Getting Involved in Your Local Songwriting Community
By Dewey Longuski
Being a part of a global songwriting organization like the NSAI is, no doubt, a great way for songwriters to connect with other like-minded creatives. All it takes is a few clicks on your smartphone or computer to be "in the room" with co-writers on the other side of the world or attending one of the many NSAI online events (i.e. workshops, pitch-to-publisher opportunities, one-on-one mentoring sessions, etc.). However, there is something special about growing your craft right where you live as part of a vibrant songwriting community. So, regardless, if you live in a large city like Nashville or near a small town in Mid-Michigan - here are a few tried and true ways to connect with others who share your passion for songwriting.
NSAI Regional Chapters: There are over 100 NSAI regional chapters located throughout the world including the United States, Canada, the UK, and South Africa. Most chapters meet monthly and are always open to adding new members to their groups.
TIP 1: Find your nearest NSAI chapter on the NSAI website under the "Regional Chapters" tab.
NSAI Member Directory (members-only): Even if there is not an NSAI regional chapter in your area, you can connect with other NSAI members near you by searching the NSAI Member Directory. Not only can you search by proximity, but you also have the option to narrow your search by genre, songwriting strengths, etc. You can then use the NSAI messaging system to contact nearby members.
TIP 2: Be sure to check the "Yes, I would like to be listed in the members-only directory" box on your profile page so that others can connect with you as well!
TIP 3: Be sure to check the "Receive email notification for incoming private messages" to make sure you never miss a message from a fellow NSAI member.
Open Mics: There has been a pleasantly surprising rise in the number of open mics and songwriter showcases springing up in cities and towns over the last few years. Local coffee houses and pubs seem to be the most common places to find these events. Church halls, restaurants, and music stores are also becoming more popular host venues. Most local papers and town websites highlight them in their music sections so check them out!
Tip 4: Be prepared to collect and give out your contact information from the songwriters you meet.
Music Stores: Another sure-fire way to connect with local songwriters is to visit the music stores in your area. Talk to the staff and let them know that you are interested in connecting with other songwriters.
TIP 5: Ask the manager/owner if you can leave your contact information with them to pass along to other songwriters who may visit their store.
Getting involved in a local songwriting community is a great way to stay inspired and truly learn from the talents and experiences of others in a more personal setting. Also, every local songwriter you meet expands your network and is a potential co-writer down the road. So take the time to find and join established songwriting groups in your area and, if there are none to be found, take the initiative to start one yourself!
Contact Dewey if you would like to learn more about starting or growing a songwriting community where you live.