Writing About Music
Spring Class: Monday, February 9th, 16th, March 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd at 7pm
Fall Class: Monday, September 7th, 14th, 21st, October 5th, 12th, and 19th at 7pm
- 6 classes total, on Mondays from 7pm - 8:30pm
- The class is cumulative, so all classes must be attended
- Class Size: Minimum 4 Maximum 12
- Cost: $150 for the course & total cost must be paid up-front, which can be paid via card over the phone (206.956.8372), or cash/check/card in person.
*Please note: Classes may be canceled due to holidays, conflicting events, or lack of an instructor. Please call to confirm dates.
Mark Baumgarten has written about music in the Pacific Northwest for the last decade, most recently as the editor-at-large for City Arts. He is the author of Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music and is currently the editor-in-chief of Seattle Weekly.
Chris Nelson is currently media and editorial director for Pyramid Communications, which “gives voice to good causes” with nonprofits in Seattle, the Northwest, and across the country. Prior to this, he spent 12 years as a music journalist for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, sonicnet.com, Seattle Times, Seattle Public-Intelligencer and many other publications. In fact, his first visit to the Vera Project was in 2003 for a New York Times story on Seattle’s Teen Dance Ordinance. With reporting partner Brian Hiatt, he won the National Journalism Award in 2000 for a five-part investigative series on the riots at Woodstock ’99.
• Students will be given the opportunity to discuss the craft of music journalism with two instructors who have a combined three decades experience writing about music in the Pacific Northwest, and at least three guest lecturers who have published work at the highest levels of the industry.
• Each student will be assigned one concert to cover during the course. The student will be asked to write both a preview and a review of the concert.
• Each student will also be assigned one interview assignment. The student will interview a musician and produce a ready-for-publication Q&A.
• During the duration of the course, each student will also be asked to write a Favorite Album essay, to be completed and turned in by the final class.
• At the instructors’ discretion, other writing and research assignments will be given at the weekly class and will be due by 9am the following Monday.
• At your discretion, your final assignments will be published online and included in a print publication to be created shortly after the conclusion of the class.
• Participating outlets: KEXP, Seattle Weekly
Class 1: Prelude
Introductions, what music journalism is and why we do it.
Class 2: Dancing About Architecture
Practical approaches to writing about music and getting that writing published.
Class 3: How to Hear
The critical review, why it’s important to say both positive and negative things, and how to do both effectively.
Class 4: The First Person
How to write a personal essay or travelogue that isn’t all about you.
Class 5: What Do You Want From Me?
The journalist, the artist and the interview.
Class 6: The Deep Dive
Longform storytelling, why it is important to write in-depth profiles and features, and how to approach the seemingly impossible story.
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