Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold Announces Songwriting Class
He's teaching the four-week workshop for School of Song
Published Nov 19, 2021If you've ever wanted songwriting lessons from Robin Pecknold, this is your moment. The Fleet Foxes frontman has announced that he'll be teaching a four-week online songwriting workshop for School of Song.
He'll do lectures, live question-and-answer sessions, and will presumably be grading his student's assignments and/or songs, and the course will run from January 16 to February 6, 2022.
In an Instagram post, School of Song broke down Pecknold's class:
Process & Manifestos: In this class, we're going to take a look at the full life-cycle of a song's creation: how to come up with musical and lyrical ideas, achieving consistency by establishing a musical vision early on, and understanding the many different hats we have to wear as songwriters.
Melody & Lyrics: Stravinsky once said that melody is the only aspect of music that can't be taught, but in this class we'll give it our best shot, looking at various means of melodic development, the importance of rhythm to memorability, interval relationships, utilizing extensions and common tones, and techniques for writing melodies that accommodate harmonization. We will also explore the relationship between melody and lyrics.
Utilizing musical 'technologies' for defamiliarization: A song can (and should) start from anything, be it an unfamiliar instrument, a new plug-in or app, a strange tuning or harmonic mode, a YouTube video, a sample, or any number of things. In this class we'll discuss the difference between songcraft and the employment of these novel technologies, and the importance of both to the creative process.
Attention & Novelty: How can we best rise to the occasion of maintaining a listener's attention? We'll discuss this question at many timescales: over the course of a song, throughout an album, & over an entire career. We'll talk about solving the problem of managing expectations and surprise. We'll also explore the closely related topic of novelty (both to ourselves as creators and others as listeners).
The course costs a genuinely reasonable $120, and you can sign up here. Pecknold seems pretty passionate about learning in general, as he famously took time off from Fleet Foxes a few years back to enroll in Columbia University. Most recently, he featured on Big Red Machine's How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last? and was spotted in the studio with Post Malone and Kanye West.
See a post from the Fleet Foxes Instagram page announcing Pecknold's class below.