MAS Song Evaluations
EVALUATIONS AT MAS MEETINGS
At most monthly meetings, MAS offers evaluations of member songs for at least an hour. Each song is reviewed by attending members of the group and a discussion takes place with regard to structure, lyrical content and commerciality, among other items. Instrumentals are discussed with regard to instrument use and arrangement. Members may accept or reject any comments provided by reviewers.
Please remember that if you are presenting a song for evaluation at an MAS meeting, ask the group specifically what you would like to get out of it. Where are you struggling? What do you have questions about? Do you want help with song structure or melody, or is there a certain lyric about which you need feedback or suggestions? This structure allows members to listen more closely, to focus their attention, so that the songwriter gets the specific help he/she needs. Also, if your song has lyrics, please provide a copy of your lyrics for each member at the meeting (recommend you bring at least 20 copies of your lyrics).
Evaluations may be submitted via a special email list, to which members may subscribe. Via that list, members may submit an MP3 file and a lyric sheet for songs they'd like to have evaluated. Members who review submitted songs reply individually to the submitting member, which allows an ongoing dialogue between the two.
While we absolutely encourage all members to take advantage of this tool, we hope this benefit will especially help members who cannot regularly attend monthly meetings due to geographical distances or job schedules.
Here's how this benefit works:
It's very much like our actual meetings, where members show up with their songs and meeting attendees volunteer their feedback. The advantage of this method is that you can, at your convenience, get or give an evaluation from your easy chair at home.
Evaluators also get the benefit of time to articulate what they want to say to the writer. In addition, writers have an electronic copy in either a text file or an MP3 file if evaluators want to create an audio reply.
If you choose to participate in this process as either an evaluator or songwriter, step one is to join the evaluations e-mail list at the following link:
Follow the instructions at this link to join the EVALUATIONS email list, which allows you to post your songs and review the songs of other members. The welcome message at the above link will give you information you might want to keep, such as how to change your e-mail settings (so you can take a break from this list without unsubscribing and re-subscribing).
Before you begin posting songs, PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT ITEMS:
1. DO NOT post your song to the MAS "members" email list. Please send your songs to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. To present a song, simply attach an MP3 of your song and a text document containing your lyrics when you send the email requesting evaluation. The subject line ought to look something like: "YOUR NAME/YOUR SONG TITLE".
3. We're asking each member to limit on-line evaluations to two songs a month.
4. Get one - give one: If you have a song evaluated, please return the favor to those who took the time to help you by doing some evaluating in return.
5. For your convenience, we've provided a guide for evaluating songs. You do not have to use this form, or even the many points within it; it is merely a guide to help you evaluate a song. You may download an evaluation guide in the form of a Word document here
MAS hopes you will enjoy and utilize this new benefit to your advantage!
A NOTE ABOUT EVALUATIONS
Music is experienced in as many different ways as there are people in the world, so MAS members are open about what they hear and offer constructive criticism, keeping in mind the goals of the songwriter. Each member determines his or her own goals and objectives.
On the other hand, some songwriters are interested in the business of music, so commercial aspects of songwriting also play a part in the evaluation process, again, depending on the songwriter's objective. Songwriters interested in selling their songs are educated about what makes a song a hit, since every record label exists to make a profit. MAS teaches you how to employ techniques that might help make your song commercially successful.
Either way (commercially oriented or not), members offer each other opinions and advice during these sessions. Sometimes, commentary brings two or more songwriters together for a successful co-writing team.
Any and all music submitted for evaluation is done so under the sole discretion of the artist and hereby releases the Minnesota Association of Songwriters from any and all liability arising out of or in connection with any tapes, songs, or recordings submitted to the organization, including but not limited to claims of copyright infringements by any third party on behalf of the artist. The artist hereby warrants and represents that all material submitted is the original creation of the artist.