2023 so far

Although I haven’t posted on this blog so far in 2023, I have been working on songs. A few months ago I joined Songtown and in January and February I took a lyric-writing masterclass with Marty Dodson, one of the founders of Songtown.

Part of the class was writing a song based on the some of the songwriting elements discussed and the other part was reviewing classmates’ songs. It was a nice group of songwriters and through the course of the class, there were four songwriting assignments.

Two of the assignments were rewriting lyrics using the melodies of two current songs, which was a challenging excercise, though it was also fun once I decided on the songs. At one point, I ended up listening to at least a portion of all 100 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 trying to decide on a song to “rewrite.” The two songs I rewrote were “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus (my version was called “Rumors”) and the other one was “Something in the Orange” by Zach Bryan (mine was called “Fault of the Earth” and was inspired by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.)

I haven’t recorded either of those songs since I’d need to come up with a new melody for both of those and haven’t yet. One of the other songs I haven’t recorded yet but the fourth song I did record. I composed the music for that fourth song, “Slow Down,” in Logic and did a basic mixing and mastering on it. (Or at least attempted to. The trickiest part for me was the vocals – although it sounded OK on my headset and speakers, in the car the vocals sounded too upfront. I tried it a few different times and got it as close as I could.)

Slow down, enjoy the view
Catch your breath, think it through
Take your time to make it count
As the world rushes ’round, you gotta slow down.

Anyway, the lyric masterclass was great and I learned so much. Marty Dodson was a great teacher and I also read his book “Songbuilding,” which expands the concepts he discussed in class. Overall lessons I am now trying to apply to my songwriting is being more intentional and focused in my writing and trying to keep the listener in mind more as I’m writing.

Songtown has SOOO many resources and I’m working my way through a video course by Clay Mills (the other co-founder) on “Mastering Melodic Contract.” It’s so good.

I’m also working on a song inspired by seeing a rainbow on New Year’s Day and the effect of the rain on our yard, still need to record a song I wrote last year but never wrote music for and I’m in the process on writing a new song as well. After seeing Taylor Swift in concert last night (she was AMAZING!) and noticing how so many people in the audience connected to her songs and sang along, I’m trying to write a song that would generate that response in a stadium of more than 65,000 people.

Ha, that’s not asking much, right? Well, I started my current song a few days ago, but as I’m writing it, I’m keeping that group singability factor in mind.

Oh, I also made a TikTok video for “Slow Down” just to try it.

In other songwriting news, I’m also helping with the Arizona Songwriters Association website, which isn’t really songwriting, but ASA is a great resource for songwriters so that counts.

And that brings us to nearly the end of March.



  1. Hi Leisah! I’m enjoying watching your songwriting process. May you be continually inspired! I hope you guys are all well. love and blessings, Cathy


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