1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

One of the challenges that I have faced in my mentor sessions, like I said in my previous blog post, is that songwriting is an extremely personal thing. Claire can give me small suggestions about my song, tips on things I can improve/expand/shrink, explain her songwriting process etc. but, similar to writing a story, songwriting is hard to critique because songwriting is usually based on personal experiences so if she started to rewrite my song it would mean something totally different and the meaning would be completely changed because she never experienced all of my personal experiences. She could have possibly had similar experiences, but no two people are the exact same so no two people will have the exact same meaning for song lyrics.

  1. What is working well? Why?

I think that both our passion for music/theatre, as well as her and my openness to share our songwriting processes and the stories behind songs we’ve written is working very well. I can learn a lot from listening to Claire share her experience with songwriting and how important that is to her. From learning about her personal experiences I can apply that to how I write songs. Lately I’ve found it challenging to be able to come up with lyrics for songs even though I have lots of ideas for various songs I would like to write. By learning about why Claire has written her previous songs can help me think about similar experiences in my life and those can be the start of my brainstorm sessions.

  1. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

I think I could improve by trying to schedule our next mentor session during the previous mentor session so that we can both plan our busy schedules around our already scheduled mentor session. This will hopefully prevent me trying to reschedule my other commitments last minute in order to fit in a mentor session. This would mean that I have to know my schedule at least two weeks in advance and would encourage more organization in other extra-curricular activities that I am enrolled in.

I have been having difficulties thinking about lyrics for the duet I want to write. So far, I haven’t thought of a “better” (more inspiring to myself?) topic that I want to write about so I’m trying to focus on the topic “written in the stars” and fate. Implementing the skills and abilities I have learnt from zip, I did some free writes on this topic and have been editing my free writes and trying to pick out pieces and edit them to see what segments I could possibly use as song lyrics. I think I am having such a hard a time because I want my son lyrics to be more subtle rather than explicitly stating the story. My first song was easier because I let myself be okay with just explicitly telling the story. However, for this song I would like to challenge myself to think of more poetic lyrics. This is difficult as I have never really taken to writing poems with earnest. Although, it has been a fun challenge trying to edit my ideas into song lyrics that don’t explicitly share the story. Our recent study on Romeo and Juliet has been helping me with this because Romeo and Juliet is a very poetic story, most of which I won’t understand if I don’t think about each line. Although I don’t want my song to be that challenging to understand, my goal is to have to make people think about it. I am going to be starting planning the layout of my song. This is a critical part for me because I have a hard time editing things once I think they are done, which I am working on fixing. I hope that through free writing I can overcome writers block. I am also going to be starting to research more about poetic devices as I believe that songwriting is an extended part of poetry. Currently my knowledge about poetry is quite limited. Like I said in my first blog post Tori and I wrote a ballad as our final project in our English class last year. We studied the song structure of a few different ballads so I have learnt a bit about what a ballad usually has. Mr. Morris provided us with a list of literary devices at the beginning of the year so I will be studying each of those in further depth in the next couple days so that I can hopefully use them throughout my songs.

Image Courtesy of icmp.ac

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