberate you from the chains of rationality.
11th – Writing Music: Introduction to chords, and creating tension and release
Of the three elements of a song – lyrics, melody, and chords – chords are the least understood. To become a good songwriter, you have to understand what chords are, how they function, and how to use them to increase the emotional impact of your songs – and how all art (yes, even painting) is built on tension and release.
SECOND CLASS ADDED NOVEMBER 12th DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND!
9th – Lyrical techniques: Repetition, Alliteration and Assonance in lyric writing
Of all the tools in the lyricist’s toolkit, repetition, alliteration and assonance are probably the most powerful. How does Radiohead create an almost religious intensity through repetition? How does Dylan grab your ear with alliteration? And why does assonance make Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” perhaps the greatest lyric of all time? Refine and heighten your lyrical game with these three techniques.
Cost: $30 includes free beer and popcorn!
Toronto Songwriting School
23 Seymour Avenue
Toronto, ON M4J 3T3
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Murray Foster retains his portion of the royalties for songs he contributes to including songs written in any class, workshop, or private lesson.
“I’ve been making music and writing songs with Murrman for over a decade and have loved every minute of it. Murray’s got such a broad musical experience from Folk to Jazz to Rock and all the way back again. Doesn’t hurt that he’s an awesome singer and vocal arranger either.”Alan Doyle, Great Big Sea
“Murray’s tremendous musical versatility and eloquence as a writer has always made him an invaluable creative collaborator and sounding board. His years contributing to countless Canadian projects have resulted in a honed skill for storytelling, developing and deftly refining musical and lyrical ideas in a surprising variety of styles. His depth of musicality is a constant known to everyone who’s had the pleasure of working with him.”Tory Cassis, 2000 Juno Nominee
“My partner Catherine and I started writing with Murray Foster in August of 2013 without any agenda other than to see if we could come up with a song or two. Immediately, I found Murray to be a laid back and receptive partner, open to suggestion and filled with thoughtful and interesting ideas aimed at making the songs as strong as they could be. To date, we’ve written three songs together that will be featured on our next record.”Andrew James O’Brien, Fortunate Ones
“I joined Murray Foster’s intermediate songwriting course as a 3-chord wonder. But by the time I finished the course, I had ventured into the scary realm of bar chords and even managed some finger picking. Murray taught me how to take my songs from that initial blast of inspiration to a complete package, something I have long struggled to do.”Ben Bull, Intermediate Course Student
“This course is what I’ve been searching for for years. Every class is the perfect mix of theory and hands-on experience, right from the very first week. Not only do you benefit from Murray’s wealth of knowledge and experience, but you get to work with other songwriters in the group and learn from their styles as well. I would absolutely recommend this class to anyone looking to build their skills and confidence as a songwriter.”Shari Archinoff, Intermediate Course student
“Your intro class was truly amazing! If this is what you get out of a 3 hour intro class, I can’t imagine the writing and music chops I’ll walk away with after attending a full class. Murray is not only talented in his own right but can actually teach the craft of songwriting!”Stephanie Brown, Intro Student
“The Songwriting Getaway Weekend with Murray Foster was an amazing experience. Murray’s insights are practical and intuitive, and I left with a renewed inspiration to build my tool-set and hone my craft. I’ll be the first to sign up for the next weekend, and every one after that.”Sean Hunt, Getaway Student
“An excellent communicator, Murray Foster has a depth of knowledge about contemporary and classic songwriting as well as popular music in general that is impressive. His use of humour in his teaching has endeared him to his students, who are consistently educated, engaged and entertained.”Blair Packham, Songwriting Instructor, Seneca College and Humber College, Toronto
“Murray Foster’s teaching skills are exceptional. The amount of information and ideas he is able to convey in a short period of time is unbelievable. In our class, we were able to broaden our songwriting experience by tapping into new avenues of creativity that hadn’t yet been realized. We only wished had more time with Murray and his phenomenal methods. Highly recommended!”Joy Thompson, Seneca student
“It was a pleasure working with Murray towards the creation of ‘Open Arms’, a song made for the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Center (OICC). It didn’t take Murray long to develop just the right lyrics, tone, and energy for us that was uplifting and authentic to the experience that patients living with cancer can have. I would engage him in the process again in a heartbeat.”Ottawa Integrative Cancer Center