The Whistling Duck Music community had the honour of Mike Petroff’s company this week as he walked us through all things Song Writing. Mike is a fabulous human being and a seasoned and gifted songwriter. I hope the others gathered in the room were as inspired as I was by what he had to share.
Some folk there had written a song or two or five, but some had not yet followed that road. Many people I come across in my world and work consider song writing a mystical art that belongs only to other people. People who are not accountants or massage therapists or grandmothers. They are wrong.
We all have stories from our lives and our stories deserve to be heard. In Mike’s words, “an untold story is an injustice”. So the first thing is to write it down. Write everything down. Then when the time comes to pull something together into a song you have lots of material to choose from. By write it down, I mean whatever medium works for you. I, like Mike, prefer pencil and paper. But you could type it, voice memo it, record a video on your phone – document your thoughts and stories. Then you can proceed.
If you’re new to the idea of song writing and want to have a conversation about getting your stories out this way, I’d love to go for a walk and a talk with you. Mike has also made the offer, if you’d like to contact him directly. You can find him on Facebook or on music media with his album “1000 Storms”.
If you’ve got a song – or will have one by July 1, 2019 – there is a neat opportunity being offered by the Canmore Folk Music Festival. Submit your song (or songs) to info@canmorefolkfestival with “Songwriter Workshop” in the subject line. It can be a voice memo, a phone video, a Google Doc – any format is fine; it doesn’t have to be professional. Songs will be chosen from submissions to be played by and/or with Michael Bernard Fitzgerald on Festival Friday.
Fitzgerald will also be offering a FREE Song Writing workshop in Canmore sometime in June, open to everybody – no obligation to submit a song to the Festival. The date is still being worked out but be sure you’ll know about it as soon as I do.
Song writing is a magical thing – only in the same way many every day things are magic. But it is not a mystery and it is not out of reach. Through sharing our stories, we share of ourselves and strengthen the bonds of this every-day-magical community.
Shine on, my friends.