Recently my daughter wrote and composed a song ‘Tomorrow You Are Leaving’ that won an award in her school art competition themed Heroes as a commemoration to veterans and the children who miss them. After, she got her song copyrighted, and now she officially owns a song! To support her passion for music, I signed her up for a lesson with Blue Balloon Songwriting.
Since my daughter thrives on expressing herself creatively, taking a Blue Balloon Songwriting class worked well for her. For the past few years, she has taken piano, but memorizing songs hasn’t helped her with creative writing or with her voice. This lesson helped her continue to learn the basics of piano, while also writing a brand-new song and singing it. Check out our quick video overview of the lesson and see the new song in progress!
The songwriting process had several parts. It involved brainstorming ideas and learning the components of a song. Also, there was instruction in learning piano chords and singing. I was really happy with the challenging content taught because it gave provided material to work on when class was over.
The wonderfully supportive instructor was Lauren Balthrop, who is a director and teacher at Blue Balloon Nashville, and she was actually on tour with Kevin Morby in NYC the week we had our lesson. Since we aren’t located in either city, the lesson took place from the comfort of our home via a convenient video chat.
Being located outside these two major markets in the music industry can be a disadvantage for aspiring musicians, but the video chat lesson helped us stay connected to instructors who really understand the music business.
Started by Rachel Lipson, Blue Balloon Songwriting offers lessons for children ages 3 – 18 and adults! The program is unique for combining music instruction with the writing of a song, so students can express themselves and actively learn music as they write, sing, play and record their own musical composition. Students can work with their choice of instrument as they learn from a working singer/songwriter. Some instruments to choose are guitar, piano/keyboard, drums, voice, ukulele, bass guitar, and violin/cello.
Instead of a recital, students who take part in the lessons can then be a part of the Spring Songwriting Showcase. The showcase gives students the experience of being plugged in like pros performing in public!
New York City students take part in the showcase at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg Brooklyn, and the showcase is usually listed in the New York Times.
Nashville, Tennessee students perform at the Bluebird Café, one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms for songwriters! Since my hometown is Nashville, this is the showcase I’m hoping my daughter can perform in someday. Check out students in a previous showcase in the video below.
Copyrighting a song was an exciting accomplishment this year, but the journey towards becoming a recording artist doesn’t end there. Through taking this class, my daughter realized that there are responsibilities involved with being a songwriter. Now she understands the importance of practicing her original music regularly, developing new ideas, and learning instruments. These concepts will help her continue to improve in writing original songs and performing them someday!