Say It In Song: Two-Day Lyric-Crafting Workshop with Jennie Litt, Wednesdays, March 6th & Wednesday, March 13th, 2024
Class Meets Wednesday, March 6th & Wednesday, March 13th, 2024
Class will meet twice on consecutive Wednesday nights via Zoom, 6PM - 9PM EST
Open to All writers!
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Taught by Jennie Litt, who holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her award-winning short fiction has been published in the Indiana Review, Columbia, The Sun: A Magazine of Ideas, Speak, Fireweed, and The Blue Moon Review. Her award-winning works for the theatre have been performed at Circle Rep (NYC) and the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA). As an audiobook narrator, Jennie has worked with Macmillan Audio, Tantor, Blackstone, and Spoken Realms, and is the voice of Eric Van Lustbader's Evan Ryder series of espionage thrillers.
Read an Interview with Jennie on the Art of Crafting Lyrics.
From melody to dummy lyric to hit song, songwriter Jennie Litt takes you through the steps to crafting a song lyric that sings.
Session 1: Wednesday, March 6th, 2024, 6PM - 9PM EST via Zoom
The poet and fiction writer work alone, but the lyricist's work is married to a melody. How does music inspire, color, even transform a lyric?
This two-day course will begin with a guided listening exercise, followed by an analysis of the lyrics we just heard and discussion of the craft of lyric writing. How does it differ from poetry, prose, conversation? How does rhyme function in a lyric, and is it desirable? How does a listener process a lyric, and what can the lyricist do to maximize the impact of a song? How does a song designed for live performance differ from a song designed for radio or streaming? In the absence of a studio and a producer, how can we craft a watertight song that doesn't rely on high production values to "land"? Following that, songwriter Jennie Litt will present the class with a melody, and students will have the opportunity to respond to the melody with a writing exercise. The class will then analyze the melody in terms of meter, emphasis, and rhyme scheme.
Session 1 will conclude with the group collaborating on a dummy lyric to use as a guide for their own lyric, which they'll craft in the week between Session 1 and Session 2.
**NOTE: Students will be listening to approximately one hour of songs before the first class.
Session 2: Wednesday, March 13th, 2024, 6PM - 9PM EST via Zoom
Session 2 will consist of the workshopping of each student's lyric, written to the melody they were given on Day 1. In terms of craft: does the lyric sing with the melody, or are the words being shoehorned into the music? Did the writer use rhyme, and if so, how is the rhyme functioning? Is the lyric comprehensible? And in terms of art, is the writer telling a story or in some other way taking the listener on a journey? Where are the places the lyric could be tightened or revised to engage the listener even more fully? Do the melody and the lyric create a whole greater than the sum of the parts?
- Gain the skills to analyze the craft of songwriting, analyze a melody, create a dummy lyric, and craft a lyric to an existing melody.
- They will come away from the course with a complete lyric.
Week 1: Guided listening/lecture/discussion on the art and craft of the song lyric. Presentation of melody, followed by writing exercise in response to melody. Analysis of class melody. Class collarborates on dummy lyric.
Week 2: Workshopping of student lyrics crafted to class melody.
"I just finished taking the Cabaret Workshop and wanted to highly recommend it to others who sing, or enjoy singing, even if you have no formal training whatsoever. The co-teachers, Jennie and David, were amazing at helping each of us find our personal connection to a song. And learning to sing with an accompanist instead of a recording, was a great experience – and lots of fun. It was also a small class and very supportive, which was helpful for many of us first-time cabaret singers."
"You have taught me more, quantity and quality-wise than anyone ever has before in my 59 years! This has been an outstanding class!"
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each night.
2-Day Intensive: Wednesdays, March 6th & March 13th, 2024
Class will meet twice via Zoom, 6PM - 9PM EST
Course is fully ONLINE.
Instructor Jennie Litt holds an undergraduate English/Creative Writing degree from Harvard, and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. Her award-winning short fiction has been published in the Indiana Review, Columbia, The Sun: A Magazine of Ideas, Speak, Fireweed, and The Blue Moon Review. Her award-winning works for the theatre have been performed at Circle Rep (NYC) and the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA). Jennie is a cabaret performer, performance coach, director, and songwriter, with two albums of original cabaret songs co-written with her composer-pianist husband David Alpher: Two Apples (2014) and Songs For Sapiosexuals (2019). As a duo, they have performed internationally, including appearing (or having their songs performed) at most of the major NYC clubs. Alpher and Litt have been co-teaching cabaret performance workshops since 2013, in NYC, upstate NY, at Vassar College, and at SummerKeys in Lubec, ME. Jennie also teaches for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival (songwriting) Singnasium, and Brooklyn Acting Lab (cabaret performance), as well as privately, and she's a two-term board member of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets. As an audiobook narrator, Jennie has worked with Macmillan Audio, Tantor, Blackstone, and Spoken Realms, and is the voice of Eric Van Lustbader's Evan Ryder series of espionage thrillers.