Local songwriters will host a song-share session | ParkRecord.com

Local songwriters will host a song-share session

Event is a safe place for all levels of musicians

Local singer and songwriter Bill McGinnis works with fellow Parkite and singer-songwriter Elizabeth Hareza on song-share sessions. The next one will be held on Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Park City Library. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

Sometimes songwriters get nervous when someone critiques their music.

That’s why Park City-based singer and songwriters Elizabeth Hareza and Bill McGinnis have established song-share sessions.

“Every month, we get together and have songwriters share the songs they’ve been working on,” Hareza told The Park Record. “We go around the room and each take turns playing a song and then open things up to conversation.”

The group will talk about the song for about five minutes or so, and move to the next person.

“We first point out what we like about the song and then add some ideas that will make the song better, whether it’s a chord change or a lyric change,” Hareza said. “It’s an open feedback session, but we also want people to feel comfortable receiving and giving critiques.”

The next Park City song-share session will be from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, in room 101 at the Park City Library, 1255 Park Ave.

The event is free and open to songwriters and the public.

“We would love people who aren’t songwriters to come as well,” Hareza said. “But we want to emphasize that this is a listening event. It’s not a place to pass your business cards around.”

Participating songwriters should bring five to 10 copies of lyrics, as well as paper, writing utensils and open minds and ears.

“We also ask people to leave their egos at home and treat each other with respect during the song share,” Hareza said. “This is a safe place for people to share their art, and art is a sensitive and personal thing.”

The song share is for all levels of songwriters from beginners to professionals.
“The idea is to make it something for everyone, no matter where they are in their writing,” Hareza said. “It’s also for songwriters of different styles — pop, folk, rock.

“There are many people who feel like they aren’t songwriters, but I tell anyone who has composed a sentence or written poetry that they can certainly be songwriters,” she said. “There’s nothing to it, but a passion for something to say.”

The song share is also a place for nonsongwriters to listen.

Park City-based songwriter Elizabeth Hareza, pictured, is a facilitator of a monthly song-share sessions that give all levels of songwriters a safe place to get feedback on how to improve their songs. (Photo by Jessica Jex Photography)

“Nonsongwriters are also encouraged to bring paper and writing utensils and open minds and ears,” Hareza said. “If we have time, we’ll have them give feedback as well, but we would love people to come and get a feel for what we’re doing. This is a listening event, and we would love people to join us and get inspired. Maybe next time they can bring their own songs.”

As moderator, Hareza will keep the sessions moving forward and be sure the songwriters won’t end the session feeling discouraged.

“That’s why we tell people to leave their egos at home,” she said. “Of course people who come will want to get to know you and your music, but it’s not really a place to plug the music. The main focus is to create a safe environment for people to better their songs and interact with others.”

RSVPs aren’t necessary, but do help Hareza and McGinnis with logistics.

“They just give us a heads up, because sometimes we’ll bring some snacks,” Hareza said. “However, when people RSVP, they can ask me questions about the song share.”

A free songwriters song share will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Park City Library, Room 101. RSVP by emailing Elizabeth Hareza at elizabethlivemusic@gmail.com or Bill McGinnis at billmcginnismusic@gmail.com.

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