Exposure to Songwriting

“This is my songwriting book” Katie says as she old up an enormous, well-used binder to the class.

The less than inviting room is mostly barren and empty; white walls, white ceiling, white winter scenery outside of the few windows in the room, and a yellowy bile colored tiled floor. Dust-gathering pieces of furniture and music stands line the edges of the room.

Despite the setting, the room has a pleasant atmosphere. A community oriented feel accompanies the group as they all discussing the many aspects of song writing, and the instructor brings friendly character to the group.

In the center of the room the Gibraltar students sat in a circle of chairs, listening to professional songwriter and temporary high school instructor Katie Dahl. The class quietly listens to music; students stare off blankly, some subtly tap their foot to the rhythm.

Katie brings up stimulating question about the meaning behind the music. The students, ranging from freshman to senior year, contribute surprisingly unique perspectives about aspects of songs, and are supportive to each other’s ideas. Katie encourages the students to tap into their musical skill without doubting their own creativity. The students create their own musical pieces. “Try to make your pen or pencil or… little fingers on your iPad never stop moving,” Katie says, offering inspiration to her class. Junior and recent Door County Idol winner Lena McDonald decides to demonstrate songwriting by performing her own song for the class.