Years ago my then lawyer, Chris, took all the usual language when you are hired to score something, all the points that make no sense and require a translator for us English speakers, that insinuate you have no rights and sound like a prison sentence. Chris drew X’s through many of those paragraphs and substituted simpler clearer language. It was inspiring. I realized I had been intimidated to forget to think what’s wrong with making it simple and clear; nothing wrong with that. Often people acquiesced and many items were changed. Recently hired to teach a course on songwriting. The description they already have reads, (Course # xxxx) is designed to help students develop a professional songwriting process, free from the conceptual prisons of “inspiration” and “self-expression”. The process developed in this class frees writers from the paralysis of endless narcissistic second-guessing, and takes the pursuit of “perfection” and “virtuosity” in songwriting as a creative morass designed to keep artists stuck in comfortable and unchanging creative “hobbit holes”. Songwriters must not just embrace — but actively seek — endless change, and rid themselves of the instinct to form value judgments about songcraft (both their own and others’): there is no ultimate songwriting destination, only waypoints on an endlessly winding and unclear creative path, that stretches on into the dark ahead. Course # xxxx provides tools for songwriters to travel that path with ease, to make endless change (a.k.a. growth) their creative homes.
I would like to reach the Dean, suggest a rewrite: in this course we will study songwriting.