There’s a great Neil Gaiman quote: “Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song.” As a voice teacher who spends a lot of my life working with musicians, I think the quote is pretty on point. When I talk to my students, it’s clear that every one of them–from the toddlers just learning the fundamentals of music to the seniors who’ve always wanted to sing but were worried they didn’t have a voice–has something to say. They may not have the words or the musical tools to access this song yet, but given the right guidance and training, they can learn to write their song and say something no one’s said quite like that before. Here are 7 reasons to learn to write songs!
1. To Express Yourself
Ever loved the tune of a song but wish the words reflected you a little bit more? Writing songs allows you to tell your own story.
2. You Can Tailor it to Your Own Voice
Everyone’s voice is unique, and some songs will fit your voice better than others. There’s no better way to make sure a song is perfect for your own range and comfort level than writing your own.
3. To Set Yourself Apart
Lots of local singers will be able to get up and perform a pleasant-sounding rendition of the latest Taylor Swift song. Not many of them will be able to perform an original set.
4. No Licensing Issues
Ever tried posting a great cover on YouTube only to find that it was taken down? While you may get lucky and never run into trouble recording and performing covers, there are often permissions issues you run into.
5. You Own the Rights to Your Music (Unless You’re Signed, Which is a Good Problem to Have)
If you write the music, you’re in charge. If a record label wants to sign you, you can sign with them or opt to sell the music on your own. You decide when and where to perform it, and when and where to record it. This also means that you keep more of the profits on sales.
6. More Ways into the Music Industry
As a songwriter, you can write music for yourself or for others. If you love to make music but aren’t a great performer (or are a great performer but simply want to explore other avenues), you can write music for other artists, and let me tell you–there are plenty of singers out there who’d love the chance to record a great original song.
7. It’s Cathartic!
Life can be tough! We experience a wide range of emotions, from love, to heartbreak, to nostalgia and deep insecurity. There’s nothing quite like pouring some of that energy into music to help us cope with the day-to-day challenges of being human!