(This is a reprint of an article originally posted on http://katieosullivan.blogspot.com/2012/08/instant-songwriting-for-everyone.html ) by Katie O’Sullivan
Have you ever seen Musical Improv on stage and wondered how in the world they do that? How do they come up with songs on the spot?
Here’s the book to show you how!
In INSTANT SONGWRITING, Nancy Walker takes you on a fun, journey-at-your-own-pace trip through learning the basics of melody and music, and how to make up a song on the spot so that it sounds “real.” Her breezy style is easy and fun to read, and makes you want to try out the exercises and sing right along.
Nancy has been performing improv comedy since the late 1980’s when she took her first improv class with ImprovBoston and then later joined the troupe. She’s traveled the world through comedy, teaching and performing in cities around the globe as well as on various cruise ships roaming the high seas! She’s in Chicago now, as the director of Chicago Improv Associates.
After successfully creating the first completely improvised Broadway-style musical (to rave reviews, no less!), she started to teach others her methods. Now she’s put her knowledge down on paper, in this book.
The book is a wonderful tool for those who perform improv comedy on stage, but also a good basic musical tool for anyone involved with musical theatre in any form. It’s also a useful book for anyone interested in songwriting in general, as Nancy lays out the steps to creating a good song and the basic knowledge necessary to go from blah to beautiful.
Each section of the book gets progressively harder and more complex in the exercises and content of the lessons. Part I, or “Dunce Level,” assumes you know nothing yet and just have the will to learn. By the last Part, or “Diva Level,” Nancy explores and explains the phenomenom of Sondheim-style songs with her now-oh-so-advanced readers.
INSTANT SONGWRITING is appropriate for anyone, teen on up, who wants to learn more about creating their own songs, adn would even be great for those high school theatre programs or Destination Imagination teams who need new improv games to play to get their creative juices flowing.
Buy it on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/OsLFss
And start singing!
Katie is an author, magazine editor, wife, and mother to three kids and two dogs… not necessarily in that order. She is author of UNFOLDING THE SHADOWS and has recently signed a contract with Crescent Moon Press for her first YA novel: SON OF A MERMAID, coming in 2013.