Songwriting Workshop Inspiring Lyrics and Rousing Melodies

Over two dozen novice and experienced songwriters gathered at the Black Irish Pub on Sunday, April 8th to participate in the first of two Gil’s Hootenanny-sponsored workshops designed to create sing-along songs that share and celebrate the stories, struggles and victories of working people.

Led by singer-songwriter-teacher Jamie Anderson, the songwriters were organized into four groups and spent the first workshop collaborating on musical and lyrical ideas. Given the enthusiasm and creativity evident at the workshop, the sing-along songs promise to be inspirational and provocative.

Putting that song of hope together for Gil's@Grassroots

Putting that song of hope together for Gil’s@Grassroots

“It was great.” Said Rob Ryan, describing the first songwriting session. “Lots of good ideas and exercises about how to write songs, especially sing-along songs of protest and hope.”
Workshop leader Anderson summarized the workshop by observing that “everyone worked hard to find inspiration to write lyrics and melodies with the exercises. It was great fun to hear everyone’s varied and creative ideas.” She continued: “Collaborative song writing can accommodate different approaches: some songwriters mull over an idea, while others offer ideas as they think of them.  The advantage of these workshops is that they support both approaches to songwriting.” Anderson also noted that the second workshop, scheduled for April 22, 2018, will focus on finessing and finalizing the music and lyrics generated at this first workshop.

Songs created at the workshop will be performed at the “Gil’s at Grassroots” session of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival on April 28 at 4:00 pm.

The 2018 Hootenanny will take place on Tuesday, May 1st at 7:30 pm in the Clarke Room at the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive. The RA Centre is accessible, has loads of parking and is well serviced by OC Transpo. Tickets are $10; kids are free. Tickets available online and can be purchased (cash only) at Metro Music, 695 Bank Street & Octopus Books, 16 Third Avenue. Information & tickets: and Facebook.