, , , , , ,


I’ll be using information and exercises from this book in class. 

Registration is open for my Loft youth class Sounding Off: Writing About Music. Class will be held every day Monday-Friday from 1-2:30 p.m. Aug. 1-5. The class meets at The Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave. South in Minneapolis. Teens ages 15-17 are invited to register.

Here’s the course description:

Music captivates us and makes us see the world in new ways. We’re drawn to the beats, the lyrics, and to a musician’s overall persona. There’s no better way to express our appreciation and knowledge of music than to write about it and share it with others.

Music journalism thrives in today’s social media environment, with blogs and online magazines offering unprecedented publishing opportunities for the beginning music critic. This class will show you how to write professionally about music, focusing on album/song reviews and concert reviews. You’ll discover how to leverage the power of social media to network with other music critics and musicians and find places to publish your work. You’ll also learn how to pitch your music journalism to editors and bloggers.

At the end of each class, there will be a short take-home “assignment” for you to complete before the next class. At home, you may be asked to further develop writing you started in class or read published music criticism articles. You will bring your work to class where we will share and discuss.

Registration information is here.

Music has been a big part of my life and though my published writing has focused on other topics thus far, I find myself gravitating more toward writing about music. I’m particularly interested in how we respond to music. One essay that I’m just starting contemplates the unique sound that comes from bands north of the 44th parallel. Since I’m a Minnesotan, obviously I love music that comes out of Minneapolis, but I’m also partial to Wisconsin bands (Violent Femmes, Field Report) and am completely in love with Scottish bands or bands from northern England. There’s something dark, honest, and raw about that music, people conveying in lyrics and sound things they would never dare simply say.

I’m eager to teach teens the ins and outs of how to position themselves as smart, intelligent critics of music. Please spread the word if you know any interested teens in the Twin Cities metro area!