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Cosy Sheridan Workshops

"Cosy is one of our finest practitioners of songwriting. She has the rare gift of being able to meet other songwriters where they are and elevate their art while sharing critical elements of her own art. Take any opportunity to engage with Cosy."
- Mike Simpson, California Coast Music Camp

Would you like to host a songwriting workshop? Choose an afternoon workshop or a two-day experience—or maybe come spend a week with me at Moab Folk Camp or any of the other adult music camps where I currently teach.


"Songwriting Games"
As songwriters, we often approach songwriting as a serious business. What if it was a game? Here’s a chance to open the window and let a fresh breeze blow through.  What happens when we remove our critic from the equation? Maybe we find beginner’s mind, and a little surprise inside the box to take home. Every day we’ll have a new game. We’ll try song mash-ups, parodies, maybe a guided meditation or a 3-legged race to the sappiest love song. We’ll find the deepest and the most playful parts of our psyche. 

"Digging Down Deep"
This class is for students interested in digging down deep with one (maybe two) songs during the week. We might start with a guided meditation or a discussion of what each student would like to write about. Every day we’ll meet and workshop our song. We’ll have the opportunity and time to try different directions with our song, and then see if that was the right road to walk down by playing it for the group. This will be a safe place to try out some new ideas! We’ll be able to learn from watching other students’ songs evolve over the week as well as our own.


This will be a place to workshop what you're working on—to see what's working in your song and what's not. We'll create a safe space in which to bring our new creations to light. We'll also look at the tools of the craft: rhyme, lyric, melody and meter. What might bring more forward energy to your story? How can you heighten the tension and thereby increase the release? How do you know if your song is "working"?



"Songwriting: If you've always wanted to try it (but haven't yet)" 
Have you always wanted to try writing a song? Here's the place to give it a try! We will look at the two aspects of writing a song: inspiration and craft. They're both important—sometimes in different amounts in different songs. We'll look at some of the tools for the craft: lyric, rhyme, melody and meter. And we'll do some fun in-class exercises to see what might inspire us. Creativity is a muscle - it gets stronger the more you use it!



"Performance: The Art and Craft of Being Present"
Performance is a technical skill and creative art. We need the technical part: to know how to enter and where to stand and how to use the microphone.  But we also need to know how to fill a room with our presence – which is a creative act. We can approach our time on stage as a journey: a process of discovering what is distinct about ourselves and then distilling it into an essence that is potent enough to reach across the footlights and touch another person’s life. If we can see our performance as an act of mindfulness, of Being Present In The Moment, then our performance becomes a spiritual gift



"The Right Hand Drives the Song"
If we are a singer-songwriter with a guitar the first notes of our song are often the guitar – either a strum or a picked string. We tell our audience a lot about the emotional tone of the song from the way we play the opening chords or riff. We might play delicately or really lean in; both telegraph a mood. In this class, we’ll look at what our right hand is doing. Are we getting the most we can out of our guitar?  Are we losing power because of how we’re holding our hand? Would a pick give us more leverage with the string? We’ll learn a percussive picking pattern and two strums which use a flat pick: a basic country strumming pattern, and a swing-style pattern. We’ll try these rhythms with some folk or pop songs, and then we’ll look at each student’s songs and see how we can get the engine going! (Bring a flat pick and a thumb pick.)

"Intro to Open Tunings and Partial Capos"
What does DADGAD stand for? Why do I need a partial capo?  These are ways to get new sounds from our guitar! This week we’ll learn three open tunings and the basics of how to use partial capos. By the end of the week, we’ll know how to play some simple songs—and maybe our own songs!—in open tunings and with a partial capo.