Songs are my favorite things in the whole world. I've given - and taken - a lot of songwriting workshops over the years.  In addition to my own study and writing over the last twenty plus years, I've studied with Berklee College of Music Songwriting Chair Pat Pattison, and taken extended workshops with Steve Earle, with Shawn Colvin, with Mary Gauthier, and with Eliza Gilkyson & John Gorka. I love nothing more than helping others bring their songs into the world. If I have one superpower, Song Doula is it. No matter your prior poetics background or musical knowledge, you can write songs that speak your truth - and I can help.

I didn't become a guitarist, singer, and performer overnight. It took years of trial and error and learning. Whether you want to sing and play just for yourself, or for friends around a campfire, or on a stage for scores of fans, I can help you find and develop your own unique voice, develop your guitar skill, polish your strengths, create practices to aid your weaker spots, and learn to write songs that bring out your best. We can work on whatever you'd like, to include but not limited to: guitar playing, how to write for your voice, vocal lessons/development, how to use a microphone, how to run a PA, how to write a set list, what to say between songs (and what not to say!), how to work through stage fright, how to make a demo, how to make a professional-level album. Whatever you need to learn to get where your musical heart is wanting to take you - I can help.


Album Academy is a private, password-protected forum I've created in which songwriters (or those who want to try writing songs) gather to learn more about songwriting in a semi-structured supportive community setting. 

Students spend ten minutes a day on a daily writing exercise, and write one song per week.

The songwriting lessons – about half an hour or so per week – are mostly videos I've cherry-picked and curated after having scoured the internet for the best tutorials on the topics I think are most essential. Presenters include Pat Pattison, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mary Gauthier, Tom Waits, etc. 

There are no scheduled meeting dates or times – all content is self-paced.

The Schedule:
• 1st 5-Week Session: Jan 8 - Feb 11 (daily object writing)
• Breather: Feb 12 - Feb 25
• 2nd 5-Week Session: Feb 26 - March 31 (daily haiku writing)

The Goods: 
• Write (or finish) 1 song per week  
• Ten songs = An album! 
• Daily ten-minute object and haiku writing  
• Weekly songwriting lesson (curated videos & articles)   
• Weekly feedback from the group (if you choose to share your song)
• All online, completely asynchronous  
• Optional songwriting prompts provided 
• Optional virtual one-hour 1:1 with Rachel 

• Commitment of 1-2 hrs p/week on lessons and peer reviews  
• A desire to complete 1 song per week  
• A desire to write more and have structured accountability  
• A desire to give and receive constructive feedback  

• Twelve weeks 
• FREE! Donations gratefully accepted. Suggested $10-30 p/week ($100-$300 total for the 12-week run, whatever feels right for you. And free is always an option. I don't want money to be a barrier to supporting creativity.) 

Required Text: 
• Writing Better Lyrics, by Pat Pattison 

Lesson Topics:  
• Corporeal 360: Daily Object Writing  
• Working on Your Syllable Chops: Daily Haiku  
• Song Anatomy & Physiology: Song Sub-Structures and How They Work 
• Idiot Guides: Verse Development and How Idiot Guides Can Help 
• Second Verse Hell: Tools to Get Out 
• Getting Quieter Than Words: Songs as Ghosts
• Generative Techniques: Object Writing, Free Writing, Writing in the Key Of, Tentacle Meditation 
• What’s the Movie?
• Show, Then Tell
• Song Autopsy: Meant to Go to Memphis (Writing a Geographic) 
• Song Autopsy: Mansion (Writing in the Key Of)
• Singing in Tongues 
• Editorial Observance: Analyzing your Favorite Songs 
• Cliché and Adverb Purging 
• Power Positions
• Always Trust Your Song Dogs
• The Preamble: How Song Intros Tell You Your Song Isn't Done

To register, write me at carverwaits at yahoo dot cee oh em