This Cohort of Woodford Songmakers is now closed. We will advise on if and when we run the school again in 2025.

 

 

Can you feel a song in your heart waiting to be written?

Join the Woodford Songmakers, a School led by celebrated musician and recording artist Mike Mcclellan.

Course Overview 

Duration: Six months (last Saturday of each month, June –November)
Start Date: Saturday, June 29th
Time: 2-5pm (with hourly breaks)
Location: 87 Woodrow Rd Woodford Queensland (Woodfordia)
Numbers: Limited to 15 people
Price: $360 for the entire season

Woodford Songmakers is a six-month journey for passionate individuals of all skill levels looking to understand the history and structure of songs, as well as to unlock their unique signature sound as a writer.

Applications may re-open in 2025.

Watch below to experience some of Mike’s songwriting skills

Topics we will cover:

 

  • Exploring the Essence of a Song: What truly defines a song? 
  • Songs Through the Ages: A captivating journey from the mid-19th century to today’s hits. 
  • Genre Deep Dive: Dissecting folk, pop, rock, and country songs to understand their unique structures, styles, lyrics, perspectives, and melodic developments. 
  • Mastering the Basics: Essential songwriting tools every songwriter needs. 
  • Crafting with Discipline: Developing the discipline necessary for songwriting success. 
  • Spark Your Creativity: Techniques for generating fresh and compelling song ideas. 
  • From Vague to Vivid: Transforming general thoughts into specific, impactful lyrics. 
  • The Art of Rhyme: Exploring the spectrum from perfect rhyme to free verse. 
  • Language in Lyrics: Harnessing the power of adjectives, verbs, nouns, assonance, and alliteration in your songs. 
  • Singable vs. Unsingable: Understanding what makes language singable. 
  • Creating Melodies: Developing melodies from basic chord tones. 
  • Your Guitar as a Melody Maker: Using your guitar to craft beautiful melodies

 

 

By the End of the Course, You will be able to: 

 

  • Discover the Roots: Identify the broad historical influences that shape contemporary songwriting. 
  • Break Down Structure: Analyse the architecture of songs from various popular genres. 
  • Decipher Rhymes: Understand and explain the rhyming structures used in different genres. 
  • Find Perspective: Identify and interpret the point of view in a song. 
  • Master Sound: Grasp the concepts of assonance, alliteration, and consonance. 
  • Use the Right Words: Understand and utilise appropriate songwriting language. 
  • Craft Meaningful Lyrics: Write compelling and evocative lyrics. 
  • Compose Original Melodies: Create unique and captivating melodies. 
  • Understand the Chords: Explain the fundamental songwriting chords across several genres. 

A few words about Mike Mcclellan:

 

When Bob Dylan grants you permission to use the final lines (and the title) of one of his most acclaimed songs you can safely assume he thinks Mike McClellan is a pretty good songwriter.  Within an hour of Dylan reading the lyrics to Mike’s song Letter To America you can probably conclude, he loved it.

 

Not only is he an acclaimed songwriter, but he also has an extensive history as an educator, having taught at the Australian International Conservatorium of Music and the Country Music Academy in Tamworth, and presented workshops at festivals across Australia.

 

His song, Song and Dance Man, became a national hit over 40 years ago and was voted Song of the Year by the music industry. Mike’s songs, including The One I Love and Rock’n Roll Lady, continue to be played on the radio, alongside newer tracks like I Wonder Who You’re Waiting For, Letter To America, and If Sorrow Should Find You. His works have been covered by renowned artists such as John Farnham and Tommy Emmanuel.

 

After a successful career in advertising, he returned to music, producing four new albums, recording a live DVD, and performing at festivals and concert halls across Australia. Reviewers have praised his recent releases for meeting and often exceeding the high standards of his earlier work.

 

Remarkably, he is singing and playing as well, if not better, than ever. Steve Britt recently wrote,

McClellan is still the consummate performer – a wonderful singer, guitar player and songwriter who keeps the audience in the palm of his hand.”

 

 The man is a master craftsman, widely acknowledged by critics and his peers as one of the finest songwriters this country has ever produced.  And as Tim Farren, one of his students at the Country Music Academy wrote,

“Mike was a true inspiration at the College. He has an incredible ability of interpreting his knowledge, songs, passion for songwriting and performing in an honest and admirable way.
His teaching has not only assisted my songwriting but strengthened my understanding of a career in the music industry and most importantly understanding myself.”      

FAQ’s

 

What if I can’t make it to all the live classes? How can I stay up to date with the course?
It is advised you attempt to come to all the live classes, but if you have to miss one or two, we will record them and all students will recieve the recordings.  

I can’t make it to Woodfordia for any of the live classes? Can I still participate?
Unfortunately this is a live program, so no. For the best experience for students and their classmates we require people to attend as many classes as they can.  

Will you be recording the Classes?
Yes will be recording them and sharing with the students 

Can I pay in installments?
There will be a payment plan option

Does my ticket include camping at Woodfordia over the weekend?
Yes. If you would like to attend the Folk Club that night it will be $5 entry.

Can I bring my friends and family camping?
Yes, but they will either need to purchase a ticket to the Folk Club weekend or volunteer with one of our weekend activities.