This class is not currently being offered in our catalog.

Visit our Songwriting Program page for other related options.

Songwriting Seminar: Paths to Inspiration

Seminar participants are divided into three groups, and each section will experience these exhilarating artists. We will host a follow up song share Sunday September 30 at 4:00PM for those who are interested and sufficiently inspired by this offering.

"Imagining Deeper Lyrics Through Visibility"
with Sue Demel

An ultimate writing exploration through “Visibility”! With inspirations from the author Italo Calvino and a variety of visual cues, Sue will help you immerse yourself in the outer and inner world to expand your imagining from the outside in, bringing ideas to focus with your eyes shut and mind open.

“Paths to the Muse and Getting Out of One’s Own Way”
with Steve Dawson

There are many doors into the house of creativity. “Writer’s Block” is a self-inflicted false prison. Steve will lead you through exercises to quiet the inner critic and get songs flowing. Techniques will include: improvisation with instrument and voice, writing to a title, drawing from unexpected sources, listening and more. 

“Ripening: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Songwriting”
with Jenny Bienemann

Learn to recognize when the original energy of a song idea is fading, how to quickly refocus your creative intensity, and explore your song idea in the context of other artistic mediums. This process will allow your songs to ripen by exercising creative muscles and having fun.

Sue Demel: As a founding and current member of folk trio Sons of the Never Wrong and Come Sunday, Sue tours nationally, performing original, acoustic music. Her body of work as a songwriter achieves a rare peace between the boundaries of love, despair, and redemption. A seasoned back-up vocalist featured on more than 70 cds, Sue is currently a recording artist on Waterbug Records where her original songs, arrangements, and vocals are featured. New City says “Demel’s song stylings are both poignant and hilarious".

Steve Dawson has been writing and performing for more than 30 years as both a solo singer / songwriter and as the leader of the acclaimed Chicago folk-rock band, Dolly Varden. He's been called "one of the most underrated songwriters in American music," who writes, "graceful, poetic songs akin to a volume of great short stories in their precise, exacting wordplay and soulful heartache." Dawson also recently co-wrote the book, Take It To the Bridge: Unlocking the Great Songs Inside You, with Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune, based on his popular songwriting classes at The Old Town School of Folk Music.

Jenny Bienemann is a singer-songwriter guitarist, based in Chicago.  Described as falling “somewhere between winking innocence and worldly detachment”. Her music has been featured in TV, film and theatre productions. She performs regularly with her husband Robin Bienemann, and works with several bands including, The Significant Others, The Zimmerman and Rainy Day Women. She has led songwriting workshops at high schools and colleges throughout the Midwest. Her first book of photographs and haiku will be released in 2018.

Class Schedules and Availability