Guest Speaking at the USC Upstate Commercial Music Program
I enjoyed speaking with students today in the Commercial Music Program at the University of South Carolina Upstate. The title of my presentation was “Beyond the Conservatory: Writing Music using Invention Strategies from the Worlds of Business, Art, and Creative Writing.” It was strange but exciting to try explaining something as elusive and chaotic as songwriting. During the talk, we looked at the reasons behind creative blocks and used benchmarking techniques to examine how industry leaders write their songs as a way forward. We also discussed lateral thinking as an idea generating tool and how the tenets of various art movements (e.g, conceptual art, pop art, German Expressionism and the Fluxus movement) can be used as guidelines for writers to create melodies and intro/verse/chorus segments. For a class example, I showed students a song that I’m working on and explained how the non-music school influences described above directly informed my musical decision making. Seriously a fun day — thanks to Dr. Nolan Stolz for inviting me!