Have you ever wanted to try your new songs out in front of a supportive but honest crowd? Songwriter's Haven is a project I started to give songwriters the opportunity to do just that!
Once a month we'll gather at a space in midtown Manhattan, and performers will take turns showing us their new work. Maybe it's completely finished, maybe some lyrics have yet to be written, maybe it's missing the bridge; whatever the case, the point is to get instant feedback from fellow songwriters, in order to keep improving our craft.
A piano will be provided, or you can bring your own guitar. Participants are encouraged to bring songs that have not been performed in public yet. Refreshments and a microphone will be provided, and it's a great way to network and meet other songwriters!
Cost for participation is $20, which goes toward the room rental, set-up costs, etc. Read the FAQs for more info, and click REGISTER NOW to sign up!
How often are these meet-ups?
Currently they happen once a month. It's not always on the same day every month though, so be sure to check the calendar for upcoming dates!
What kind of music can I bring?
Any kind! As long as it's original and doesn't sample already-existing music/lyrics, we welcome all genres. Please note however that because the two available instruments are piano and guitar, the bulk of what we hear is singer/songwriter, musical theatre, pop, rock, folk, etc. But if you're a jazz cat or hip-hop artist or anything else, you're more than welcome too. No mp3s or iPods can be used, however; let's keep the music LIVE!
How long does the evening usually run? Do I have to stay the whole time?
The music portion lasts about 75-90 minutes, with a 30-minute networking/mingling session to follow. And yes, participants are encouraged to stay the entire time and give feedback on their colleagues' songs after they perform. It wouldn't be fair to perform your songs and then leave!
What if I co-wrote the song with someone, do we both have to pay? What if I'm a non-performing songwriter who doesn't sing?
If you're a composer who worked with a lyricist or vice versa and you both want to come, the $20 fee applies to both of you. If only one of you comes then only one fee applies. If, however, you would like to bring someone who had no part in writing the song to help you perform it (for example, you're a non-singing songwriter and want to bring a vocalist), they can come at no charge and are free to leave after your song is performed.
Do I have to come every month?
Come when you want! If you haven't written much that month, feel free to skip. However, some people find that having a "deadline" to write something new every month helps keep them creative!
I'm sensitive about my music; what if everybody hates it?
We all understand the struggle of showing people our work for the first time. But that's the point; WE ALL understand it. Critiquers are encouraged to keep the feedback honest but supportive. On the other hand, it does no good to be told your song is perfect if it really isn't. If a critiquer has strong feelings about a song but doesn't want to voice them, they are asked to write them on the lyric sheet to be given to the performer after the meet-up. These comments are screened for appropriateness before given to the perfomer.
If you have any further questions please drop me a line at brandonsturiale.com. The important thing is to have fun, and be willing to share your gift with the room. We can all become better artists if we learn from each other!
Onward and upward,