Festival of the Arts Oct 24-26, Music, Songwriting Workshop, Uncategorized

SONGWRITING: FOTA Workshop by David Newland

Ever dreamed of writing a song? Or perhaps you’ve done songwriting and want a refresher? Learn from a pro!

Book your spot in musician and songwriter David Newland’s workshop at the Festival of the Arts on October 26th. (It’s only $25!)

Blog Photo - FOTA David Newland 2

We asked David some simple questions that you might want answers to.

Here goes:

Q1: What can participants expect to get from your workshop?

Participants can expect to engage informally about how songs FEEL — as opposed to how they sound. What moves us about songs? I’ll have participants give examples of well known songs and we’ll talk about how they work. I’ll also use examples about how I use certain tools or techniques to convey feeling in songs. 

Q2: Do you have to be able to read/write music to take the workshop?

You don’t have to know anything about music at all! EVERYONE who enjoys music especially anyone who is particularly moved by songs is welcome. Artists working in other genres, and those curious about the creative process in general would also benefit from the workshop.  

Q3: What do you expect participants to bring to the workshop (writing implements, attitudes, etc?)

Nothing is required to attend the workshop, but paper and pen for taking notes are welcome, and if participants wish to bring a recording of a song on a mobile device for consideration/discussion that’s welcome too within the limits of the available time attention.

Blog Photo - SOTH Festival Performers

Q4: What song-writing have you done and how do you feel about it?

I wrote my first song 30 years ago, and I’ve probably written several hundred songs since then. I’ve made five albums. The most recent one, NORTHBOUND, was recorded live in Cobourg a year ago, and released at Victoria Hall last spring. It’s currently on the folk charts on a number of different radio stations across the country.

Something happens at a very deep level when feelings, images, words and music come together. Creativity is a miraculous process. And songs are a unique art form. They must be experienced in time– over the course of three or four minutes–but have the ability to remove the listener to another time and situation entirely. To make music and to play and sing music is a spiritual thing, and yet its methods are in some ways deeply practical. It has certain qualities in common with wood carving, photography, carpentry as well as the more obvious forms like poetry and playwriting. 

And I feel very strongly that despite its mysteries, the art of songwriting is available and accessible to people who have the ability to hear and be moved by songs.

Blog Photo - FOTA DavidNewland with guitar by PeterCroal
Photo by Peter Croal

Many of my songs arise as responses to landscapes. The picture above is from a recent trip to the Arctic, where many of my songs come from.

To find out more about David’s or other FOTA workshops, please visit:


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