Professional Workshops

"As much as I love living in Utah, the offerings for songwriters here are nearly non-existent. So I just want everyone to recognize and use the opportunities that MAS leaders have developed for you! It is seriously amazing - just think how hard it would be to get the workshop opportunities and performance opportunities without all their work!"
- Trish Painter

Past Workshops

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Songwriting Resources

This page also contains a variety of workshop and other informational material resulting from our "last Wednesday" workshop meetings at McNally Smith College of Music, various resources available online and/or special visits with songwriting professionals.


Berklee College of Music songwriting professor Pat Pattison (a Minnesota native) has presented numerous songwriting workshops to MAS members since the mid-1990s. The notes provided here were taken by MAS member Tim Zbikowski at a workshop with professor Pattison in October of 2008.

2008 Songwriting Workshop with Pat Pattison


This "paper" exercise shows you how to use the structure of an existing song to help you create an entirely different song of your own.

Remodeling A Song


This one-page document provides a set of tips that will help you prepare for a successful performance at an MAS showcase or any other live appearance.

Performance Prep


This is a brief discussion of elements that might be found in most successful songs.

Elements of a Song


Here is a 31-page document about the Business of Music from Berkleemusic.com. Berkleemusic is "the award-winning online extension school of Berklee College of Music, the world's premier institution for the study of contemporary music for over 65 years. Berklee's faculty and alumni have won over 150 Grammy Awards and sold over 400 million records."

The document contains information on the following topics:

  • Unpaid Royalties by David Kusek
  • CDs vs Downloads by Eric Beall
  • Sponsorship by John Czajkowski & Jeff Dorenfeld
  • Copyright Law by Allen Bargfrede
  • Releasing an Album by Jon Vanhala
  • Entrepreneurship by Peter Gotcher
  • Using Fan-Funding Techniques by Mike King

Music Business Handbook from Berkleemusic.com


The link below will allow interested parties to stream a 16-minute radio conversation in 2012 between MAS President Wayne Hamilton and radio DJ Carl Unbehaun, whose weekly Minnesota Homebrew show focuses on original music from Minnesota songwriters. The segment also outlines the benefits of MAS membership for both new and experienced songwriters.

Please be patient while audio file loads.

Radio Interview About The Minnesota Association of Songwriters


Songwriting articles by James Linderman
James Linderman teaches guitar, piano and music theory and coaches songwriting, in studio and over Skype to students from all over the world from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He is a member of an international, off campus, academic advisory board for The Berklee College of Music in Boston known as Berkleemusic Ambassadors and is Berklee’s Worship Music Advisor.

James has invited MAS members to email himor visit his web site.

James has had 4 top 10 singles on Canadian Christian radio and songs published in Nashville. He is a guest presenter at music conferences all over Canada and writes songwriting articles for music magazines all over the world. James has a Canadian University (York) and American College (EOSC) education in music theory, composition, and journalism.

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Facing Our Songwriting Enemies

A Good Kind of Stress

Top Ten Tips for the Piano Playing Songwriter

Fingerboard Management for the Modern Guitarist