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“It all starts with a song!” Judy Stakee Workshop Highlights

Discover Judy Stakee’s secrets to songwriting success in our highlights from her recent “It all starts with a song!” workshop at MU HQ.

The Musicians’ Union (MU) was delighted to host a special seminar with music publisher, artist mentor, speaker and author Judy Stakee, who shared her tips on how to take your songwriting to the next level. Catch up on some of the highlights…

“It all starts with a song” You can’t get anything until you have a song, says Judy.  A song will give you your brand by revealing your identity, your perspective and your story. It is also your product, and you have to develop it as well as yourself.

“What is a song?” For Judy, a song is “the integration of the voice, the lyrics and the melody.” She explains voice as not just your tone, but your perspective. Your lyrics are your story and how you tell it. The melody, says Judy, is “your emotion” whether that’s love, heartbreak, anger or another feeling. “There are so many things to write about other than just love,” Judy reminds the audience, “There are so many things to discover about who you are.”

“How do you get better at what you do?” Judy emphasises how important it is for songwriters to take of their mind, body and soul. Your body goes through the stresses of writing, recording, performing, touring etc. “Your mind is a computer”, she says, “it never shuts off.”  Otherwise it’s very hard to create, she says. And your soul is who you are, and your relationship with your emotions.

“What do you need besides the song?” You need a music publisher, advises Judy, who takes care of you and gives you an advance so can work on the songs. Until then, you have to self-motivate. “It’s about discipline”, explains Judy, and it means you need to put things in place so you can flow through work. Her example is how to take meetings – you need to know who you want to meet and where you want to go and to do that, you need to know who you are and what you want to say. 

Feeling stuck? Ask yourself “What are you here to create?” This is your vision statement or goal. Once you know your goal, Judy says you need to ask yourself “What do I need to do to get there?” The answer to that is your mission statement. Use these as a guide every time you have to make a decision.

The seminar and workshop, “It all starts with a song!” was a hosted by the MU and BASCA in London on Friday 9 September 2016.

Find out more about what we do for songwriters and composers, plus upcoming MU events near you.

Published: 14/09/2016

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