elementary, school, kids, music, songwriting, workshops, concerts, Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett   Workshops



HIGH SCHOOL (Public, Private or Home School)
(Public or Private)


Please note:
These classes are offered in the greater Seattle Area. Generally the fees will be accurate within the shaded area of this map. Fee may increase outside of that area.

Please contact me if you are interested in discussing any of these offerings for your school. etc.




(Public, Private, or Home-Schooling Groups)

SONGWRITING (grades 2-6) Available in one or two 1.5 hour sessions.

  • School will supply:
    Whiteboard and pens, chalkboard, or butcher paper taped to wall.
  • Negotiable Fee - One Session $100, Two Sessions $175
  • I will start the class off by performing a couple of original or unique (funny) children's songs.

  • We'll talk briefly about the parts of those songs - verses and choruses.

  • We'll talk about what kind of songs they like - funny, animals, inanimate objects with human capabilities.

  • I will bring a partially started children's song or two. It might have a chorus and one verse.

  • The group will suggest ideas for the "story" or situation.

  • I will explain the rhythmic meter and rhyme scheme constraints that we have (from my start of the song)

  • Then the class will take their ideas and as a group create lines and verses.

  • I explain songwriting concepts of working backward from the "punch line" and or a good rhyme.

If a second session is desired (say the following week?) - the students will be asked to to think in advance of some good song subjects - and maybe even write a funny line or two about it. This time we'll create the song totally from scratch.





THUMP! (Grades 3-6) one 1 or 1.5 hour session
(a junior version of "Stomp©" or "rhythm band on steroids")

  • School will supply:
    Whiteboard and pens, chalkboard, or butcher paper taped to wall
    Any percussion instruments you may have (including pots, pans)
    At least one (clean) plastic trash can and one plastic wastebasket.
  • I will supply several tubs of percussion instruments from all over the world and some hand drums. This is where the class can extend by a half hour if you'd like me to demo & discuss the origin of some of them.
  • Negotiable Fee: $100
  • We will divide the class into 4 groups:
    "The Tub-Thumpers", "The Back-Beaters", "The Shing-Shings" & "The Conkers"

  • Each individual will be given an appropriate instrument for their group.

  • I will write a rhythm pattern down for each group on the board. They don't need to read music - I've devised a notation system that communicates to these grade levels (so long as they can count to 4!)

  • Here's where I usually need the teacher to help me keep everyone quiet while I work briefly with each group on their part.

  • Then we play it together - usually starting with the Tub-Thumpers and adding each group in turn.

  • We usually have time to get through at least three different rhythm patterns - and have a ton of fun.





Concert - The Attack of the Funny Songs (Grades K-6)
There are two versions of "Attack of the Funny Songs".
- 30 minute; one-classroom (maybe music class?); no sound system
- 45 minute: all-school in gym, auditorium, cafeteria with sound system and extra goodies.

  • For 45 minute version, school will provide overhead projector and screen or white wall. School may provide sound system for a reduced fee.
  • Negotiable Fees:
    - $75 for 30 minute single classroom.
    - $150 for 45 minute all-school (if school provides sound system)
    - $250 for 45 minute all-school (I provide sound system)
  • Songs are a mix of original and classic (but less-common) songs that kids of this age find pretty funny (find them pretty funny also).

  • There will be opportunities for them to join in on choruses, clap patterns, etc.

  • Certain songs have some interesting history that I will explain.

  • In the all-school version, there will be additional opportunities for participation, including asking for volunteers to help me on certain songs.

  • In the all-school version, I do more with props, visuals, and a couple very unique instruments.






LEGO® CITY (grades 2-3, 4-6) one 1.5 or 2.5 hour session (2 hours recommended)
O.K. so this isn't about music - but my son are I are master Lego-heads, and this workshop has worked very well.

  • School will supply:
    Two 30" x 6' or 30" x 8' tables (or equivalent)
    Tubs, buckets of loose Lego® bricks if you have a good quantity
  • I will supply:
    A loop of Lego® train track, power unit, a locomotive, and some train-car bases. I also will bring a few buildings from our Lego® city- to get your city started.
  • I also will supply tubs of loose Lego® if school does not have a goodly amount.
  • Negotiable Fee: $100-$200




  • I set up the basic track and power, the "starting buildings", and the train-car platforms on the tables you supply. Then the students come in - and I explain we have a start of a city and a train.

  • What else does our city need? The kids are usually very quick to jump in - e.g.: "It needs a restaurant" "It needs a park", "It needs some cars and trucks", "It needs the train cars finished"..

  • I usually try to get the kids paired up by the interests in what they want to create. This pairing helps them locate the pieces they want more quickly, and complete their creation(s).

  • The students are free to add their work to the city, as the complete them.

  • I can take some digital pictures of the city when done and leave them with you, if you'd like.

  • I provide encouragement, ideas, help locate parts, show them different ways that pieces can be used, etc.

  • Then the last 15 minutes or so we take it apart.




HIGH SCHOOL (Public, Private or Home School)
2 & 4 YEAR COLLEGE (Public or Private)


Songwriting Workshop and Adjudication (Ages 15 and up)
This workshop can be scheduled for 4 to 8 hours. It could be sponsored by a school, or a retail music store.

  • Venue/Sponsor can hopefully provide Whiteboard and pens, chalkboard, or butcher paper taped to wall. A piano or electric keyboard would be nice.
  • I will supply tape/CD player, guitar, keyboard at slight charge.
  • Negotiable fee - starting at $225
  • The basic premise is for beginning and intermediate songwriters to present one or two of their songs to the group (either played live or from a recording). The group (with me acting as a gentle "chief adjudicator" and moderator) will offer comments and suggestions.

  • We will frequently go off on tangents discussing specific songwriting elements and choices as those issues arise (melody; repetition; chord changes, turnarounds and transitions; tempo and time signatures; musical style; lyrical style; writing colorful and memorable lyrics; rhyming; song sections and structure; writer's block, and numerous tips and tricks.

  • 4-8 hour duration - somewhat dependent on class size (8 or less might make it in 4 hours)






Songwriting - Specific Focus Classes/Workshops
(Ages 15 and up)
These individual offerings are taken from my complete songwriting class. Each session focuses on a specific element of the songwriting process. I can best imagine them offered by a high school music department that can't afford the full class - or offered as a "special" by a musical organization or retail store.

  • Session enrollment should be limited to no more than 15 people.
  • At least some experience in writing would be advantageous, but not required.
  • Negotiable Fee - $150 for 1.5 hour sessions- $250 for 2.5 hour sessions
    (discounts available if you arrange for 3 or more of sessions)
  • Tools of the Trade - 1.5 hours

  • Words or Music / Starting with a Subject or Theme - 1.5 hours

  • Finding that Lyrical or Melodic Hook - 2.5 hours

  • Shorter chord Progressions - for a song section - 1.5 hours

  • Using Rhyme - 1.5 hours

  • Your Lyrical "Style" / using Literary Devices - 2.5 hours

  • Putting it Together - Song Sections & Structures - 2.5 hours

  • Stuck? - Tips and Methods for Finishing the Lyrics - 2.5 hours

  • Matching Melody to Chords (and vice versa) - 2.5 hours

  • Chord Progressions - Turnarounds, Transitions - 1.5 hours

  • Refining and Editing - 1.5 hours

  • Writer's Block? - 1.5 hours

  • Writing Songs for Specific Applications - 1.5 hours

  • Recording and Performance Tips - 1.5 hours



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