Music Workshop has students develop creativity through songwriting

Music Workshop is a more recent course opened up in BG, the course being around for two years. In this class, students are able to produce music in Garageband, learn an instrument and much more. 

“We’ve had students do songwriting and some students will focus on the creation of digital music,” Music Workshop teacher Elizabeth Bennett said. 

When it comes to music and songs in general, many students tend to resonate with it. Whether it be a lyric or the theme of the song, it all helps connect students to enjoy an aspect of the entire song. 

Songwriting opens up new ideas,” junior Brandon Puga said. “When writing lyrics, you may come up with a theme that’s eccentric or crazy. There’s no rules for songwriting for the structure, melody and tempo. Freedom is what helps people create.”

Puga has been songwriting since the end of his freshman year and is taking Music Workshop. He also started to play the ukulele during his sophomore year. His themes focus on many different topics, such as self love to a breakup. He used to post his music on social media platforms, such as Spotify or Soundcloud. He doesn’t post anymore because he gets self conscious about his work and is a perfectionist. 

According to Puga, this class is  project based. Students learn by getting feedback from their peers in the form of an evaluation sheet. Students get graded on how creative they are and how productive they are each week and the songs get rated on how meaningful and creative they are. At the end of the semester the students show off the song that each of them worked on. Each semester they write three to four songs. Bennett had a lesson in songwriting, where the students gave each other tips and tricks for writing songs.

“Every person might have their own process that they use,” Bennett said. “That’s part of what makes the creative process so wonderful.”

According to Bennett, she wants to help out bring out the strength and weakness when it comes to writing a song. When students are in groups, they are able to help each other out. As an example, one student is better at writing lyrics and the other student is better at coming up with a melody. 

Some students also use music and songwriting as a coping mechanism. According to sophomore Josh Davis-Cordero, he is able to vent through his songwriting. He is also currently taking the class. 

“It shows what kind of emotions you have at the time and how to deal with it,” Davis-Cordero said. 

According to Davis-Cordero, he likes to write indie and hip hop music. He feels that with writing songs, he’s become a more confident person. He also feels that he’s found new ways to write music and believes that he has become a lot better. Another aspect that Davis-Cordero enjoys is how his classmates have a different type of style when creating lyrics for a song.

“I’ve learned what people like and I’ve learned what people don’t like,” Davis-Cordero said. 

Music Workshop overall has helped students boost their songwriting and their creative aspects. They have gained respect for each other and feel more connected to music than before.  

“Don’t be scared to do what you love,” Puga said. “It’s important to continue doing something that you might become really good at.”