Looking to start writing those songs you’ve always known were in you; or re-kindling your musical and lyrical fire? Making Songs will give you the space and the tools.
The courses are open to all levels – this is about making songs in a supportive environment where ever you are in your songwriting journey. If you are an experienced songwriter, or a singer wanting to write, or someone looking to put your words and music out in the world or even someone that does not play an instrument but has something to express, this course will support you. This can be with a traditional songwriting tool like the guitar or any version of electronics you choose to use or just using your voice. It’s the expression and the intention which counts and this is what we will build on, unpacking what songwriting is in an accessible and inclusive way. The objective of Making Songs, the philosophy even, is that at the end of the course you will feel confident to make your own songs, in your own voice. We believe making songs is all about the process, like making an artwork where the ideas and the concepts are the key drivers. So, the focus will be on unlocking your own creative expression, using strategies and techniques to deliver songs that make true connections with people.
Some of the things the songwriting course will cover:

  • Unlocking intention and biography; using what you have inside to make songs
  • The relationship between words and music: architecture, biography, poetry
  • Application of strategic approaches to song work; architect, builder, nihilist
  • Developing songwriting skills; inventing, understanding and liberating
  • Unpacking and exploring cultural and musical spaces to situate your own work without being a follower
  • Techniques to start and to finish songs and to start over again
  • Understanding forms of address in songs; tone, voices, intention
  • Collaborations: you and me and the group
  • Applying conceptual and theoretical ideas to creative work with a light touch 
  • Using reflective practices to frame and develop work with dialogue and feed forward
  • Developing and celebrating songwriting work and achievements

There are two courses planned.

The first runs between 23rd and 26th May over four days with full accommodation and board at the Farmer’s Arms in Ulverston.

Full details here: https://lakedistrictfarmersarms.com/whats-on/making-songs-with-pete-astor-at-the-farmers-arms/

The second course will run July 4th-8th. We will be teaching and using the grounds of Frensham Manor in Rolvenden, Kent with refreshments and a buffet lunch provided each day, with a performance taking place on the final evening.  There is accommodation available nearby in The Bull public House and camping at the Bodiam Boating Station, along with local Air BnBs and hotels.  Please email for further details and rates.

About Pete Astor, your tutor:
I’m a musician, writer and educator. I led early Creation Records trailblazers The Loft and The Weather Prophets, releasing records that helped define the sound of the label and the emerging Indie genre. I’m the author of a study of Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation, part of Bloomsbury Academic’s 33 and a Third Series, along with articles on songwriting practice for the Cambridge Journal of Popular Music and Ashgate books. I’ve taught songwriting for over twenty years, running the songwriting course at Goldsmith’s College from 2004 to 2012, notably teaching songwriters from James Blake to Katy B. I’m currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, teaching and researching songwriting and creative practice.

As a musician I have sustained a lengthy solo career, writing, recording and releasing records on a range of labels including Matador, Heavenly, Warp and Fortuna Pop. I’ve been signed to the estimable Tapete Records since 2017 and released the acclaimed Time on Earth album last year.

‘A songwriter who never falters and is maybe even getting better with age.’  All Music
‘The master of less is more’ The Guardian