Song School

Yep, there’s such a thing as Song School. I didn’t believe it either til a friend told me I needed to go. Last month was my second year at Rocky Mountain Song School in Colorado and I have to say I’m completely hooked. I’ve learned tons of new tools for my craft, as well as tips on music marketing, instrument maintenance, tour booking, how to get songs into film, and you name it - they teach it. But this year was a little different…

Unlike my first year where I knew no one and kinda felt like a curious outsider peeping in, this time I felt like I was actually a part of the community and that was nice. On top of having the friends I made at Song School last year and the familiar faces of teachers and random classmates, I also had friends from my home city Oakland, CA join me. It was way more fun to know people and be seen. In fact, world’s apart from my first year where I noticed lots of 'song circles’ going on  (where musicians circle-up and play each other their original songs)  and I was way too intimidated to walk up and join, this year I was in three!

I was even invited into a song circle that included some rather elite, award-winning songwriters. After hearing some honest-to-God masterpieces, I couldn’t believe I was actually there sharing my song with this crowd. It was around midnight and I had a little bit of a sore throat so I was incredibly worried my voice would crack or I’d forget the words out of sheer nervousness. But I pulled it off, and one of the musicians in the circle - who happened to be one of my teachers the previous year, as well as the winner of the big song competition, as well as a performer on the main stage of the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival - told me I had an '‘enchanting voice'‘ in front of the whole circle. I nearly fainted.

So I was in songwriter heaven basically. Can’t wait to go back. In the meantime, I finished a song I’ve been struggling with for a whole year, using the tools I learned from Song School within just four days of getting back home. Hallelujah, this stuff works. Hit me up if you’d like to come check it out. No prior songwriting experience necessary.

Jesse Strickman