What you can expect at NSAI Thursday Night Workshops

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In observance of Memorial Day to honor all of those who have sacrificed for our country, NSAI will be closed on Monday, May 27th, 2019.

Interested in the purpose for each of our Thursday night workshops? Read below for more information on how each Thursday night event works, what kinds of content you can expect and how to prepare for pitch and networking opportunities! 



Pitch To Publisher Workshop:
Many Music Row publishers credit NSAI with first introducing them to writer’s they eventually signed.  Successful songwriters spend years attending events, playing open mic nights, co-writing and doing all of the things necessary to find commercial success, if that is their goal.  Songwriting is a tough profession, competition is fierce and publishing deals are rare.  Multiple award-winning songwriters have started their journey right here in this room. If you are new to NSAI, this is what you can expect while attending our Pitch to Publisher workshops:

  • You can meet potential co-writers. Professional songwriters find their success with other writers and artists they meet on the way up.  If you hear a song you admired, there is an opportunity to meet others in our lobby after this session.   However, co-writing is like dating - there's the occasional mismatches and sometimes the co-writing relationship works. Persistence is part of the equation so don’t be disappointed if other members don’t respond.
  • Prior to the pitch to publisher workshop, read about the publisher in our workshop calendar to understand what they are looking for and the trends of their particular genre(s). During the pitch session, take the opportunity to hear each song through a publisher’s point of view. Pay attention to the songs they “take,” the feedback they give (if any) and ask yourself why they chose or didn’t choose particular songs.  Professional songwriting is a career of mostly NO’s.  Don’t take it personally if a publisher doesn’t take your song.  Use tonight as a learning exercise. If they do take your song, congratulations and use that opportunity to craft more songs that are pitch-ready.

How Pitch To Publisher works:
Everyone is expected to wait in line until doors open at 5:15pm. You’ll be asked to sign a consent form and provide lyrics and a copy of your song accessible on a CD or your phone. Also remember to bring your membership card. 

This workshop is “first come, first played,” and it will begin with a few announcements then the pitch session will promptly begin at 5:45pm and cut off time for the workshop is 7/7:30pm. The publisher will listen to a small part of your song.  They cannot listen to the entire song, as professionals are just like fans, they can judge a lot about a song in just the first few seconds. If you’re song is taken, membership representatives on staff will make a note of your name. Please take a card from reception before you leave - it will have further instructions about where to send an mp3 of your song to our guest publisher. If the publisher passes on your song, do not disrupt the session to ask the publisher why your song wasn’t chosen. Remember it is NSAI’s responsibility to offer you these opportunities to grow as a songwriter while providing a realistic interpretation of how the music industry operates. 

Song Feedback Workshop:
Song Feedback workshops provide the opportunity to receive. Contrary from Pitch-To-Publisher workshops, this is NOT a pitch session but rather a professional opinion from a guest who has years of experience with songs and the music industry.  It is possible you could get on our guest’s radar.  Many top songwriters began their careers with NSAI.  This workshop provides an opportunity to get a professional’s attention.  You can also meet potential co-writers.  Professional songwriters find their success with other writers and artist they meet on the way up.  If you hear a song you admired, there is an opportunity to meet others in our lobby after this session. Music industry professionals talk. When they hear a talented writer, they tell their colleagues.  Successful songwriters spend years attending events like this one, playing open mic nights, co-writing and doing the things necessary to find commercial success, if that is their goal.  Songwriting is a tough profession, competition is fierce and publishing deals are rare.  Use every opportunity to become a better writer and to integrate yourself into this industry. However, co-writing is like dating.  There is lots of rejection, mismatches and weird experiences.   Persistence is part of the equation so don’t be disappointed if other members don’t respond. Make note of your song feedback as well as that of your peers. The purpose of this workshop is to prep for pitch ready material and move further along in your songwriting craft. How Song Feedback works: Everyone is expected to wait in line until doors open at 5:15pm. You’ll be asked to sign a consent form and provide lyrics and a copy of your song accessible on a CD or your phone. Remember this is NOT a pitch session so be sure to collect your materials before you leave. This workshop is “first come, first played,” and it will begin with a few announcements then the workshop will promptly begin at 5:45pm. Please also bring your Member ID card. Cut off time for the workshop is 7/7:30pm. Expect the guest to listen to just the first verse and chorus of your song. They may or may not listen to the entire song, and professionals are just like fans, they can judge a lot about a song in just the first few seconds. 

What to expect from a Pro Teacher and Guest Workshops:
In a Pro Teacher Workshop, expect to be learn about best practices, skillsets and more from our industry guest. Guest Speaker Nights focus more on the industry guests' career journey and nature of their role in the business! Both events are broadcasted live to NSAI members around the globe.  The workshop will last around 50 minutes, but may continue after the live broadcast ends.  This timeframe is at the guest’s discretion and there will typically be a period for questions and answers at the end of the lesson.  Please line up for questions and speak clearly into the microphone at the center of the aisle. During the workshop, dialogue is encouraged, but please exercise courtesy as you consider tonight’s teacher is giving their time freely to NSAI and to you. It is NSAI’s responsibility to offer you these opportunities to grow as a songwriter while providing a realistic interpretation of how the music industry operates. Everyone is expected to wait in line until doors open at 5:15pm. You’ll be asked to sign in and show your member ID card! 

Remember to go into every workshop we offer with an open mind to learn, grow and meet other NSAI Members in the songwriting community! Click here to view our calendar of upcoming workshops and events. Browse past workshop and other video content in our Online Video Library.