Learning they say is the key to growth and Insight. Everyday life presents us with opportunities to learn something. Man is constantly on a journey of Learning Unlearning and relearning.
The day one stops learning is the day one starts dying.I am constantly on the look out for such opportunities to learn and few weeks ago or thereabout I had the privilege of attending a Songwriter’s Masterclass with one of the greatest mind in Christian Contemporary music field.
John is widely known for his songs recorded by artists such as Ron Kenoly,the Gaither band, Steve Green and many more.A long time music industry professional in music publishing,artist development,Songwriter and producer roles for over 200 projects.A popular clinician in the area of worship for many years,has appeared in every major denominational church setting and non-denominational venues like Music California,Music Minnesota,The Gospel music associations academy for christian music arts and the list goes on :). When people like John holds a Masterclass for Singers/Songwriters you don’t want to miss it for anything!
John Chisum has great love for international ministry and is well -travel through Europe and Africa,it was the passion for international ministry that brought him to Nigeria a few weeks back.The Songwriters masterclass with John Chisum will go down in history for me,as one of the best musician masterclasses I ever attended because He shared from his experiences as a Christian and as professional musician,sometimes it is clearly difficult to differentiate those two identities here.
One of the mark of great leaders or teachers is when they are willing to share about their high and low moments in life and career,in other to help others along their path to gain insights and wisdom to be able manage situations when they are faced with such crisis..and John did that. I will love to share some of the Insights he shared with us in the class.
One of the dynamics of a Songwriter/Singer is to first know and Understand that we are CREATIVE ARTISTES- Pregnant with creativity and we ought to always be in the place of constant receptivity. Whether as a songwriter or singer or a musician in general terms,we need to become so overwhelmed and overpowered that we bring into our world what is in the mind of the Father. Our purpose as Christians is to be change agent with our words and our songs.
We can write artistic songs containing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Experience Craft-manship is such that we start with an idea capturing in bits and pieces and putting it all together in sequences such thatit is embraced by the world.
The Importance of uniqueness can not be over emphasized-even though imitating others is a good way to learn,it is not the ultimate of what God and how God wants to express through us. So embrace your uniqueness ,because God can take what is very specific to you and give it to the world. As I write this post I am listening to Kirk Whalum’s gospel according to jazz 2.It is so beautiful to see how he fuses Jazz soul and RnB together to bring about a blend that is uniquely his own,also share the message of the Gospel to all and sundry.
SONGWRITING is like any other discipline you have to practice to become accomplished,you have to develop the muscle that allow you to become a proficient writer. learn the craft of songwriting such as musicianship,harmony,rhythm,melody understanding what it takes to write lyrics because ultimately everyone will judge you by the lyrics.
It is very important to have the end in mind, asking yourself the question, who will care about your song in a 100 years time is critical to the component of your musicianship.It is not just about being the “rave of the moment “, but leaving legacies behind after you are gone with and through your music.
Tapping into your creative self is one of the most important component of a Songwriter/Singer regardless of your belief.It is the ability to resource the sum total of your experience,finding your true identity,your fundamental self that you may or may not be aware of. Using your God-given imagination.
When you find the true motive for what you do,desire will balance it for you.
With a rewrite, a good song can become a great song and with a rewrite a great song can become a classic. This is the art of the matter.