December 12, 2022

The Surprising Wonders of Zoom – One-on-One Songwriting Sessions Now On Offer (just in time for the holidays)


In the beginning, I hated it. But after a couple months playing shows via el zoom during the great shutdown, I must admit I started to like it. At first, it felt like all that I loved about performing had been removed. Many of the shows I did were on Facebook or platforms other than Zoom where you couldn’t see the audience. I might see a number in the corner of my screen letting me know how many people were out there theoretically listening. Perhaps I’d notice a comment stream, but that still felt so distant (and often made me forget my lyrics). Perhaps most disturbingly, I had no idea how the audio sounded. Was the vocal too loud? Was the sound distorting? Was the video in sync? Was the image glitchy? So much of my love of performing is about connection with real people in a real space. So much of what I love about singing is feeling how the sounds I create hang in a room. That was all gone. And the transition between on and offstage was harsh. The show was on. Then it was off. This was good in a way. It was efficient. My work and my home life integrated for the first time in my career. I could cook dinner for the family, play the concert, and then tuck my kids into bed and read to them (or at least to Noah). But it was also disorienting. Gone were the long drives to venues, the post show debriefs, the green rooms, the camaraderie. There was a kind of hollowness when the shows were over. Did that really just happen?
I think a lot of aspects of our lives and work were like that in 2020/21. But in our own ways, most of us started to figure out how to make the best of whatever was available. There’s a lot to say about this time and the slow shift that happened for me during these online performances. Ultimately I found a way to achieve a different kind of intimacy. I was singing right into the camera and microphone, and many of you were sitting very close to your screens perhaps with headphones on. Despite the obvious distance, that led to a kind of closeness that isn’t often available in real life. And once we got used to how to communicate with the new technologies, there was also a kind of openness that might not have been possible were we physically together. And at some point, more and more of my concerts shifted onto zoom where I could see people’s faces and even hear their voices when unmuted.

This all to say that much to my surprise I came to kind of love these online shows. So it is, that I am now offering private songwriting sessions on the Zoom. Maybe you already write songs but would like a few tips. Maybe you’ve never written a song but would like to spur the creativity. Maybe you have a friend or a child or a special someone who might like to develop the craft. Well, now’s our chance. Although working in person is still my first choice, Zoom offers some real advantages for this kind of work. Songwriting is intimate and exposed and requires great faith. Sometimes being in the same space can make this intimidating and uncomfortable. Zoom allows for many an introvert to raise their voices.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and personal gift for the holidays, something edifying, something creative, might I suggest a songwriting lesson or two. No shipping. No plastic. No lines at the register. Nothing to wrap. Nothing from Amazon. Just your friendly neighborhood songwriter and you (or your loved one) kickstarting the imagination and opening up the emotional conduits.

Book your session here.