As I approach the three month mark of my internship, I’ve started to write more original songs and learn about the recording process. It’s definitely been challenging; I’ve written a few songs during college, but besides that, don’t have very much experience. Thankfully, I have two very experienced supervisors who have been writing and recording songs for years and they have been helping me along the way.
I’ve realized that it is important to be able to write your own songs or at least be able to adapt a familiar tune so that a song and it’s musical elements can better target a client’s needs. Writing songs is so useful because songs can be written for any instrument and they can target specific goals/objectives for a client. Also, it’s also helpful being able to successfully adapt a client-preferred song in order to target a specific goal. I didn’t realize the importance and the value of this skill until my internship. That being said, I thought I’d give you an intern’s perspective of song writing and share some simple tips that I have learned these past ten weeks!
It’s best to keep things simple. This is probably the biggest thing that I have learned these past few weeks. When writing a song, I’ve learned that writing too much as well as making things too complicated can defeat the purpose of writing a song based on a goal. During the song writing process, I always write down the goal on the top of the page and I make sure that each lyric is simple and serves a purpose for the goal. Also, during a session, all attention should be on the client. That being said, I make sure that the chord structure as well as the melody is simple so that I don’t have to think about a complex melody when I’m singing and playing.
Also, I’ve recently learned that it’s important to think about facilitation and adaptation when writing a new song. Since I’ve been writing songs for a project, I’ve been asking myself how I can facilitate this song in a clinical setting and will it be effective? I also try to think about how a song can be adapted within a session. Not every song needs to be or should be adaptable, but I like to keep adaptability in mind. A few weeks ago, I wrote a song for rhythm sticks that targets the ability to follow multi-step directions. After using the song with a client, I realized that it was not very adaptable, especially if I needed to adapt the lyrics on the spot to fit the client’s needs.
I’ve just started on this song writing journey and I still have so much to learn, but so far, it’s been a lot of fun!
Thanks for reading my reflections!