Park City-based songwriter will share the love of her craft
To register for Mary Beth Maziarz’ songwriting camps, which will be held July 9-12, and July 30 through Aug. 2, visit www.marybethmusic.com.
Park City-based singer and songwriter Mary Beth Maziarz wants to share her love of songwriting with the community.
So the award-winning composer will facilitate two songwriting workshops in July.
The first will be an emerging songwriters camp from July 9-12. The second will be an intermediate and advanced songwriters camp from July 30 through Aug. 2.
“I call them coaching camps because most of the time the students end up instructing me about what is current in pop culture, and how they are seeing the world,” said Maziarz, whose music has been heard in more than 60 films and TV shows, including “Dawson’s Creek,” “Everwood,” “Party of Five,” “Joan of Arcadia” and “Broken Hearts Club.” “So it all becomes a circuit of give-and-take, and I hope they will show me what inspires them.”
The emerging songwriters camp is designed for ages 11 to 14.
“It’s for those who have an interest in writing songs or exploring songwriting,” Maziarz said. “It’s also for those who have always wanted to write songs or for people who have written some poetry and noticed that they have an interest in adding their own content into the musical world.”
The curriculum will cover song structure, the basics of lyric writing, finding a musical voice, stage etiquette and introductory performance skills.
“I hope to create a path for the students to see some of the ways songwriting has been done in the past, and how, over 100 years, the ear has evolved to expect a certain structure of lyrics,” Maziarz said.
The songwriters don’t need to know how to play instruments to participate in the camps.
“There are ways to write songs, especially in today’s technological terrain, without using an instrument,” she said. “There are some famous songwriters who are only lyricists, or who can only hum how they want the song to go.”
Still, it’s nice if some of the campers do play instruments.
“That way, they can use that tool, and maybe inspire the others who don’t play to dedicate some time learning,” Maziarz said.
The days will start with a lesson, then the campers will participate in songwriting exercises in groups, partnerships or by themselves.
After the exercises, the class will reconverge to share some of the creations.
“We’ll do this so we can grow together, even if some of the people are a little more advanced than the others,” Maziarz said.
The intermediate and advanced songwriting camp that will be held later in the month is for songwriters ages 14 to adult.
“This camp is a terrific spot for you if you already know the basics, and maybe have performed a bit,” Maziarz said. “It’s also for people who have been songwriting for a while and want to move to the next level. And we will provide an environment where that can happen.”
The class will review the rules of songwriting and learn when and how to break them, according to Maziarz, who has released seven award-winning albums and a book, “Kick-Ass Creativity,” which is a guide on how people can raise their art and production a notch.
Songwriters will also identify vocal and instrumental strengths, learn how to infuse lyrics with deeper meaning, and connect with audiences quickly and easily, she said.
“We’ll work on tone and pitch, performance, expressing vulnerability, power and learning about other nuances of songwriting,” Maziarz said.
As an added bonus, class members will address the logistics of how to book gigs, when and how to record songs and promoting their musical projects.
“I know one way of how to do all this, but in the modern world, there are so many other ways,” she said. “So this will be a case when I’ll get to learn things as well.”
Many of the lessons taught in these camps come from Maziarz’s personal journey that includes participating in Planet Bluegrass’ Song School in Lyons, Colorado, as well as participating in a song camp and performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
She also participated in a songwriting workshop at the Sundance Institute with Jimmy Webb, Melissa Manchester and Margaret Whiting.
Both Maziarz’s emerging songwriting and intermediate and advanced camps are scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
Participants should bring a sack lunch, water bottle and an instrument, if applicable.
Maziarz will also provide snacks.
“I’ll make sure I take care of everyone,” she said.
Maziarz knows the schedule may be challenging for some people to follow.
“This especially pertains to adults who have day jobs,” she said. “We can work other schedules options, because I live in Park City.”
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