WNSM Outreach - Songwriting & Music Production Post-Primary Youth Project Workshop

Songwriting & Music Production Workshops


CONTENTS


Acclaimed songwriter Niall Donnelly and musician-producer Gavin Ralston facilitate a range of songwriting and music production workshops with the New School that are suitable for post-primary schools and youth projects. These include a two-hour Songwriting Taster; two four-hour songwriting and music production modules that can be taken individually or together over the course of two different days or on two different weeks; and an 'in-depth' six-hour module that allows time for the writing and producing of several songs.

Songwriting Taster

Workshop Details
Facilitators
Booking & Enquiries

This two-hour workshop is an excellent introduction to the art and craft of songwriting. Participants will work together as a team and actually write and record a song in just two hours!

After the workshop, your school will receive an mp3 track of the song for easy sharing with other students and staff.

Workshop Outline

Songwriting (75 minutes)

  • Lyrics – choosing your subject and approach
  • Music – choosing a style and arranging music
  • Developing the song

Recording & Production (45 minutes)

  • Preparing the song and musicians for recording; what instruments and sounds to use
  • Arranging parts, harmonies, backing vocals, instruments and solos
  • Developing dynamics and mood
  • Recording the backing track (guitars, drums, percussion, etc.)
  • Recording vocals (lead and backing)
  • Recording soloist(s)
  • Mixing

Workshop Details

  • Length 2 hours
  • Participants Up to 30
  • Fee €330 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
  • Discounted fee €297 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
  • Fee per student (30 students) €11 | €9.90 (DEIS schools & charities)
  • Day Subject to facilitator availability (please contact us)
  • Equipment provided Laptop running Pro Tools, Logic and Reason music software, MIDI controller keyboard, guitar, percussion instruments, microphones, etc.
  • Equipment needed Interactive whiteboard or projector

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Facilitators

Niall Donnelly hails from Bray, Co. Wicklow and has been a professional musician for over 25 years, having worked with a number of bands as front man, guitarist and principal songwriter. He first came to prominence as a songwriter after being selected to write material that ended up as part of Even Deeper’s debut EP on U2’s Mother Records label. This led to Niall setting up his own band, Alligator, in the early 90s, which recorded an album with Leo Pearson, U2's producer. Alligator's next incarnation was a band called Sixteen Layers, with songs co-written by Niall and Wayne Hector of Sony ATV (responsible for writing 'Flying Without Wings' among other songs. Their first single, 'Torch', released in the mid-00’s, went to the top 20 in the UK indie charts. Since then Niall has been working independently with numerous artists – including Luán Parle, Scott Maher and Springbreak – and he has shared the stage with Declan O'Rourke, Snow Patrol and Sharon Shannon, among others. Niall is a dynamic performer and teacher, and a creative goldmine; there's never a dull moment when he’s about!

Gavin Ralston is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has been involved in the music industry for many years, covering virtually every genre from rock, pop and folk to Irish traditional, classical and theatrical shows. He began his music career performing on the Dublin rock music scene before moving to Dingle in Kerry to study Irish traditional guitar with the legendary Steve Cooney, and he has since performed and toured with many traditional and folk acts, including Sharon Shannon, Arcady, Beginish, Begley & Cooney, Eimear Quinn, Cormac Breatnach and Lunasa. Gavin also has an extensive rock and pop pedigree and has performed and toured with such acts as The Waterboys, Picturehouse, Clannad, Bagatelle, Revelino and Eleanor McEvoy. He also performed in numerous theatrical and dance shows, including Brecht's Mother Courage, Michael Flatley's Celtic Tiger and Rubato Dance Company's flamenco dance show Bull Dance. Gavin has recorded and produced a wide range of artists, including Grammy award nominated Vanessa Williams, Ronnie Drew, Bagatelle, Picturehouse, The Coronas and The Blizzards. He has also published a widely used instructional book on the Irish traditional guitar.

Booking & Enquiries

If you are interested in this workshop, please download and complete an Outreach Programme Booking & Enquiry Form (pdf format) and we will get in touch.

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Songwriting & Music Production Basics

Workshop Details
Facilitators
Booking & Enquiries

This four-hour workshop is an excellent introduction to songwriting, music production and the music industry and can also serve as the first module of a two-day workshop, followed by Advanced Songwriting & Music Production (see below).

Workshop Outline

Introductions (30 minutes)

  • Introduction to the music industry – starting off
  • From the angle of a solo artist
  • From the angle of a music producer and session musician
  • Advice, suggestions, questions and answers

Songwriting (90 minutes)

  • Introduction – types and examples of songs
  • Lyrics – choosing your subject and approach
  • Music – choosing a style and arranging music
  • Developing the song

Music Production and Arranging (120 minutes)

  • Preparing the song and musicians for recording; what instruments and sounds to use
  • Arranging parts, harmonies, backing vocals, instruments and solos
  • Developing dynamics and mood
  • Setting up a room for recording
  • Mic'ing up instruments and vocals
  • Programming beats & keyboards
  • Recording audio and over dubs
  • Operating Protools and Reason
  • Stage 1 – recording the backing track (guitars, drums, percussion, etc.)
  • Stage 2 – recording vocals (lead and backing)
  • Stage 3 – recording soloist(s)
  • Stage 4 – mixing

Workshop Details

  • Overall length 4 ½ hours (with 30-minute break)
  • Participants Up to 30
  • Fee €530 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
  • Discounted fee €477 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
  • Approx. fee per student €17.67 | €15.90 (DEIS schools & charities)
  • Day Subject to facilitator availability (please contact us)
  • Equipment provided Laptop running Pro Tools, Logic and Reason music software, MIDI controller keyboard, guitar, percussion instruments, microphones, etc.
  • Equipment needed Interactive whiteboard or projector

Back to top

Facilitators

Niall Donnelly hails from Bray, Co. Wicklow and has been a professional musician for over 25 years, having worked with a number of bands as front man, guitarist and principal songwriter. He first came to prominence as a songwriter after being selected to write material that ended up as part of Even Deeper’s debut EP on U2’s Mother Records label. This led to Niall setting up his own band, Alligator, in the early 90s, which recorded an album with Leo Pearson, U2's producer. Alligator's next incarnation was a band called Sixteen Layers, with songs co-written by Niall and Wayne Hector of Sony ATV (responsible for writing 'Flying Without Wings' among other songs. Their first single, 'Torch', released in the mid-00’s, went to the top 20 in the UK indie charts. Since then Niall has been working independently with numerous artists – including Luán Parle, Scott Maher and Springbreak – and he has shared the stage with Declan O'Rourke, Snow Patrol and Sharon Shannon, among others. Niall is a dynamic performer and teacher, and a creative goldmine; there's never a dull moment when he’s about!

Gavin Ralston is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has been involved in the music industry for many years, covering virtually every genre from rock, pop and folk to Irish traditional, classical and theatrical shows. He began his music career performing on the Dublin rock music scene before moving to Dingle in Kerry to study Irish traditional guitar with the legendary Steve Cooney, and he has since performed and toured with many traditional and folk acts, including Sharon Shannon, Arcady, Beginish, Begley & Cooney, Eimear Quinn, Cormac Breatnach and Lunasa. Gavin also has an extensive rock and pop pedigree and has performed and toured with such acts as The Waterboys, Picturehouse, Clannad, Bagatelle, Revelino and Eleanor McEvoy. He also performed in numerous theatrical and dance shows, including Brecht's Mother Courage, Michael Flatley's Celtic Tiger and Rubato Dance Company's flamenco dance show Bull Dance. Gavin has recorded and produced a wide range of artists, including Grammy award nominated Vanessa Williams, Ronnie Drew, Bagatelle, Picturehouse, The Coronas and The Blizzards. He has also published a widely used instructional book on the Irish traditional guitar.

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Booking & Enquiries

If you are interested in this workshop, please download and complete an Outreach Programme Booking & Enquiry Form (pdf format) and we will get in touch.

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Advanced Songwriting & Music Production

Workshop Details
Facilitators
Booking & Enquiries

This four-hour workshop follows on from Songwriting & Music Production Basics (see above) with more information on the music business as well as in-depth songwriting and recording analysis.

Workshop Outline

Introductions (20 minutes)

  • Introduction to the music industry – the music business
  • From the angle of a solo artist
  • From the angle of a music producer and session musician
  • Advice, suggestions, questions and answers

Songwriting Analysis (60 minutes)

  • Classic song analysis – ‘Dead Flowers’ (Rolling Stones), ‘Dreams’ (Fleetwood Mac), ‘A Day in the Life’ (The Beatles)
  • Lyrics, music arrangements, instrumentation, history of band at time of writing, public reaction, video and audio examples

Production, Engineering and Programming (120 minutes)

  • Recording and editing with Protools, Reason, Garage Band and Logic
  • Choosing the best recording system
  • Recording sounds and creative looping and sequencing
  • Classic recording analysis – multi-track Protools versions and video presentations of ‘Superstition’ (Stevie Wonder), ‘Is This Love’ (Bob Marley) and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Queen)

Business and Promotion (40 minutes)

  • Web based promotion – social networks for audio, visual and socialising
  • Performing live - songwriting showcases, support slots with big bands, entering competitions
  • Developing an identity and sound
  • Management, publishing and record deals
  • Selling your music

Workshop Details

  • Overall length 4 ½ hours (with 30-minute break)
  • Participants Up to 30
  • Fee €530 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
  • Discounted fee €477 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
  • Approx. fee per student €17.67 | €15.90 (DEIS schools & charities)
  • Day Subject to facilitator availability (please contact us)
  • Equipment provided Laptop running Pro Tools, Logic and Reason music software, MIDI controller keyboard, guitar, percussion instruments, microphones, etc.
  • Equipment needed Interactive whiteboard or projector

Back to top

Facilitators

Niall Donnelly hails from Bray, Co. Wicklow and has been a professional musician for over 25 years, having worked with a number of bands as front man, guitarist and principal songwriter. He first came to prominence as a songwriter after being selected to write material that ended up as part of Even Deeper’s debut EP on U2’s Mother Records label. This led to Niall setting up his own band, Alligator, in the early 90s, which recorded an album with Leo Pearson, U2's producer. Alligator's next incarnation was a band called Sixteen Layers, with songs co-written by Niall and Wayne Hector of Sony ATV (responsible for writing 'Flying Without Wings' among other songs. Their first single, 'Torch', released in the mid-00’s, went to the top 20 in the UK indie charts. Since then Niall has been working independently with numerous artists – including Luán Parle, Scott Maher and Springbreak – and he has shared the stage with Declan O'Rourke, Snow Patrol and Sharon Shannon, among others. Niall is a dynamic performer and teacher, and a creative goldmine; there's never a dull moment when he’s about!

Gavin Ralston is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has been involved in the music industry for many years, covering virtually every genre from rock, pop and folk to Irish traditional, classical and theatrical shows. He began his music career performing on the Dublin rock music scene before moving to Dingle in Kerry to study Irish traditional guitar with the legendary Steve Cooney, and he has since performed and toured with many traditional and folk acts, including Sharon Shannon, Arcady, Beginish, Begley & Cooney, Eimear Quinn, Cormac Breatnach and Lunasa. Gavin also has an extensive rock and pop pedigree and has performed and toured with such acts as The Waterboys, Picturehouse, Clannad, Bagatelle, Revelino and Eleanor McEvoy. He also performed in numerous theatrical and dance shows, including Brecht's Mother Courage, Michael Flatley's Celtic Tiger and Rubato Dance Company's flamenco dance show Bull Dance. Gavin has recorded and produced a wide range of artists, including Grammy award nominated Vanessa Williams, Ronnie Drew, Bagatelle, Picturehouse, The Coronas and The Blizzards. He has also published a widely used instructional book on the Irish traditional guitar.

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Booking & Enquiries

If you are interested in this workshop, please download and complete an Outreach Programme Booking & Enquiry Form (pdf format) and we will get in touch.

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Songwriting & Music Production in Depth

Workshop Details
Facilitators
Booking & Enquiries

This six-hour workshop is a more ‘in-depth’ version of Songwriting & Music Production Basics, allowing participants to develop and record two or three songs and to learn much more about the process of recording and production.

Workshop Outline

Introductions (40 minutes)

  • Introduction to the music industry – starting off
  • From the angle of a solo artist
  • From the angle of a music producer and session musician
  • Advice, suggestions, questions and answers

Songwriting (160 minutes)

  • Approaches to songwriting and examples of songs
  • Lyrics – choosing a subject
  • Music – choosing a style and arranging music
  • Developing and recording two or three songs

Music Production and Arranging (160 minutes)

  • Preparing the song and musicians for recording; what instruments and sounds to use
  • Arranging parts, harmonies, backing vocals, instruments and solos
  • Developing dynamics and mood
  • Setting up a room for recording
  • Micing up instruments and vocals
  • Programming beats & keyboards
  • Recording audio and over dubs
  • Operating Protools and Reason
  • Stage 1 – recording the backing track (guitars, drums, percussion, etc.)
  • Stage 2 – recording vocals (lead and backing)
  • Stage 3 – recording soloist(s)
  • Stage 4 – mixing

Workshop Details

  • Overall length 7 hours (with two 30-minute breaks)
  • Participants Up to 30
  • Fee €730 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
  • Discounted fee €657 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
  • Approx. fee per student €24.33 | €21.90 (DEIS schools & charities)
  • Day Subject to facilitator availability (please contact us)
  • Equipment provided Laptop running Pro Tools, Logic and Reason music software, MIDI controller keyboard, guitar, percussion instruments, microphones, etc.
  • Equipment needed Interactive whiteboard or projector

Back to top

Facilitators

Niall Donnelly hails from Bray, Co. Wicklow and has been a professional musician for over 25 years, having worked with a number of bands as front man, guitarist and principal songwriter. He first came to prominence as a songwriter after being selected to write material that ended up as part of Even Deeper’s debut EP on U2’s Mother Records label. This led to Niall setting up his own band, Alligator, in the early 90s, which recorded an album with Leo Pearson, U2's producer. Alligator's next incarnation was a band called Sixteen Layers, with songs co-written by Niall and Wayne Hector of Sony ATV (responsible for writing 'Flying Without Wings' among other songs. Their first single, 'Torch', released in the mid-00’s, went to the top 20 in the UK indie charts. Since then Niall has been working independently with numerous artists – including Luán Parle, Scott Maher and Springbreak – and he has shared the stage with Declan O'Rourke, Snow Patrol and Sharon Shannon, among others. Niall is a dynamic performer and teacher, and a creative goldmine; there's never a dull moment when he’s about!

Gavin Ralston is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has been involved in the music industry for many years, covering virtually every genre from rock, pop and folk to Irish traditional, classical and theatrical shows. He began his music career performing on the Dublin rock music scene before moving to Dingle in Kerry to study Irish traditional guitar with the legendary Steve Cooney, and he has since performed and toured with many traditional and folk acts, including Sharon Shannon, Arcady, Beginish, Begley & Cooney, Eimear Quinn, Cormac Breatnach and Lunasa. Gavin also has an extensive rock and pop pedigree and has performed and toured with such acts as The Waterboys, Picturehouse, Clannad, Bagatelle, Revelino and Eleanor McEvoy. He also performed in numerous theatrical and dance shows, including Brecht's Mother Courage, Michael Flatley's Celtic Tiger and Rubato Dance Company's flamenco dance show Bull Dance. Gavin has recorded and produced a wide range of artists, including Grammy award nominated Vanessa Williams, Ronnie Drew, Bagatelle, Picturehouse, The Coronas and The Blizzards. He has also published a widely used instructional book on the Irish traditional guitar.

Back to top

Booking & Enquiries

If you are interested in this workshop, please download and complete an Outreach Programme Booking & Enquiry Form (pdf format) and we will get in touch.

Back to top

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