This “Five Questions” blog post, features the founder of Natural Born Thinkers, Sam Hunter.
1. What was your biggest concern/fear prior to the songwriting workshop?
Could I write something good and could I sing it!? For whatever reason, being asked to write a piece of poetry or a story seems so much more accessible than writing a song. The idea of a song seems so much more complicated as you have to put musical notes to it and then sing, pushing on all types of knowledge and perceived artistic limitations. During the songwriting workshop, Cliff illuminated the essence of songwriting which is visual storytelling, using metaphor to bring your words to life. As soon as Cliff shared this, I was able to get started as he broke songwriting down in a way that was accessible and personal. At the end of the day, we all have story to tell. A song is just a new way of sharing it!
2. Can you describe how it felt to write your song?
For about a ten minute period, it was as though my brain parted and allowed the light of my song to shine through. The idea for the song really sparked a set of emotions and imagery which I knew I had to sew together in a story to share my message and feelings with others. I would not have been able to do this had I not attended two of Cliff’s songwriting workshops.
Cliff’s workshops gave me confidence to put my heartfelt words on paper. I just had to get the story out first and from there could finesse the wording to ensure I was showing, not telling, and had a memorable hook in the chorus. It felt so amazing and natural to write the song. When you really have something you want to say and you have the constraints within which to say it, you have purpose and structure to get your story out. It doesn’t have to be – nor will it very likely be – perfect the first time. I suspended all judgement in that moment and just went with what my instincts said. That is what made the process so enjoyable and enlightening!
3. What was it like hearing the music added to your lyrics?
The music really lifts the words off the page and brings them to life. A smile comes across your face and you get this sense of surprise and accomplishment as you realize you have just put some music into the world! I remember both of the songs that I have written with Cliff and know that once you have written one, if you practice and try again, you will be able to write another!
4. How did songwriting make you think differently about your particular topic?
Whenever someone has a story they want to tell and a message they want people to remember, I now immediately wonder what the song for this might look like. A song helps to concisely put a message down on paper and then pushes you to consider how you can make this story connect with other people. I think there are a lot of people out there who struggle to tell a story that actually connects with others and a song is a great technique that pushes you to do this.
5. What is one of the things from the workshop that you’d most like to share with someone else?
That you can do it! You have a natural born songwriter inside you. You have a story that is unique to you and have seen things in the world that are unique to memory. Your inner voice and memories are all that you need to get started and no one will be able to write the same song you can!
Find out more about Cliff’s creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.