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Grantown musician launches new songwriting course

By Gavin Musgrove

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Findlay Napier and Boo Hewerdine. Photo by Elly Lucas
Findlay Napier and Boo Hewerdine. Photo by Elly Lucas

Acclaimed musicians Boo Hewerdine and Findlay Napier have announced a new series of songwriting workshops that will be open to all following the huge success of their recent first series.

The Bird on a Wire songwriting courses were originally funded by Creative Scotland and give musicians in Scotland, whose livelihoods had been hit by the Covid pandemic, the opportunity to develop their skills.

With the original three five-day online courses eight times oversubscribed, Grantown's Findlay and his friend Boo have now announced a selection of paid-for workshops this spring that anyone can book and join.

Starting at £250, the courses are uniquely immersive and cover lyrics, meter, rhyming, prosody, writing techniques and look at interesting melodies and compositional methods.

Participants also have the opportunity to have one-to-one sessions with both Fin and Boo and enjoy a masterclass with a guest speaker who has rich songwriting experience.

Previous guests include Beth Neilsen Chapman, Karine Polwart, Mary Gauthier and Chris Difford.

Boo said: “It was fantastic to see such a big appetite for the Bird on a Wire songwriting sessions so we’re delighted to expand our offering and welcome more people from near and far and a variety of backgrounds onto the course.

"Our ethos is that we believe you come to us as a songwriter full of ideas and we want to help provide you with the tools to compliment your own skills and aspirations.”

Findlay commented: “We try to provide a welcoming and open environment for everyone on the course and would really encourage anyone who’s thinking about coming along to take the leap.

"The classes are incredibly rewarding and having the opportunity to discuss your goals with us, network with other songwriters and meet some notable guest speakers is a unique opportunity and often the start of an exciting journey.”

Previous Bird on a Wire participant Tom Cooper was passionate about the course and said: “It was a life-changing week: challenging and empowering in equal measure. The timetable of tasks was demanding but there was also flexibility in response to our needs.

"The course has had an immediate effect on how I write and the way I think about writing, and also introduced and welcomed me into a new, diverse community of inspiration and connection with other songwriters.”

To find out more visit www.birdonawire.info.

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