Some students asked for songwriting prompts to get them through this time and keep them inspired. I’m going to add them here, hoping they help you, too. NOTE: They don’t have to be for songs. I’m sure you can apply them to other creative projects.
SONGWRITING PROMPT ONE: I’ve always loved the fact that Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne wrote the classic “Let it Snow” in the middle of a hot July summer. The song provided what their actual circumstances did not. (Snow.)
I’m hearing some you are writing songs that reflect our current reality, which is great, but what if you could provide what our actual circumstances do not? We’re isolated; write about being together. We’re freaked out; write about resilience, or confidence, or add some anger and write about defiance.
I’m not talking about drugging us with sunshine and rainbows, or living in denial of what’s going on. I’m talking about putting yourself in the listener’s place and thinking about what they need from you as a creator. It’s probably not news headlines, and maybe not a mirror to the moment, either. They’re getting plenty of that. This prompt is about providing them with a tool they need to see past it.
So: Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne made it snow in July. What’s our version of that? THAT. Write that.
Feel free to post drafts, if you like. I hope you’re all well.