Songwriting with Adam Holden

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At Phoenix Folk we want to establish a community of songwriters and song lovers (who support and learn from each other) and a space for reflection, development and enjoyment.

Songwriter and Phoenix Folk director, Adam Holden, explains more. 

I’m a successful songwriter! What that means (to me) is complex and somewhat changeable, but at the heart of it is that (a) I’ve been writing songs on and off for a long time and am still doing it; (b) I’ve learnt to write more, different and better songs;  (c) I’ve gained competence and confidence as a performer; (d) all of this both makes me happy and has enhanced my appreciation of other people’s songs.

I doubt I’ll ever make a living by doing it, so by that measure I’m an amateur. I have made a living from teaching, thinking and writing (though rarely at the same time) so my hope here is to be able to combine my enthusiasm for songs with my knowledge of songs and songwriting and my experience as an educator. I’m never going to write melodies like Schubert or words like Cohen, but particularly over the last decade or so, I have found ways to practice, learn and improve my songwriting by focusing on particular elements of craft and creativity. I’ve written better songs as a result of it and I think I can help you start to do the same. 

These six elements form the basis for our songwriting resources and provide a weekly structure for the participatory songwriting course:



1. Style and genre – finding your range, voice and purpose
2. Lyrics – finding the words to sing and editing your text
3. Melody – a good tune as a stage for your song
4. Song structure and purpose – what to write about and how to make it work
5. Harmony and accompaniment – setting the mood, framing the picture
6. Performance – connecting with your audience and delivering the song

My approach to teaching songwriting is to help you identify where you are on your songwriting journey, establish what you want to improve and help you work out how to do it. A good starting point is my taster workshop, which deals with song appreciation as way to better understand songwriting as a creative craft, but the outcomes are focused towards establishing your goals as a songwriter.

I am offering a taster workshop, a songwriting course and private lessons. If you’re wondering what’s best for you, there are some ideas here.

If you’re interested or have questions please email me at adam@phoenixfolk.co.uk

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