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Song-Sharing Sessions

Getting the most from a song-sharing session, both as the writer presenting a song and as a writer hearing another's song.

Songwriters' Circle

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.

Session Format

The group agrees to spend 15 - 20 minutes on each presented song.  Each session follows roughly the same format:

  1. The writer gives a brief introduction to the song.
  2. The writer performs the song the first time.
  3. The listeners offer in turn their first impressions of the song.
  4. The writer distributes lyrics for the song, and asks for feedback on any specific issues.
  5. The writer performs the song a second time.
  6. The listeners offer feedback, suggestions, and ideas.
  7. 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 it.
  • 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.
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